A Discussion on Music for Cat Dancing
A Discussion on Music for Cat Dancing


"The cat", says David Parsons, "has its own unique rhythms and patterns of sound vibration that are possible to hear if you're close and quiet."

It is this innate feline musicality that Parsons explores in his 1999 Dancing with Cats album, revealing rich, sensuous sounds that are at once surprising yet oddly 'correct' to those who know cats.

For the human dancer, his music creates an instant mood and style that spans mystic orientalism and feline passion in rich swathes of impassioned color

David Parsons believes there are important structural similarities between music and the basic operational modes of the feline nervous system.

"As the fiber tracts of the cat's auditory system are organized tonotopically, frequency analysis is possible in both the lower [temporal] lobes of the brain and the emotional or pleasure regions of the upper [frontal] lobes. In other words", Parsons says, "it's possible for the cat, not only to move in time with the rhythm or beat but to actually 'enjoy' the activity."

As a biomusicologist, David Parsons is intensely aware that his compositions will involve a wide range of feline motor effects, including cerebral, subcortical and limbic. Because of this he strives to produce a synthesis of intricate feline aural stimuli in order to bring about 'emotional' musical responses from the cat which can alter its blood pressure and pulse rate and so change its breathing and the intensity of its energy modulating purr.

These specially devised sounds motivate the sensitive cat to respond, and the rhythmic-melodic structures which contain the sounds, encourage an order and a direction in its movements which can synchronize with the same order and direction in its human dance partner and so lead to a heightened communication. Parson's deliberate use of dissonant elements in the upper register have a liberating effect on most cats who respond with startled delight and often prolong their efforts accordingly.

It was from Tibetan cat charmers that he learnt how it is possible to 'drive' the cat's purr frequency by using sound combinations to bring about a synchronicity between the rhythm of the music and the cat's respiratory rhythm during the dance. Amongst other things, this enables the cat to prolong its physical effort, thereby making it possible for it to dance with us beyond its normal limited range of short-lived leaps and flurries.

But as well as providing an intricate soundscape of exciting feline frequencies that will stimulate cats to dance, Parsons' music is well suited to many kinds of human dance as it retains a dance scale and pace while also providing patterns which are uplifting and legible. It is this dualism which enables his unique brand of biomusic to so perfectly facilitate our current collective inter-species ascension into higher dimensions.




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