Friday, April 18, 2014

To cat, or not to cat: that is the question


There was an overwhelming response on Facebook to yesterday's feline photo. It was taken at Sidi Ifni in southern Morocco, as are the two photos in this post. Fishing is the main industry of the town, and the daily fish market is home to many contented moggies as Muslims are taught that cats should be cherished and loved. These images are certainly heartwarming, but I am also aware that cats are a very powerful social media clickbait. However there are strong links between cats and art music; this is almost certainly because the condition of synaesthesia - experiencing one sensation (sound) in terms of another (sight) - which is found in many classical musicians, is hardwired into cats. John Tavener was asked by Brian Keeble how he knew if something was going wrong with his music, and could he tell by looking at it whether it was right or wrong. This was the composer's reply:
Yes, I can, and not only by looking at the music. It could be by looking at the cat, which I know is ridiculous, but there is something deeply mysterious about cats. I think they 'know' things that we don't have access to.
Two of John Tavener's pieces for solo piano, In Memory of Two Cats and Mandoodle, are inspired by cats. To cat, or not to cat is the question. To which my answer is that if just one reader of this post discovers these affectionate Tavener miniatures, which are on an excellent Naxos disc played by Ralph van Raat, my use of cats as a benign clickbait is excusable.


Quote is from John Tavener: The Music of Silence edited by Brain Keeble. Any copyrighted materialis included as "fair use", for the purpose of critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.

No comments: