It is mind-blowing to think how alike humans and animals can sometimes be. I’m not talking about physical appearance—the closest resemblance there are primates and that’s about it.
Animals continue to surprise and inspire us through their mental capacity for things we often find exclusively human. You know, things like emotion, empathy, the capacity for creativity and whatnot. What is most surprising to see is the fact that animals understand and partake in what we view as art and culture.
Believe it or not, but this cute blind elephant prefers to dance to classical music
In his video, Barton explains that the gentle old female elephant named Lam Duan has been blind for most of her life. The 62-year-old elephant spends her days in ElephantsWorld which is an animal protection organization based in Wang Dong, Thailand. He then proceeds to play her some soothing classical music by Frédéric Chopin, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schubert, and Erik Satie.
This musician dragged his piano to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand so he could play for retired elephants
What adds even more charm to this story is the idea of this kind-hearted pianist sharing his talent and time with someone who is blind and can’t enjoy the beauty of sight but can, however, enjoy all that is aural. It’s like reading to the blind except with music.
Barton got the idea to do this one day on the River Kwai bridge while filming a video for his channel. There, he found out about this elephant sanctuary that takes care of old, injured, handicapped logging, and street elephants. Since he loved elephants, he went down there and asked if he could bring in and play the piano to the elephants. They had no objection to that.
Lam Duan isn’t the only elephant enjoying the soothing sounds of Bach, Chopin, and Schubert
Believe it or not, Lam Duan wasn’t the only elephant to enjoy this gift. There was a whole slew of elephants coming in and listening to Barton’s performance. Some even sang! Well, sang to the best of their ability. There is even a video of him playing the Saiyok, a traditional Thai flute, for an elephant named Plara.
Here is the full video of Lam Duan swaying side to side to the sound of classical music
In an interview with Coconuts Bangkok, Barton explained that almost all elephants react to music. They suddenly start to move as soon as the music starts to play. Some come closer to the piano and begin stroking it with their trunks, while others hold their trunks in their mouths and listen. Yet others, like Lam Duan, sway from side to side. All become curious when the sound of the piano reaches their ears.
The elephants enjoy Barton’s performances so much, some even attempt to sing along