We know that music can bring forward emotions inside of us, but it’s not just humans – elephants are also very emotional creatures. So when Paul Barton plays the piano for an elephant, you can see how moved it is by his presence.
Paul Barton is a budding musician and a concert pianist. He needed a new adventure and so he moved to Thailand in 1996 to teach at the Thai Piano School.
I thought it would be an interesting opportunity to spend three months in Asia, a place I had always been curious about. But I met my (then), future wife, here and stayed on. We have been married now for eighteen years. She has always been interested in animal conservation and activism and my influence stemmed from there.
After meeting his wife, Paul learned a lot about the abused animals in Thailand, especially elephants.
Thai teak wood is considered to be the finest in the world which is why the country’s forest has reduced rapidly from 1975 to 1986. Based on the shocking rates that forests were destroyed, the government finally placed a ban on commercial timber logging in 1989.
Wildlife was destroyed as the forestland was massacred and many animals lost their homes (and lives). Elephants were made to carry the heavy logs through the jungles by the timber loggers. The twigs and branches would scratch their eyes and draw blood all over their body.
When the deforestation ban was in action, the elephants were deemed ‘unemployed’ and no longer needed. So the injured and abused animals all suffered for years afterward.
That’s when Paul Barton from Yorkshire, England, decided to create the Music for Elephants project
He noticed that when he played music to blind, injured and/or orphaned elephants he could see extraordinary results.
At the Elephants World sanctuary in River Kwai, Thailand, Barton plays music from some of history’s greatest composers to these endangered Asian elephants.
In the video below, Barton plays “Clair de Lune” by Debussy for an 80-year-old female elephant called Ampan. Ampan is blind in one eye and struggles to see with the other, but hearing Paul play the piano calms her down and makes her feel relaxed again.
Don’t forget to watch Paul Barton play classical music on the piano for an abused elephant in the video below. Also, at Happiest we love hearing all of your opinions. So please let us know what you thought of the article in the comment section. 🐝