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American cellist and composer David Teie has a dream: a world of species specific music. Since 2009 Teie has been experimenting with the concept of compositions scientifically devised to appeal to particular animals, and even human beings at various stages of gestation before birth. His latest endeavour however is aimed at arguably the most difficult to impress animal around: the domestic cat. “From an age when they were worshiped as gods, to a time when they’re worshiped online, cats have often had to listen to music they didn’t actually like,” Teie reasons in the promo-video on his Kickstarter campaign to fund a full album of cat music.
The foundation for his feline aimed compositions is allegedly based in science, focusing on sounds that cats associate with soothing or formative experiences such as suckling as a kitten. Teie has also engineered the music so it is pitched in the optimal ranges for a cat’s hearing. “Suckling is a reward-related sound that all cats hear as the brain structures responsible for their emotions are forming,” Teie explains, saying that while certain sounds in the music have no relevance for a human, they will have an important resonance with cats. In tests 77% of cats who heard the music showed a positive reaction.
It might sound like hooey, but the concept has captured the imaginations of thousands around the world, with Teie’s Kickstarter campaign almost 10 times over the original goal of $20,000. With over $168,000 currently surplus, and with pledges still flooding in, Teie has said that among his future projects he hopes to create music to help rehabilitate abused and abandoned dogs, and even music for whales living in captivity. Whether or not Teie truly is the Doctor Doolittle of composition, his is potentially one of the most heavily funded new music projects ever crowd sourced.