Cel­list com­poses purr­fect mu­sic for fe­line au­dio­philes

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

DAVID Teie plays a few high-pitched notes on his cello be­fore pass­ing to the low ones, stop­ping Lizzy, a small black cat with white paws, in her tracks.

Don­nie, a white and gin­ger tom­cat, aban­dons his favourite play­thing – a toy mouse bounc­ing on a piece of string – to ap­proach the Amer­i­can mu­si­cian.

Cu­ri­ous, he raises up on his back legs and puts his paws on Teie’s knees dur­ing an un­usual per­for­mance in Lady Di­nah’s cat cafe in Shored­itch, east Lon­don.

De­spite an al­lergy to cats, Teie has cre­ated the world’s first al­bum en­tirely for fe­lines and dis­trib­uted by a ma­jor la­bel, Univer­sal Mu­sic.

Though ini­tially cau­tious, the 13 furry vis­i­tors to Lady Di­nah’s Cat Em­po­rium ap­peared sat­is­fied at this week’s premiere.

The purring and mur­mur­ing sounds which make up Mu­sic for Cats take in­spi­ra­tion from the noises kit­tens hear like birds chirp­ing or their mother’s purr.

“I have some­thing like 26 dif­fer­ent purr in­stru­ments,” Teie, a mu­sic teacher based at the Univer­sity of Mary­land who has per­formed with the US Na­tional Sym­phony Orches­tra, told AFP.

The 60-year-old, dressed in a tie and with his wavy grey hair neatly combed, picked a cat par­adise to un­veil his work.

The cat re­treat in­cludes an enor­mous ar­ti­fi­cial climb­ing tree.

The res­i­dents are kept en­ter­tained with walk­ways, hid­ing places, bas­kets, scratch­ing boats and a vast ar­ray of toys.

“I use 10 acous­tic in­stru­ments but nearly all of the sounds have to be mod­i­fied in elec­tron­ics and soft­ware to make an­i­mal sounds,” he said.

“I thought if I write mu­sic that cats like but cat own­ers think is ir­ri­tat­ing, they just won’t put it on. So I put a layer of hu­man mu­sic to make it hear­able and in fact calm­ing for peo­ple as well.”

Lau­ren Pears, owner of Lady Di­nah’s, said Teie’s mu­sic is not dis­sim­i­lar to the mu­sic she would usu­ally play in the cafe.

At first she had her doubts about how the an­i­mals would re­spond to the mu­sic, but she found the fe­lines cu­ri­ous and en­gaged.

“All morn­ing they have been sort of watch­ing him and they seem re­ally, re­ally in­ter­ested in it,” said Pears, who opened the cafe af­ter tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from sim­i­lar cat venues in Asia.

Poppy Childs, a 21-year-old nurs­ery nurse, said she is al­ways look­ing for new pur­chases to keep her el­derly cat en­ter­tained.

“I try to find things to keep her go­ing so I would love to buy the al­bum and make her lis­ten to some mu­sic. It would be great. It sounds pretty cool,” she said.

Mu­sic for Cats was re­leased on Oc­to­ber 14.

“We’re thrilled to be part of this world-first project and break into the mas­sive un­tapped mar­ket of non-hu­man mu­sic fans,” said a spokesper­son for Univer­sal Mu­sic.

Cats are big busi­ness in Bri­tain, with £4 bil­lion (US$5 bil­lion) spent by own­ers on the coun­try’s 7 mil­lion cats ev­ery year, ac­cord­ing to one re­port.

For Teie, the an­i­mal mu­sic mar­ket need not be lim­ited to cats.

“I have de­signed mu­sic for horses and I’m ready to start record­ing ... I’m do­ing re­search for dogs.

“They are next but it’s go­ing to be a chal­lenge be­cause, for ex­am­ple, Chi­huahua mu­sic and Labrador mu­sic are very dif­fer­ent,” said the com­poser.

Photo: AFP

David Teie, a US com­poser and cel­list, pre­pares to play his cello dur­ing a in­ter­view to pro­mote his new al­bum Mu­sic for Cats at Lady Di­nah’s Cat Em­po­rium in Lon­don on Oc­to­ber 18.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.