Category: Music

The Time Machine

Time!

When you read this post, assuming you will be reading it on Sunday 8th April, you may be wondering why there is no Picture Parade today.

Indeed, there are not going to be Picture Parades until the first Sunday in May.

Actually, to be completely honest, there are going to be no posts at all from tomorrow all the way through to May; the next post being a guest post on Tuesday, 1st May. Nor will I be popping into this place to acknowledge comments and replies! Sorry!

Why?

Simply because Jean and I are taking a little vacation. Will explain more when we return.

Jana Stewart will be living here at home caring for all the dogs, cats, horses, ponies, chickens and parakeets! Oh, nearly forgot! And putting out feed for the wild deer!

So this post is to share with you the aptly named The Time Machine album by Alan Parsons

Also, I wanted to specifically share with you three of the tracks from that album!

 

 

Can’t imagine you haven’t come across Alan Parsons before but in that unlikely event his website is here.

Plus, I will close with a copy of the opening WikiPedia information on Alan Parsons.

Alan Parsons (born 20 December 1948)[1] is an English audio engineer, songwriter, musician, and record producer. He was involved with the production of several significant albums, including the BeatlesAbbey Road and Let It Be, and the art rock band Ambrosia‘s debut album Ambrosia as well as Pink Floyd‘s The Dark Side of the Moon for which Pink Floyd credit him as an important contributor. Parsons’ own group, the Alan Parsons Project, as well as his subsequent solo recordings, have also been successful commercially.

Yes, I know I’m showing my age!!

The Echoes Within

This is so fabulous!

Republished from here with Sue’s very kind permission.

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Listening to The Echoes Within

Nov 2nd, 2017 by Sue Dreamwalker

Can you hear the echo of Silence Within?

Is it shattering through this chaotic din?

Of political missiles of control and power

What kind of thoughts do you launch within an hour

~~

Do you wonder where those thoughts might land

As you create ‘Matter’ from the ‘Force’ at hand

Projected missiles each moment we send

As out into the Universe our thoughts do blend.

~~

Creating our future, we constantly weave

Each thought born, with intent conceived

Which side of the pendulum do your thoughts swing?

Is it positive or negative energy you bring?

~~

What noises are you sending out?

Is it Peace and Calm or do you want to shout

Remember the Echo rebounds to bounce back

What thoughts are you sending, is it Love or Lack?

~~

Have you felt the change, or don’t you care?

Are you breathing in deep, Natures air?

Are you listening to the echoes of your heart?

If you are then you’ve perhaps made a start.

~~

Are you listening to your Inner Chatter?

What you are focused upon really matters

The power of your thoughts is what we create

Take a moment, to Pause, and Meditate.

~~

What outcomes to you wish for this world?

Is it Peace or War you wish to unfurl

Now is the time we Humans Must Unite

To envisage Peace, we must reach for the light.

~~

© Sue Dreamwalker 2017

Within today’s world, we are seeing many truths now being exposed, as those whom we are supposed to look up to, are now finding their own Lies, echoing back to find them out.

We  all of us at times join in the gossip train, that travels out, gaining momentum and speed, stopping at various destinations, it gathers on board more passengers, who add their own little flourish to the journey.

I caught myself on this journey only the other week, which led me to stop my inner chatter, for our thoughts, like our words, are also powerful, and travel out, to create their vibration.. Which is why I wrote 

Are you listening to your Inner Chatter?

What you are focused upon really matters

The power of your thoughts is what we create

Take a moment, to Pause, and Meditate.

I hope you pause, and take a moment to see what thoughts are being sent out.. For believe me.. They Echo right back to the source of their creation, it may not be straight away.. As the train timetables vary.. So Listen to the Echoes of your  Heart..  I hope we have all made a start…  Hold your vision for the World.. 

Love and Blessings

~Sue~

The Photo I took  At Whitby Abbey in 2010.

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Profoundly beautiful!

Thank you, Sue.

Return to the movies!

Another movie, another dog! Correction: another world-famous dog!

Monday’s post Hail the Hero was about Max.

Max, a feature film by the producers of the doggie classic Marley and Me, intends to explore a soldier dog’s journey that doesn’t end with this heartbreaking image of a pup chasing down his fallen brother, but rather begins with it.

So it’s rather nice to welcome a guest post from Emily Ridgewell that features a dog that became known far and wide thanks to television and the cinema.

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An Incredible Rescue: An Often Forgotten “Tail” From The Golden Age Of Hollywood

By Emily Ridgewell

In the shadow of recent world tragedies, and long before cute puppies and kittens graced the internet, there were former movie legends in the form of incredible canines that found their way onto the big screen in the golden age of Hollywood. Think of adorable dogs like Toto from The Wizard of Oz or Lassie from many different types of these movies and television shows.

But there’s another “tail” (pardon the pun) about a German Shepherd named Rin Tin Tin who stole America’s heart and eventually had millions of fans all around the world long before the advent of the internet. Few of us today know the real-life story of this precious little puppy who was rescued from a war zone long before Toto or Lassie gained their fame and fortune as canine celebrities.

According to a historically-related biography published long-after this rag-tag dog shot to fame in the late twenties and early thirties, there was a young American soldier stationed in Europe shortly before the end of World War I. Corporal Lee Duncan was traipsing through the aftermath of formerly German-occupied farming village in France when he came across a single building, actually it was a kennel, that remained somewhat intact after a devastating bombing had leveled the entire town.

After cautiously entering the building, the young trooper painfully walked over more than a dozen dead German Shepherd dogs. These canine soldiers were trained for combat and left behind by the Third Reich. Corporal Duncan heard whimpering coming from deeper inside this solitary structure and continued on with his mission. To his amazement, Lee discovered some unlikely survivors of this terrible tragedy.

AFTER THE UNTHINKABLE – LIVING & LOVABLE

Lying in the rubble, there Lee saw a female shepard with five young puppies who were just a few days old. Corporal Duncan was no stranger to abandonment since his own father had left him and his mother to fend for themselves back in 1898. Just a year later, his Mom took him and a younger sibling to an orphanage. Perhaps this tugged on his heartstrings and he couldn’t leave behind this young family so he took them all underneath his wing.

He took the entire brood back to his barracks in a living and loving rescue effort. The young Corporal quickly realized he couldn’t care for all of them and found loving homes for all but two of the pups. He kept a little boy and girl, named them Nanette and Rin Tin Tin, both titles given to good luck charms found in France.

THE CANINES AFTER CHAOS

Lee continued to care for his beloved best buddies as the chaos of the war continued. After the conflict had concluded, Corporal Duncan was bound and determined to take his little war refugees home with him. Imagine the red-tape he was faced with and, long story short, he lost Nanette to pneumonia after bringing them both home to the states.

The WWI veteran got a job in his home state of California and began training Rin Tin Tin to perform some tricks in their spare time. After some filming occurred, the former Corporal wrote a screenplay and the rest (as they say) is history.

There’s an old saying (later turned into a Beatles song – also from many days gone by) that rings true in this case, you “Can’t Buy Me Love.” And that’s the whole point.

You can’t purchase the love and affection of an animal, but if you rescue one, you’ll find unconditional love that lasts forever. You might not become rich and famous after rescuing an animal, but you’ll never find a deeper love and connection with your four-legged best friend.

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Emily Ridgewell is an arts professional and a pet enthusiast from sunny LA. Emily has a creative energy and an aesthetic sense of living, where everything beautiful is worth sharing. She loves her yorkie Olivia and writes original and fun articles on ways to learn and improve your pet-best friend’s life. She finds exciting new things to explore and experience! Don’t forget to connect with her on Twitter: @ridgewell_j

Picking up on that ‘old saying’ with regard to The Beatles makes it easy to close today’s post. (And sorry if this makes some of you feel old!)

Here’s a little bit of music history:

Written by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 29 January; 25 February; 10 March 1964
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Norman Smith, Geoff Emerick

Released: 20 March 1964 (UK), 16 March 1964 (US)

Can’t Buy Me Love was The Beatles’ sixth British single, released with the b-side You Can’t Do That. It was written while the group were in Paris for a 19-date residency at the city’s Olympia Theatre.

Ah! Nostalgia!

Ghosts.

An emotional post that is potentially upsetting to readers. Especially English readers.

Yesterday, September 14th, saw the opening of the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire that happened on June 14th. As the BBC News reported:

The inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire has opened, with its chairman promising it will provide answers to how the disaster could have happened in 21st century London.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick said he would not shrink away from making recommendations that could lead to prosecutions.

Yesterday morning, I woke at 5am PDT (1pm UK time) and picked up my tablet that has a BBC Radio 4 app installed. I lay there in the dark, Jeannie still fast asleep alongside me, and listened to the World at One: Forty-five minutes of news, analysis and comment, with Martha Kearney. Naturally the opening stages of the inquiry were one of the main items covered.

I was born in London. At the maternity ward at the hospital in Park Royal, West London. Some 5 miles from Grenfell Tower. I was brought up in Wembley, London again some 5 miles straight line distance from the tower.

For much of my early life as a young adult I was in and around that part of London. So while I was not personally familiar with Grenfell Tower itself, the news coverage of the disaster at the time relayed sights of a part of London that seemed like an old friend from the past.

A ghost of my life from over 50 years ago.

Yesterday on the World at One Martha Kearney interviewed Kareem Dennis better known as the rapper Lowkey:

Lowkey: A song for Grenfell, a call for justice

Hip Hop artist Lowkey lives opposite Grenfell tower. He has written a song called Ghosts of Grenfell, featuring people from the local community, which demands justice for those who died.

Lowkey told the World at One about his song and the night of the fire.

(Photo: Lowkey. Credit: BBC)

The interview included snippets of Lowkey’s song.

After I had finished listening to the World at One I did a web search to learn more about the poor animals that lost their lives in the inferno. It broke my heart reading the stories.

Then I started watching the full video of Lowkey’s song: Ghosts of Grenfell. Sixty seconds into the song I could hold my emotions no longer and burst into deep sobs.

Here is Lowkey’s song.

For those that want to stay with this, then here are the lyrics to Ghosts of Grenfell.

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Ghosts of Grenfell

Lowkey
Featuring Mai Khalil

Produced by Jo Caleb and Quincy Tones

[Intro: Lowkey]
The night our eyes changed
Rooms where, love was made and un-made in a flash of the night
Rooms where, memories drowned in fumes of poison
Rooms where, futures were planned and the imagination of children built castles in the sky
Rooms where, both the extraordinary and the mundane were lived
Become forever tortured graves of ash
Oh you political class, so serve out to corporate power

[Chorus: Mai Khalil & Lowkey]
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
Ghosts of Grenfell still calling for justice
Now hear ’em, now hear ’em scream
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
This corporate manslaughter will haunt you
Now hear ’em scream
[Verse 1: Lowkey]
Words can not express
Please allow me to begin though
1:30am heard the shouting from my window
People crying in the street
Watchin’ the burning of their kinfolk
Grenfell Tower, now historically a symbol
People reaching, from their windows
Screaming, for their lives
Pleading, with the cries
Tryna reason with the skies
Dale youth birthed champions
Comparison is clear though
That every single person in the building was a hero
So don’t judge our tired eyes in these trying times
‘Cause we be breathing in cyanide, the entire night
They say Yasin saw the fire and he ran inside
Who’d thought that would be the site where he and his family died
The street is like a graveyard, tombstones lurching over us
Those shouting out to their windows, now wish they never woke them up
Wouldn’t hope your worst enemy to go in this position
Now it’s flowers for the dead and printed posters for the missing, come home
[Chorus: Mai Khalil & Lowkey]
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
Ghosts of Grenfell still calling for justice
Now hear ’em, now hear ’em scream
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
This corporate manslaughter will haunt you
Now hear ’em scream

[Verse 2: Lowkey]
I see trauma in the faces of all those that witnessed this
Innocence in the faces of all those on the missing list
See hopes unfulfilled
Ambitions never achieved
No I’m not the only one that sees the dead in my dreams
Strive for the bravery of Yasin, artistic gift of Khadija
Every person, a unique blessing to never be repeated
Strive for the loyalty of siblings that stayed behind with their parents
Pray that every loved one lost can somehow make an appearance
We are, calling like the last conversations with their dearest
Until we face, what they face we will never know what fear is
We are, calling for survivors rehoused in the best place
Not to be left sleeping in the West Way for 10 days
We’re, calling for arrests made and debts paid
In true numbers known for the families that kept faith
We’re, calling for safety in homes of love
They are immortalised forever, the only ghosts are us
I wonder
[Chorus: Mai Khalil & Lowkey]
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
Ghosts of Grenfell still calling for justice
Now hear ’em, now hear ’em scream
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
This corporate manslaughter will haunt you
Now hear ’em scream

[Bridge: Mai Khalil (Arabic)]
Olooli win arooh
Nas a’am tehtere’a fe sa’at sahoor
Ahess ennee be alam tanee
Ahess ennee be alam tanee
Olooli win arooh
Nas a’am tehtere’a fe sa’at sahoor
Ahess ennee be alam tanee
Ahess ennee be alam tanee

[Speech: Lowkey & Various Voices]
To whom it may concern, at the Queen’s royal borough of Kensington in Chelsea. Where is Yasin El-Wahabi? Where is his brother Mehdi? Where is his sister Nur Huda? Where is their mother and where is their father? Where is Nura Jamal and her husband Hashim? Where is their children, Yahya, Firdaus and Yaqoob? Where is Nadia Loureda? Where is Steve Power? Where is Dennis Murphy? Where is Marco Gottardi? Where is Gloria Trevisian? Where is Amal and her daughter Amaya? Where is Mohammed Neda? Where is Ali Yawar Jafari? Where is Khadija Saye? Where is Mary Mendy? Where is Mariem Elgwahry? Where is her mother Suhar?

Tell us, where is Rania Ibrahim and her two daughters? Where is Jessica Urbano Remierez? Where is Deborah Lamprell? Where is Mohammed Alhajali? Where is Nadia? Where is her husband Bassem? Where are her daughters, Mirna, Fatima, Zaina and their grandmother? Where is Zainab Dean and her son Jeremiah? Where is Ligaya Moore? Where is Sheila Smith? Where is Mohammednour Tuccu? Where is Tony Disson? Where is Maria Burton? Where is Fathaya Alsanousi? Where is her son Abu Feras and her daughter Esra Ibrahim? Where is Lucas James? Where is Farah Hamdan? Where is Omar Belkadi? Where is their daughter Leena? Where is Hamid Kani? Where is Esham Rahman? Where is Raymond Bernard? Where is Isaac Paulos? Where is Marjorie Vital? Where’s her son Ernie? Where is Komru Miah? Where is his wife Razia? Where are their children Abdul Hanif, Abdul Hamid, Hosna? Where are Sakineh and Fatima Afraseiabi? Where is Berkti Haftom and her son Biruk?

Tells us, where is Stefan Anthony Mills? Where is Abdul Salam? Where is Khadija Khalloufi? Where is Karen Bernard? Where are these people? Where are these people? Where is Gary Maunders? Where is Rohima Ali? Where is her six year old daughter Maryam, her five year old daughter Hafizah and her three year old son Mohammed? God bless you all! Where are all these people?

[Outro]
Where are all these people?
The blood is on your hands
There will be ashes on your graves
Like a Phoenix we will rise
The blood is on your hands
There will be ashes on your graves
Like a Phoenix we will rise

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Extraordinary music for everyone!

Sound UK produces extraordinary musical encounters for all

That sub-heading is the banner statement you will read if you go across to the Sound UK website. You may recall that I featured Sound UK in a post last June under the title of Sonic Journeys. I also presented the fact that my daughter is one of two directors of Sound UK. As in:

Sound UK is run by Directors Polly Eldridge and Maija Handover. We work alongside a crack team of freelancers and consultants across production, marketing, design, participation and fundraising. These include Tim Hand (production), Becky Morris Knight at Shipshape Marketing (digital marketing), Beth Fouracre (participation), John Gilsenan at IWant (design), Sarah Coop (fundraising) plus many more.

The reason I am featuring Sound UK again is because I wanted to share with you an exciting new project. I am republishing this from the Sound UK site.

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Tom Phillips – Irma: an opera

Sound UK is a music charity developing a major new project to mark the 80th birthday of one of Britain’s most treasured artists

We need your support to produce the first multimedia production of Royal Academy artist Tom Phillips’ Irma: an opera at South London Gallery this September. An exquisite miniature opera and audio visual installation, Irma is drawn from his masterpiece A Humument, which he recently completed after 50 years. This unique production celebrates Phillips’ extraordinary output in art and music.

Tom Phillips RA: Phillips has had major exhibitions in national galleries, painted figures such as John Gielgud and Iris Murdoch and created works for the Imperial War Museum, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral. His work can also be seen on the streets of Peckham where he has lived and worked for most of his life. You may even own one of his artworks; the Benjamin Britten 50p piece.

Tom Phillips in his Peckham studio

In the 1960s, Phillips was at the centre of the vibrant art school scene where music and art collided.  He brought over key composers of that era to the UK – Morten Feldman, John Cage, performed with Cornelius Cardew – and even taught Brian Eno, who he introduced to ideas that had a great influence on Eno’s music.  This landmark event recognises Phillips’ work as a composer and wider influence on the world of music.

Excerpt from Irma: an opera full score 2014

The Creative team: Sound UK is working with one of the UK’s most gifted opera designer / directors Netia Jones and her company Lightmap, with music director Anton Lukoszevieze and his leading ensemble Apartment House.

“Netia Jones is the most imaginative director of opera working in Britain today” The Observer

“One of the most innovative and exciting chamber ensembles in Europe” Royal Philharmonic Society on Apartment House

We need YOU to be part of Irma!

We have already raised the majority of our funding with the generous support of Arts Council England and Hinrichsen Foundation. We are also grateful for major in kind support from South London Gallery, where Phillips first showed his work as a student.

YOU can play a key role in Phillips’ new artwork. We need to raise £5,000 to help pay for rehearsals and the creation of the video for this extraordinary artwork.

To thank you for your invaluable support, we have put together a selection of unique rewards based on Irma characters – view by scrolling up on the right of this page – including an exclusive limited edition print created by Tom Phillips and mementos of his work.

Please visit our website for more information on Irma
www.sounduk.net/events/tom-phillips/

Image of Tom Phillips limited edition print – Irma: Our Lamplit History

Paper size h:28.4cm x w:21cm
Limited edition of 50

A unique print created by Tom Phillips in support of the world premiere full version of his opera Irma, at South London Gallery, September 2017, directed / designed by Netia Jones, musical direction Anton Lukoszevieze, performed by Apartment House with video by Lightmap.

Digital print with silkscreen 2017
All prints are sent signed and numbered by the artist.

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 If anyone is so moved to participate in this ‘crowdfunding’ project then the donation details may be seen here: https://payment.crowdfunder.co.uk/reward/246262

Sister Eleanor and Zina

This is a very special guest post from a very special person.

My father died on December 20th., 1956. I had turned twelve some six weeks before this day.

My mother, some eighteen years younger than my father, in due course remarried a professional musician, Richard Mills, and in 1959 my mother gave birth to a girl who was named Eleanor. Those who can do the arithmetic will calculate that I was fifteen years the elder brother to Eleanor. Indeed, almost to the day for I was born on November 8th and Eleanor was born on November 16th.

Thus followed a very special relationship as Eleanor grew up regarding me as her big, protective brother. I am so fortunate in having close relationships with both my sisters: Eleanor, who lives in Johannesburg, and Elizabeth, who lives in Tokyo. (Happy Birthday Elizabeth for today, the 21st February.)

Thus it is with very great pleasure indeed that I offer a guest post from Eleanor.

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Zine: The Lover of Many Species

by Eleanor Hamilton, February 21st., 2017

Zina, now well past the puppy days!
Zina, now well past the puppy days!

We bought Zina as a puppy just over 2 years ago. She was the most adventurous of the litter and a “liver nose” Ridgeback, which is a silky type with no black markings on her face.

We knew from the onset that she was a bright dog, but usually for her own benefit.

She quickly learnt that if she was shut out of the house she should run around the house trying every door in case one was unlocked. She did this by stretching up so her front legs acted like arms on the handle. She also managed to prise open our sliding patio doors to get in on one occasion.

We soon realized and made sure that all doors were locked.

Living in South Africa we have some extra security measures you might not be familiar with. Obviously most people are aware of high walls and electric fences, but some houses have internal security gates (often called slam gates). We use one at the bottom of the stairs just as a precaution as we don’t activate any alarms. Sometimes if we want the dogs downstairs (and off the beds!) we lock this security gate.

We were mystified to find that after a few minutes Zina was jumping up and opening our bedroom door after obviously negotiating the security gate! On one occasion we thought we’d hide and look over the stairs to watch. She had learnt that if she put her paws inside the door frame she could shake the metal and gradually work the lock loose. We hoped the burglars weren’t as clever!

Her intelligence also spreads to her understanding of the other animals in our house and the need to look after them and make sure they are happy. She is quite enthusiastic in licking everything to say hello, which doesn’t always go down too well. Her friend, Dylan the Jack Russell, is well used to her large boisterous nature and puts up with these slobbering kisses!

Our cat usually tolerates the first kiss then decides to gently warn her with a little pat of her paw. After that Zina is a very polite dog.

What is most unusual is her attitude to my bearded dragon. I rescued it from an owner who was mistreating it and although I would never choose one as a pet, I couldn’t bear to see it badly neglected.

23cbb964-083c-46b9-b799-1cc849d6205cZina always goes over and gives him the usual kiss, which strangely is accepted by Blizzard (the lizard!)

I usually discourage Zina from going on too long with this greeting as although Blizzard is tolerant he can also get fed up.

9183b689-52fb-43e4-be87-243cd1bfcbccSince developing her newfound maturity and maternal urges, she has become very loving to all our family of pets. It is lovely to see how caring this dog has become and how she definitely puts herself as alpha female and keeps her pack happy and safe.

[Ed: Those feet bottom right look strangely human!]
[Ed: Those feet bottom right look strangely human!]

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What a heart-warming account of yet another special, loving dog.

Thank you, Eleanor.

I asked Eleanor if she wanted to offer you dear readers a little of her background. This is what she sent me:

As you may know, I’m Paul’s younger sister. I grew up with cats, as mum never liked dogs. I secretly always wanted a dog and always loved those models of the Labrador which were used to advertise the guide dog association.

After moving to South Africa it was very common to have dogs, frequently 2 or 3, so my first dog was a Labrador, closely followed by a rescue Jack Russell, another rescue Jack Russell then our Ridgeback.

[Ed: I added the following]

Eleanor Hamilton
Studio Music Teacher, Redhill School
Website: http://www.redhill.co.za
The school’s mission is to be a world-class, South African learning community, building leaders for their time.
Redhill School is a Member of the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA).

I’m sure that I voice a hope from me and many others that there will be more animal stories from sister Eleanor.

So! How cool is this!

The world of music as heard by our dogs!

Many people beyond Jean and me must be aware that whatever is showing on the television has a very soothing effect upon dogs. As in our dogs are quickly fast asleep in the evenings when we sit down after our evening meal.

But some research is pointing the finger more at what our dogs hear than what they see. (Oh, does anyone know the factual answer to the question of whether dogs can even make out images on a television screen?)
Mary Jo DiLonardo, a frequent writer over on the Mother Nature Network, recently wrote about the calming influence over dogs of certain types of music.

It’s a great read and I’m very happy to share it with you.

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Stressed dogs prefer reggae and soft rock

Study of shelter dogs finds music lowers cortisol levels, heart rate.

Mary Jo DiLonardo    January 27, 2017

dog-wearning-blue-headphones-jpg-653x0_q80_crop-smart
Is she jamming to Bob Marley, by any chance? (Photo: Luna Vandoorne/Shutterstock)

When you crank the music, do you ever think about your dog’s musical tastes? If your pup needs to chill, you may want to put on some Bob Marley or John Denver.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow worked in conjunction with the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to see how various types of music affected the stress levels of kenneled dogs. Shelter dogs listened to a wide range of music from Spotify playlists. The genres varied from day to day, with the furry residents listening to classical, reggae, soft rock, pop and Motown in a series of experiments.

While each genre was playing, the researchers measured the dogs’ stress levels by monitoring their heart rate variability and cortisol levels. They also kept track of whether the dogs were lying down or barking while the music was on.

The researchers found that regardless of what type of music was playing, the dogs were generally “less stressed” with music vs. without. They spent significantly more time lying down (versus standing) when any type of music was playing. They also seemed to show a slight preference for reggae and soft rock, with Motown coming in last, but not by much.

Musical tastes may vary

The responses to the genres was mixed, co-author Neil Evans, a professor of integrative physiology, told the Washington Post.

“What we tended to see was that different dogs responded differently,” Evans said. “There’s possibly a personal preference from some dogs for different types of music, just like in humans.”

The results make a good argument for playing music in shelters, where dogs can be frightened by unfamiliar surroundings. Evans points out that stress can cause dogs to bark, cower and behave in ways that makes it hard for them to be adopted. It’s worth noting that in the tests, playing music of any kind didn’t make barking dogs stop barking; however, when the music stopped, quiet dogs were more likely to start barking.

“We want the dogs to have as good an experience as they can in a shelter,” said Evans, who pointed out that people looking to adopt “want a dog who is looking very relaxed and interacts with them.”

Two of the Scottish SPCA’s facilities now play music for their residents, and the research has convinced them to expand the program. The research has been published in the journal Physiology & Behavior.

“Having shown that variety is key to avoid habituation, the Scottish SPCA will be investing in sound systems for all their kennels,” the charity said on its website. “In the future, every center will be able to offer our four-footed friends a canine-approved playlist with the view to extending this research to other species in the charity’s care.”

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Really great work on behalf of our wonderful dogs.

Who knows! The findings from this research may filter down to that species of creature that tends to share their world with dogs: homo sapiens!

In recognition of our mothers.

A month ago this day my mother died.

Not long before my mother died we contracted with a local landscaper, Leif Monchallin, to do quite an extensive improvement to the area of land that is to the front of the house. One of the improvements is putting in a dry-stone wall at the top of the driveway just before it splits into a turning circle. The photograph below shows the early stages of that wall.

p1160682Anyway, Jeannie came up with the idea of putting in some sort of engraved stone right in the centre of the wall. Leif knew of a local stone mason, Oregon Valley Sign Company, and off Jean and I went to meet Bryan Schram, who with his wife, run the business.

Bryan Sch at work
Bryan Schram at work.

Between the three of us we came up with a form of words that seemed highly appropriate.

But first off Jean and I had to locate a suitable stone for the engraving and take it over to Bryan’s premises.

Once that was done then it was about a week before we went to collect the engraved stone with the lettering also painted (that was Bryan’s wife’s area of expertise).

Finally, Leif placed the engraved stone in the wall after taking meticulous care to ensure it was perfectly positioned.

Here’s the result.

p1160722My mother was a musician and music teacher for most of her life and Jeannie’s Mum, Florence, was a great lover of music and dancing. Hence the clefs either side of the wording.

A rather special reminder of our mothers; don’t you think!