Music lovers may say they sound ruff, but there’s no doubting a new choir making waves on the arts scene has an unusual pedigree.
Artist Richard Higlett has decided that after having to listen to their masters’ voices for years, it’s time dogs were given one of their own.
He has selected eight to form the Canine Choir, which will perform live at a publicly-funded festival.
Barking mad?: The canine choir prepare for their publicly funded performance
They were auditioned for their ability to ‘sing’ on demand, or howl, accompanied by human musicians.
Edward the basset hound, bass, and tenor Angus the Jack Russell are backed by Bruno, a Yorkshire terrier, Zack the collie, Eva the Alsatian, Hollywood the bichon frise and shih-tzus Ben and Buster.
Richard Higglet, the lead musician of the project, has found 'potential stars'
They will perform a free concert next month during Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts.
Yesterday they were filmed in a recording studio having their voices mixed by Brian Breeze – who worked with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page – to a symphonic background. The footage and
recording will form part of an exhibition at the festival. The scheme was the idea of Locws, a Swansea arts charity, which has declined to reveal the cost.
Project head Grace Davies said: ‘Ben and Buster suffered stage fright and it was difficult to get anything out of them. Otherwise, it went very well.’
The music – A Song For Jack – is dedicated to Swansea Jack, a retriever said to have saved the lives of 27 drowning people during the Thirties.
Mr Higlett said: ‘There were some surprisingly harmonious melodies, particularly from Edward and Eva. I’ve found a few potential stars.
‘I felt it a fitting homage to Swansea Jack. The music is quite classical. It will be a celebration of the relationship between dogs and people.’
But the choir, funded by the Arts Council for Wales and the Welsh National Assembly, was criticised yesterday by Tory assembly member Alun Cairns.
He said: ‘There appears to be no artistic merit in it. It is one of those loony schemes which soaks up taxpayers’ money and gives artists a bad name.’
You ain't nothing but a hound dog... How eight canines are set for stardom in animal choir | Mail Online