My previous blog about Paul Barton, the man who is playing piano for elephants, has received a big reaction from Paul himself recently, who made two long videos in response. Many viewers were outraged how such an apparently wonderful project like playing piano for elephants could cause such criticism. Some people wondered why Paul made such a huge effort, putting nearly 3 hours of film together in response to a blog text. Others agree that the places where Paul is playing piano are sadly lacking in elephant welfare. So there is a lot to discuss! Hi Paul, hope you are well, this is my response.
14 April 2021. Recently Paul Barton has made two videos as a reaction to the text below. Many people have been asking for a response, which is now posted here. Thank you for your patience!
Do elephants love Bach? The idea of elephants enjoying classical music somehow appeals to us. The gentle giants are famous for their sensitivity and sophistication, after all. But there is a truly dark side to the many videos circulating in social media, showing how the British pianist Paul Barton plays well-known classical pieces for elephants. What is happening there is unfortunately not musical therapy for traumatised pachyderms as the videos suggest, but a nasty commercial stunt – and, above all, plain abuse.
At the start of a new year we ponder what happened in the previous year, and what the new year will have in store. Which developments concerning elephants did we see in 2017, and how do they influence their chance of survival?