Paul Barton, an English artist, pianist, and an animal lover must be one of the kindest people on Earth.
Barton wanted to go on a new adventure back in 1996 and moved to Thailand. As per plans, he was only to stay there for three months; but then, he met his future wife, Khwan.
As a wildlife artist and animal activist, Khwan started making Barton more associated with the animal activist community in Thailand.
Barton mainly wanted to help the elephants of Thailand. That was when he learned that Thailand had gone through a whole period of high deforestation from 1975 to 1986 when people from all over the world wanted Thailand’s teak wood, and companies started cutting the trees down without considering much about the animals living in the forests.
Elephants, however, suffered exceptionally during that period. The company owners made the animals carry logs, not caring at all about how they were getting bloody due to the scratches of sharp twigs.
Thankfully, in 1989, Thailand finally decided to ban commercial timber logging. However, the elephants didn’t stop suffering because their home was lost and they didn’t have anywhere to go.
So, many animal lovers stepped up to help these gentle giants by building sanctuaries which were almost like their wild homes.
Barton had visited Elephants World, one of the sanctuaries, where he closely met the animals and immediately fell in love with them. He wanted to help the emotional and empathetic animals. So, he came up with the brilliant idea of playing classical music for them. He even named the program “Music for Elephants.”
“The first time I played the piano at Elephants World, a blind elephant called Plara was closest to the piano by coincidence,” Barton told Coconuts Bangkok. “He was having his breakfast of bana grass, but when he heard the music for the first time, he suddenly stopped eating with the grass protruding from his mouth and stayed motionless all through the music.”
Barton regularly tapes his concerts and uploads those videos on his YouTube channel. The videos clearly show the elephants loving his music. They usually stand next to the piano “dancing” their ears and trunks to the music.
Barton has an especially touching video in which he plays “Clair de Lune” of Debussy for an elephant who had a tough life.
The 80-year-old elephant named Amphan is blind in one eye and has faced many troubles in her life. However, she loves music. During Barton’s concert, she seems to be still and transfixed. In the video, during the concert, the camera person zooms in on her face, and clearly, tears are seen rolling down her eyes. That’s how moved she was.
So, when he stops, Barton does not forget to give the senior elephant a warm hug.
Because the elephants in Elephants World have been through so much, they only want to relax now, and Barton’s music is the perfect way for them to do so.
Watch the video below to see how heartwarming Barton’s concert is:
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