On August 4th, 2013, Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats <www.kittybungalow.org> held a fund-raising event in Los Angeles titled “CATbaret.” I was honoured to have been asked to participate via video footage around which was composed a jazz number. Below is a short video showing highlights of the event. At 1:05 in the video you’ll see me on the big screen – actually three big screens. I don’t have video yet of the full performance of the piece I was represented in, but hope to have very soon. When I do, I’ll definitely share the link. In the meantime, please watch and then head on over to the Kitty Bungalow website and check out the marvelous work Shawn Simons and all of the wonderful volunteers are doing to help feral kittens find loving homes.
They say if you change your perspective, you get a glimpse of another reality. Well, I don’t know about that, but I do know that certain things become clear when we shift our point of view.
If I’m not playing the piano, I find myself dancing. And I do have a favorite partner, someone every bit as fantastic as me. Who might that be? Watch the video below and find out. If you like it, leave a comment, and don’t forget to share with your friends.
While it is true I have a well-deserved reputation for being a classical music diva (check out CATcerto, composed and conducted by Mindaugas Piecaitis), I also have a bluesy side and the chops to go with it, as evidenced by this blues riff I composed on the spot the other day.
Big news! I’ve signed with Blip TV (The Pet Collective). What does that mean, exactly. Well, I have a page there and all of my videos, too. But most importantly, I’ll be having my personal assistant, Burnell, create two new videos every month. There’ll be new vids of me playing, of course, but also me answering your questions and introducing things like “Music Theory Moments with Nora” and “Meet the Cats of Raven’s Wing,” which is what B&B call the seven of us, collectively. There’s Max, Gabby, Clara, Jenny, Ellie, Rennie, and me. Of course, they don’t play the piano, but they all have interesting stories to share and probably a bit of gossip about their oh-so-famous sibling (moi), as well.
Check it out at blip.tv/norathepianocat
As you know, my sibling Rennie has, in the past, tuned my piano. There’s even a YouTube video of him doing just that. But since Rennie has been busy doing other things lately, I asked Betsy to call in her tuner, Natale. He didn’t crawl inside the piano the way Rennie does, but he did a wonderful job, nonetheless. Here’s a few photos Burnell captured of me while I waited patiently for my instrument. (Click on the image to make it bigger.)
When CATcerto composer Mindaugas Piecaitis came to the United States last year to meet me for the first time, he brought with him a very special gift from a very special young human girl who just happened to also be named Nora. It was a wonderful drawing of me having a great time at the piano. She also included a few of my siblings. Anyway, I love the drawing, Nora, and the photos of you that Mindaugas shared with us all. Thank you so much.
Below is reprinted The National Music Festival’s press release:
National Music Festival at Washington College is pleased to announce that Nora the Piano Cat has now become its official mascot.
“We are excited to welcome Nora the Piano Cat into our family at the National Music Festival at Washington College,” says Caitlin Patton, Executive Director of the Festival. “This is a huge opportunity to excite and bring new audience members to concert music.”
Festival Artistic Director Richard Rosenberg conducted the U.S. premiere of the “CATcerto,” written for Nora and orchestra by Lithuanian composer Mindaugas Piečaitis, in 2010 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The piece has been performed multiple times throughout the U.S. since then. Last year at the National Music Festival, Rosenberg conducted it again, this time with Betsy Alexander and Burnell Yow!, Nora’s personal assistants, in the audience. It was their first time hearing it live.
“We had heard and seen the piece performed before on YouTube, but it was quite another thing to actually hear it performed live,” said Alexander. “All in all, it was an incredible experience.”
Patton and Rosenberg had the privilege of meeting Nora, Alexander and Yow!, and Mindaugas Piecaitis in August 2010.
“It was quite amazing to finally see Nora at the piano,” Patton said. “We enjoyed meeting her and interacting with such a sensational character. She truly is a feline diva!”
Nora was adopted nine years ago by piano teacher and composer Betsy Alexander, and artist Burnell Yow!. Alexander noticed Nora’s interest in the grand piano in the living room. After watching piano students play for a year, Nora decided to play a couple of notes on the shiny grand piano. Since then, she hasn’t stopped. She first caught the attention of Alexander’s students, who began bringing their friends to hear her play the piano. When Betsy wanted to show her niece in Wyoming a video of Nora playing the piano, her students suggested posting the video on YouTube so her niece could see it. Alexander had never even heard of YouTube. The day the video of Nora tickling the ivories went public, it garnered seventy-two views. Within just a few weeks, it had gone viral and Nora became a YouTube sensation with a combined thirty-seven million viewings to date. She now has tens of thousands of adoring fans from all over the planet.
“We are excited to have this chance to work with Nora,” Patton says. “It opens a whole world of opportunities to help both of us achieve our goals.” Nora and the National Music Festival plan to sponsor a musical composition competition in the upcoming years for composers of all ages. Designs for NMF and Nora merchandise are in the works and will be ready for sale soon. The National Music Festival at Washington College is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization devoted to bringing classical music to a wide audience and providing full scholarships to the young musicians on the cusp of their professional careers, who attend as apprentices. The Festival can only thrive on the generous contributions individuals as well as businesses.
For more information about the Festival, visit www.nationalmusic.us, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (410) 778-2064.
Supposedly for “security reasons,” Facebook recently blocked my Facebook profile page. So, at the moment (perhaps forever) it is not accessible. If you have tried to go there, please know that Burnell has created an FB Page (confusing, I know) for me at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nora-The-Piano-Cat. Seems Facebook may not like the fact that a cat has a personal profile. But they don’t mind me having a Page created by a fan, in this case, Burnell. Well, I suppose there is no use crying over spilt cream.
If you want to “Like” my new Page, please go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nora-The-Piano-Cat and click the “Like” button. Then bookmark the page and go there for the latest day-to-day scoop on me, Nora The Piano Cat. Of course, my website is also a great place to check out for all the bigger events of my life.
It’s all about the mewsic,
Yours truly and CATcerto, by Lithuanian composer Mindaugas Piecaitis, was featured on an episode of the Russian TV show, “The Battle of Psychics.” How about that?
Here’s how it works: A human psychic is isolated in a sound proof booth and a piece of music or other audio is played for the audience. The sound is also connected to a large circular bowl or disc of some sort with a thin layer of sand on the surface. The sound cause the sand to bounce around, forming patterns. After the sound has been played, the psychic is then invited to view the sand patterns and attempt to guess the sound or music.
Personally, I don’t understand Ukrainian, but I get the feeling the psychic guessed correctly. Perhaps, one of my Ukrainian fans can let me know.