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