Deeply engrossed in the music, the blind giant gently sways from side to side and is even seen stepping around as if to dance to the tune.
Every musician dreams of playing for a huge audience. For British classical pianist Paul Barton, this dream came true in a rather heartwarming manner. Born in Yorkshire, England in 1961, Barton now lives in Thailand where he plays uses his talent to soothe the gentle giants at the animal sanctuary, Elephant's World. Since discovering the sanctuary that's home to over 30 old, sick, and handicapped elephants, Barton has visited the reserve a number of times to perform for the ailing elephants. Introducing the giants to the likes of Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven, he has been an immense source of comfort and relief for the animals.
Videos of Barton performing for the elephants and the heartwarming manner in which they react to his music have gained widespread attention online. Of these videos, one that's touched the hearts of many is a video featuring a blind elephant named Lam Duan swaying to the sound of Barton playing Bach on his piano. "Lam Duan is the name of an old blind elephant, her name means 'Tree with Yellow Flowers.' Lam Duan has been blind most of her life," Barton captioned the video. Deeply engrossed in the music, the blind giant gently sways from side to side and is even seen stepping around as if to dance to the tune.
According to CBS News, Barton and his wife first discovered Elephants World online. "We liked the sound of the place being a retirement center for old, injured and handicapped former logging and trekking elephants. So we paid them a visit. I wondered if these old rescue elephants might like to listen to some slow classical music," he explained. Barton approached the employees at Elephants World with his proposal and the very first time he played his piano at the sanctuary, another blind elephant eating his breakfast stopped in his tracks upon hearing Beethoven.
"[He] was often in pain, and I like to think maybe the soothing the music gave him some comfort in the darkness," Barton revealed, explaining that this was the first elephant to really enjoy his music. Unfortunately, the animal died of an infection and the musician admitted that it left him heartbroken. However, he has since returned to Elephant's World multiple times to serenade its residents with the piano as he believes the music helps calm the elephants. Every single one of Barton's videos becomes huge hits online with many netizens commenting that the videos are the purest thing on the internet today.
"Sometimes you see or read something that just touches you emotionally. This video actually had me tearing up from feelings that are impossible to put into words. I wish I knew more about elephant psychology, but I so want to believe this magnificent creature enjoys the music as much as I think she does," YouTube user Rebekah Sicari commented below the video featuring Lam Duan and Barton. "This was lovely. I loved how she would sway back and forth like she was dancing. What a beautiful animal. Elephants are truly incredible creatures," foxyc0ntin chimed in.