Pianist Paul Barton Soothes Retired Sanctuary Elephants with Private Concerts.

If elephants don’t forget, they are always going to remember Paul Barton as a talented, tender human.
This British-born pianist has made it his mission to help ageing, retired elephants a private concert. As many online videos have shown, music has a soothing effect on animals as it does humans. The classical pianist regularly visits Elephants World in Thailand. The facility serves as a retirement home and sanctuary for ailing and older elephants; a place where the animals can live their last years in peace.

Helping add a soundtrack to this oasis is Barton. After getting permission from the sanctuary’s staff, the musician started bringing a piano to Elephants World and playing classical greats like Bach and DeBussey for an animal audience. Barton said that is not uncommon for elephants, including the sanctuary’s blind residents, to stop in their large tracks and spending a moment listening to his piano.

Based on these reactions and others, Barton believes the elephants are soothed by his music. British pianist Paul Barton explains that the 'gentle' old female elephant, named Lam Duan, has been blind for a number of years and that he wants to play her some music. Lam Duan, which means 'Tree With Yellow Flowers', currently lives in Elephants World in Thailand, an animal rescue facility looking after sick, old, or disabled elephants. Mr Barton, 57, said: 'I was heartbroken when I first saw Lam Duan arrive at Elephants World in 2012.'She's so restless. When you play music to her, she stops being restless and is calm. Being blind, she'll sway back and forth.' Lam Duan spent the first 20 years of her life working in the logging trade, before spending a further 10 in the trekking industry. The next 30 years were spent being looked after by a pair of owners before being moved to Elephants World. Mr Barton, originally from East Yorkshire, lives at the shelter with his wife, Khwan, and regularly plays music to the 28 elephants under their care.
Though some of the animals, such as bull elephants, can be aggressive, Mr Barton says he prefers his performances to be completely natural with no restrictions. He added that he can usually tell within a few seconds of performing whether the elephant likes his music choice or not and that he hopes the animal's lives are a little more fulfilled through these activities. Mr Barton uploads the videos on to his YouTube channel to raise awareness about Elephants World. He added: 'The piano is out in the mountains, so it's completely free the elephant can do what it wants.' These elephants are standing close to you, and there's kind of a connection that you can't explain in words.'