If we’ve featured Jazz for Cows on Open Culture, then why not Classical Music for Elephants? Actually, they’re not just any elephants featured above. They’re old, injured, handicapped, sometimes blind elephants who live in the mountains of Thailand. And the gentleman playing a slow movement from Beethoven’s “Pathétique Sonata” is Paul Barton. On his Youtube channel, Barton mentions that he hauled his piano into the mountains, to Elephantstay – a refuge for the animals. And, emphatically, he tells us that the piano’s keys are made of plastic, not of ivory, seeing that the trade of ivory has caused elephants so much misery.
Barton has a playlist of 23 videos of elephants and his piano playing, the most viral of which was another clip where Barton plays a 12 bar blues on the piano with Peter the Elephant. Peter’s participation was entirely impromptu and completely of his own accord. You can see a photo gallery of Paul and the elephants here, and catch a radio interview with him here.