About this project
THIS ALBUM WILL BE MADE!
AND IT IS AVAILABLE ONLY HERE
Now that this project is fully funded (and then some!) we are guaranteed to be able to deliver the digital downloads, CDs, and four CD sets recorded with state-of-the-art equipment. The sounds of natural, acoustic instruments recorded with this technology are most appropriate for the high-resolution and sensitive hearing of cats. (Did you know that 25% of the cat’s brain is devoted to hearing - as opposed to 3% of the human brain?)
The process of composing and recording has already started. The recording studio, engineer, and musicians are all lined up. Each of them has earned a place at the leading edge of the music industry.
This exciting process has begun, thanks to you!
For those of you who are visiting this site for the first time, here's the story:
INTRODUCING, MUSIC FOR CATS
I know, it sounds like a joke. But it's 100 percent real.
In 2008, I wrote two songs that, to quote the Washington Post, "would have been major hits on the cat-music Billboard charts, if there were such a thing." The songs elicited positive reactions from 77 percent of cats that heard them, according to a scientific study that was recently published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science. As usual, the cats showed virtually no interest in the human music that was also played for them.
The results were clear: For the first time in history, we'd created real animal music.
I've been a cellist in the National Symphony Orchestra for more than 20 years. In 2003, amidst my career as a classical musician, I developed a universal theory of music. I set out to discover why humans have an emotional response to music and found that it's tied to the sounds we heard when our brains are developing. For example, it's because we heard our mother's pulse in the womb that we like drums in our music; the sound intrigues us because it evokes heartbeats. It’s no coincidence that our mother’s resting heart rate is almost exactly the same pace as music we find relaxing. I eventually published my findings in a book about why music affects us entitled Human Music.
If my ideas about the universal nature of music were correct, I figured I should be able to write songs that affect other species by taking into account the sounds they hear when their brains are developing. My first project was composing music for monkeys. Because of their high-pitched voices and fast pulse, I wrote songs at higher pitch and with a faster pace than human music.
Relaxing monkey music:
Heavy-metal monkey music:
To test the music, I teamed up with University of Wisconsin psychology professor Charles Snowdon and played those two songs for cotton-top tamarins. It worked! They relaxed for the tranquil tunes and jumped around during the heavy metal music. The scientific community took notice and my theory was published by the Royal Society as well as Oxford University Press.
Music for Cats was born from my efforts to bring real, scientifically credible music to as many members of the animal kingdom as possible. I decided to launch the company with music for cats because cats are commonly kept as pets, allowing us to easily share music with them.
One day I'd like to calm caged whales and relax abused dogs, but first I need to create a sustainable business, one that sells animal music people will actually buy.
Cats seemed like the obvious choice.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Unlike humans, felines establish their sense of music outside of the womb, through sounds heard after they're born, like the chirping of birds, the sucking of milk, or the purring of their mother. Using only musical instruments, I incorporated those sounds and their natural vocalizations into music and matched it to the frequency range they use to communicate. The reason harp plays notes play in rapid succession (23 per second!) is because that's the precise rate of a cat's purr.
The result? The purrfect way to relax your cat.
The new, enhanced music for cats:
Making music for animals has become a mission for my life. I want to bring the beauty and comfort of music to as many species as possible. Unfortunately, there are roadblocks preventing me from achieving that goal.
- It takes a long time to create music from the ground up. I have to research and develop the vocalizations of each species, modify and even invent instruments, compose music, record in the right frequency range, edit, etc.
- Music today is freely shared, so musicians typically make a living by touring. Good for live music; not so good if you write music for cats.
That's why I need your support to create our first album and to launch this company. This next generation of music will require us to use equipment equal to the exquisite, high-resolution hearing of cats. That means I'll need to improve upon my current recording conditions, which you can see in this video:
THE PROOF IS IN THE PURRS
Seeing is believing. To demonstrate that this is one of the most groundbreaking ideas in the long history of our relationship with animals, we knew we'd have to show you what cats look like when they hear their own music for the first time. That's why we partnered with some of the most famous cats on the Internet.
We wanted the felines the Internet trusts most to demonstrate the effects of real animal music.
We sent the music to famous kitties around the world.
Nala (Instagram: @nala_cat)
In addition to Nala, who's featured in our video above, here's how some other famous cats responded to the music:
City the Kitty (Instagram: @citythekitty)
Bacon (Instagram: @baconcup)
Cole and Marmalade (Instagram: @coleandmarmalade)
- $2375 to produce 500 four-CD packets
- $850 to produce 200 copies of the book
- Recording studio time is $120/hr x 40 hours = $4,800. We will need a $120 for a hard drive and $900 for mastering costs
- The musicians will cost about $4,000, and the recording engineer charges $110/hr x 40 hrs = $4,400
- If we get to the finish line, we will use the remaining $2,555 to begin researching new enhancements for the music for our feline friends
- NPR: From Bored To Blown Away: Feline Reactions To 'Music For Cats'
- Washington Post: This Cellist Has Composed Music For Cats. Do They Care?
- ABC NEWS: Cats Listen, React To Cat Music At A Cat Cafe
- National Geographic: Why Scientists Have Created Music Just for Cats
- The Huffington Post: Scientists Create Music For Cats, And Fur A Good Reason
Risks and challenges
There are some genuine challenges to achieving the goal of creating this new album. All of the potential difficulties relate to the fact that all of the software and hardware that is available for creating music was designed for human listeners. I will need to make many modifications to instruments and use extensive post-recording editing to create the right sounds. Creating the enlivening music, the “ditties,” presents a special challenge. The sounds are so fast and the frequencies so high that I need to compose and record the music at 1/3 of the pace and then increase the playback speed. That means I need to compose and record 3 minutes of music for every minute of music heard in the song.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes. If you search by name for Cozmo's Air, Rusty's Ballad, or Spook's Ditty on iTunes you can purchase the first generation of music for cats.
We will be researching dogs and horses concurrently. When there is enough information for me (Dave) to believe that I could develop the instruments and create the music, I will begin to do so. Right now horses are in the lead because they are much more consistent across the breeds than dogs. However, I have been in contact with Barnard College in Columbia University about researching music for dogs, so they may overtake horses in the "backstretch" as they help us gather information. Stay tuned!
Our music will be made available free of charge to animal shelters, animal hospitals, and veterinary clinics that do not practice declawing. If you represent such an organization, please send your address to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send the download and the four-CD set as soon as the album is finished.
We will be recording in high-resolution 24 bit, 96 kHz with microphones that are capable of capturing sound above the normal human hearing threshold of 20 kHz. The digital downloads will be in the original 24 bit, 96 kHz resolution .wav files that are playable on most computers. These make for fairly hefty file sizes, but we think the acute sensitivity of cat's hearing is worth the trouble. Once the album is finished, the files will be available for you to download from a transfer site.
The CDs must be in the standard 16 bit, 44.1 kHz resolution.
Since some cats are somewhat surprised to hear music in their "language", it will be best to use a low volume at first. After an introductory period the volume can be turned up to a normal level; a level that is comfortable for you will probably be comfortable for the cats. The hearing sensitivity of cats is about the same as humans in the frequency range of this music. The most striking difference being that cats are much more sensitive to very high frequencies than we are.
This is our first Kickstarter campaign so we are not absolutely sure how quickly we will be able to handle the turnaround from receipt of the contact information to the time we can reach out to the individual backers. As we understand it, we will be able to access the backer info about two weeks after the end of the campaign - that would put us at December 13. Before that time we will have the files available and the delivery pathway clear so that we will do our very best to deliver the bonus tracks during the week of December 14 - 18.
Support this project
- (30 days)