Music Memes – Nora The Cat

The Internet can be a powerful promotional tool, and the viral music video is something of a holy grail for independent musicians and major label acts alike. However, it is very difficult to manufacture something as compelling as a cat playing the piano…

Once More, With Feline

Nora the cat is perhaps the most famous feline pianist in the world, following an outbreak of her avant-garde solo noodlings on YouTube. The idea has since grown into an Internet meme of its own, with clips of various cats plonking their paws on the ivories being mashed up to create further ‘derivative’ works.

The power of cat cutenez is indeed a remarkable thing – if you have a cat (or other cute critter) that can be made to do anything even vaguely interesting with an instrument, then you may have the makings of a viral sensation on your hands. All you’ll need is lots of footage, some editing skill and a catchy hook. Anthropomorphosis is indeed a common enough theme in memeland.

Bring On The Orchestra

A good example of taking an existing meme and adding a new layer of complexity is this CATcerto by Mindaugas Piecaitis. He is a composer from Lithuania who took Nora’s original videos and used them as an abstract piano solo around which he created the rest of the orchestral score. The result is an interesting (and rousingly cute) pastiche of classical live performance juxtaposed with a slice of contemporary digital culture.


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