Pianist Plays Classical Music For An Old Blind Elephant

July 12, 2018

Paul Barton, a celebrated British pianist, went to Thailand in 1996 in search for adventure. Instead he found love and a quest for life. He and his wife have been working to rehabilitate elephants at Elephant World sanctuary for the past two decades.

Recently, Barton decided to fulfill a long cherished dream of playing music to the blind elephants. He did this by dragging his piano all the way up the mountain where the elephants usually gathered.

"I had previously worked with blind children for two years and seen the impact music had in their lives," Barton said in an interview with Your Story. "So I wanted to try out that theory with these blind elephants. This elephant in particular was so intelligent, I thought it would appreciate some music."

Barton thought hard about what kind of music elephants would enjoy and finally decided on Beethoven. The first elephant he played Beethoven for dropped the food she was eating and stared at him the entire time.

"If you play classical music to an elephant, something soft and beautiful, something that human beings have been listening to for hundreds for hundreds of years, something that is timeless- and you play that to an elephant that is blind and they've never heard music before - the reaction is priceless. There is a special bond between you and the elephant. You are communicating with them in a different language. That language is neither our nor theirs. There is something infinitesimally wonderful in a piece of Beethoven that connects me to that elephant and that feeling is otherworldly."

In this video, Barton plays classical music for and old blind elephant named Lam Duan, which means "Tree with Yellow Flowers". She has been blind for most of her life.

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