In no way related to the playing off of
September 7, 2009 1:01 AM   Subscribe

The Cat Piano: an animated short by The People's Republic of Animation.
posted by fatllama (32 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Classy animation. But sweet jesus, the writing! The narrator would be the first cat I'd have fed into the cat piano. Eight minutes of yowling would have made easier listening.
posted by bicyclefish at 1:22 AM on September 7, 2009


The cats in the piano aren't tuned, they just scream randomly, so it's not really a piano.
posted by longsleeves at 1:23 AM on September 7, 2009


I was expecting it to break the quatre wall, not caterwaul.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:32 AM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hope Nick Cave chokes to death on his own forehead.
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:54 AM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I closed out of this the minute I saw the words "Nick Cave." Can't stand that guy.
posted by jbickers at 4:34 AM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ye gods, what's with the Cave hate? I always liked that dude.
posted by koeselitz at 4:36 AM on September 7, 2009


Meanwhile, I thought this was great. Thanks.
posted by koeselitz at 4:37 AM on September 7, 2009


I liked this a lot. Sure, it was a little overwrought, but that was fairly obviously a purposeful stylistic choice, and it worked pretty well with the animation's flavor.
posted by Scattercat at 4:49 AM on September 7, 2009


longsleeves: "The cats in the piano aren't tuned, they just scream randomly, so it's not really a piano."

The pianoforte (shortened to piano), was named for the ability to vary loudness. Not knowing much about the design of the katzenclavier (translated to catpiano but implying keyed instrument more than it does range of loudness), it could very well have been capable of a variety of softer or harder impalements of the feline tail, which one would expect to elicit a range of feline yowls graduated in intensity*. Not that root words are destiny linguistically speaking, but the piano is at least as significant for range of volume as it is range of pitch, and in the history of instrument design, volume control is its sole novelty.

The animation was very slick, and Nick Cave was an excellent choice of narrator.

I enjoy this new trend where ad agencies advertise themselves by producing content that is entertaining and worthwhile for its own right, it is like an odd permutation of the old rules - back then I had to watch an occasional ad so I could see the TV program I wanted, now I am glad someone else is watching TV, so that these creatives can get paid to make ads, so they can afford to make these shorts that I find better than the stuff I would see on TV.

*except if the instrument "overheats" you would expect it to start yowling uncontrollably irrespective of keypresses. What boggles my mind is that this thing was meant to be therapeutic.
posted by idiopath at 5:30 AM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Good lord, the katzenklavier is real, an artefact of pre-modern psychiatry and not just a product of the fevered imagination of Salvador Dali. (At first I thought idiopath was just riffing on this funky cartoon.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:30 AM on September 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I loved it. Thanks for posting it.
posted by carmen at 6:47 AM on September 7, 2009


Very nice. I liked the narrator and the writing. Just the right amount of overwroughtness. Though I have to protest that "anonymity" and "soliloquy" make a very bad rhyming pair.

Perhaps there should be a violence warning, especially because you can watch quite a bit of this before it shows up.
posted by ErWenn at 7:12 AM on September 7, 2009


That was really great, thanks; beautiful animation with a noir/Seussian vibe. Loved the narration, too, and didn't even notice it was narrated by Nick Cave until just now.

And would you people who didn't bother to watch it shut the fuck up? Or at least not rush to be first to spew negative garbage in a thread for no good reason than to hear yourself gripe? Your fellow members appreciate it, thanks.

(Oh, and for koeselitz: massive MeFi Nick Cave love)
posted by mediareport at 7:18 AM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


longsleeves: The cats in the piano aren't tuned, they just scream randomly, so it's not really a piano.

Nonsense. Clearly you've never actually tried to tune a cat.

Suffice it to say: just because it's difficult doesn't mean it's not possible.
posted by koeselitz at 7:18 AM on September 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Lovely animation and I'm always up for a good cat revenge story.

But I expected Nick to break into "You're A Mean One, Mr. Katzenklavier" any second.
posted by pernoctalian at 7:22 AM on September 7, 2009


Marvin Suggs lives!
posted by JHarris at 7:57 AM on September 7, 2009


Damn it, took to long to find the link
posted by Molesome at 7:58 AM on September 7, 2009


I came down here to link the Muppaphone too, JHarris and Molesome. Leave it to Henson et al. to make something horrid into something hilarious.
posted by jocelmeow at 8:36 AM on September 7, 2009


It reminded me Arhtur Ewing and His Musical Mice:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OXfAPPckQU
posted by cropshy at 8:48 AM on September 7, 2009


Wait, I always thought Donald Barthelme invented the cat-piano.
posted by escabeche at 9:21 AM on September 7, 2009


idiopath: The pianoforte (shortened to piano), was named for the ability to vary loudness.

Yes, but without the ability to vary pitch, it's not much of an instrument, is it?

koeselitz: Clearly you've never actually tried to tune a cat.

I have, and it's a waste of tuna fish.
posted by longsleeves at 10:14 AM on September 7, 2009


longsleeves: "without the ability to vary pitch, it's not much of an instrument, is it"

Do you really want a list of instruments which have pitch that does not meaningfully vary or is not readily controllable / fixed to a particular note? I think it would be a pretty long list.
posted by idiopath at 10:19 AM on September 7, 2009


This was lovely. Thanks!
posted by chairface at 10:27 AM on September 7, 2009


Artistic Masterpiece. I want moar.
posted by FusiveResonance at 10:34 AM on September 7, 2009


Not only is this 3000% better than all of the cat-playing-the-piano videos which fans of low-culture have stupidly posted on Metafilter, but it has the best comment thread links ever: 1) the strangest Wikipedia entry ever and 2) a great Barthelme short story in which the post-modern absurdist actually comments on absurdism (in the last paragraph, if you want to make the mistake of missing the rest of the story).

I don't know why the cartoonist missed the opportunity to simulate what a tuned cat-piano might really sound like...I was really looking forward to that payback after the first few minutes got a little tedious...
posted by kozad at 10:35 AM on September 7, 2009


Idiopath, yes I understand that: drums, didgeridoos, and so on. I just meant that the cats in the cartoon's version of the instrument, unlike those in the original design, are screecing randomly.
posted by longsleeves at 10:47 AM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love Nick Cave and I loved this!
posted by katillathehun at 11:01 AM on September 7, 2009


It's all good, I figured your original pedantry was just in fun, and I figured to join in with more of the same.
posted by idiopath at 11:01 AM on September 7, 2009


I thought the writing and narration were fine: they're obviously a stylistic choice, involving a certain mood and voice, and make this story much less ordinary than it would be were it told in the usual narrative mode.

*snaps fingers*
posted by vorfeed at 11:15 AM on September 7, 2009


Add another to those who liked this short and Nick Cave in general.

Another anecdote of musical violence: I recall someone who slapped a series of men in the face, and each cheek had a distinct note. By the end, many of the men were bleeding from the trauma. It was televised, but beyond that my memory is fuzzy and my google-fu weak.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:48 PM on September 7, 2009


The video filthy light thief mentioned above is from Mondo Cane. I found the clip on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOvY4u-9xQo
posted by cropshy at 3:02 PM on September 7, 2009


The final poem was released a few days after this post. And if you can stand myspace they have the music to The Cat Piano sans Cave.

Cave previously and sort of previously.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:33 AM on October 5, 2009


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