When I’m not writing about cats, I usually write about music. That means my own cat, Mimosa, has her day soundtracked by whatever artist or album I’m writing about. Usually, she shows little interest or reaction to anything that’s playing in the apartment; she napped through many plays of Meow The Jewels (a record made up of sampled cat sounds), although she did look horrified when first hearing the noise pop attack of Sleigh Bells. My impression? In general, cats don’t really care for human music.
In an attempt to rectify this cultural discord, a cellist in the National Symphony Orchestra has run a successful Kickstarter campaign to record and release “music composed for animals that’s verified by science.”
His name is David Teie and he calls his concept Music for Cats. At the time of writing, his crowd-sourcing campaign has sailed beyond its original $20,000 goal and has surpassed a whopping $200,000.
Explaining away the concept, the Kickstarter video begins with the premise that “All of the music cats have ever heard was created by humans for humans.”
Based on what I’m guessing are various experiments and research, Teie claims that cats establish their sense of rhythm from the sounds they hear around them (as opposed to humans, who allegedly take a cue from their mother’s pulse while lounging in the womb). Using that theory as a basis, he’s composed music for kitties.
What does it sound like?
Well, from the snippets included in the video, it seems to be a mix of soothing classical strings punctuated by the occasional sharp stab of a cello and undercut by the rumblings of a cat purring. (The latter is a production trick that was also used on the aforementioned Meow The Jewels.)
At least based on the Kickstarter video, the net effect of this musical blend mainly seems to be putting nearby cats into nap mode, although that’s hardly a state of being most felines need much in the way of encouragement to achieve. I attempted to play a snippet of the project for Mimosa and, in fairness, she did seem mildly interested — although that might have also been because I was standing in the kitchen next to the bag where her treats are kept.
Visit the Kickstarter page to learn more about Music For Cats (and to preorder copies of the album).