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
Support this project
- (30 days)