Students at Arizona State University have set out to transform general public opinion about rats—which is heavily weighted toward disgust—through music. Or, more specifically, rats making music. “The general public views rodents unfavorably, and even going as far as these animals as a second-class set of species. We wanted to change the perception of that,” says Andrew Sanchez, one of the Ratsputin project heads. “Rats are as intelligent as any dog or cat and can be easily trained. If they’re out of the cage and they’re nice enough, they will come to me if I call them.”
iPads were placed at the bottom of the rats’ crate, and the sound of their movement was fed into a palm-sized Kaossilator Pro synthesizer. Humans then fleshed out the compositions, which apparently featured “psychedelic drones, atmospheric bleeps and ethereal cries,” not unlike Björk’s Biophilia LP. Whether the rats had any awareness of their contribution is up for debate, but you can read more about the project here. If you’re into animals doing things, we recently we asked a cat to review Adele’s album “25”.