A Brilliant Idea: Concerto for Nora (the Cat) and Orchestra

Com­pos­er and Con­duc­tor Min­dau­gas Piecaitis in Lithua­nia had an idea. Why not build an orches­tral accom­pa­ni­ment around the now-famous YouTube video of Nora the Piano Cat? The result is a bril­liant, if some­times quirky piece of music that gen­tly and play­ful­ly inter­acts with the cat video.

Despite the title ‘CATcer­to’, this is actu­al­ly a sen­si­tive and at times con­tem­pla­tive piece, and shows just what a com­pos­er can do, how they can make some inter­est­ing com­po­si­tion­al choic­es in response to almost ran­dom events, and make sense of it all. As Igor Stravin­sky once said: “The more con­straints one impos­es, the more one frees one’s self. And the arbi­trari­ness of the con­straint serves only to obtain pre­ci­sion of exe­cu­tion.”

We now live in an Inter­net-con­nect­ed world, where dig­i­tal video, com­posers and cham­ber orches­tras can all some­how blend into some­thing that’s…well, Art. I’m all for it.