This pianist has offered the aged, crippled, and disabled elephants a once-in-a-lifetime experience by carrying his piano into the wild and performing classical music for them.
Paul Barton, has been presenting his one-of-a-kind events since 2011, and he believes that playing Bach and Beethoven to animals would help them recover from their hard existence.
Elephants in Elephant World, a sanctuary outside Kanchanaburi, Thailand, may be seen entranced by Paul’s playing, gathering next to the piano as the pianist’s vases play silently.
While filming a documentary on the River Kwai bridge, Paul stumbled across Elephant World and enjoyed the sounds of what is regarded a relaxing place for magnificent elephants; he attended the reserve and asked the director if he could take his own piano with him.
Plara, a blind elephant who missed breakfast with Bana grass and stayed still, fascinated by the sound when he first heard the music, was the first elephant Paul played with.
‘Almost all elephants react to music in a noticeable way,’ Paul, who comes from East Yorkshire, added.
“When the music started, there was a rapid movement.
“They may leave if they didn’t like the music.”
“Some elephants approach so near to the piano that they may even hide the piano’s trunk in their own unique style.”
“Some listen with their trunks in their mouths, while others start moving under the rhythm of the song.”
“That music may startle some newborn elephants, who will immediately run around the piano, intrigued about it.”
Paul said he mostly plays slow, classical pieces, avoiding bits he thinks they won’t enjoy.
Each elephant has an own taste and texture, and Paul plays a total of 28 elephants.
His film location is a calm and mysterious unspoilt region lying below a mountain, right across the street from his home.
Wild monkeys frequently gather in bunches on a nearby rock to observe the musician play.
Paul’s adventure to perform for such amazing creatures began when he was a child in the United Kingdom, where he learned himself to play the piano.
A young Paul was inspired to play the song after hearing a Schubert improvisation.
Paul learnt about other’s instruments because he didn’t have a piano at home.
After studying fine arts in London, he traveled to Thailand to study and practise piano 22 years ago.
That three-month teaching tour was meant to be short, but Paul would encounter his wife, Khwan, a wildlife artist with whom he has a three-year-old daughter, Emilie.
The family is currently residing at Elephant World, where they assist with household and interact with the elephants.
Paul wants to continue using his piano to improve their lives in the long run.
“The piano is in the mountains, so it’s free; the elephant can do anything it wants,” he explained.
“These elephants are getting close to you and have a bond with you that you can’t describe.”