Music producers famously love dogs and cats – but what about vermin?

Some students at Arizona State University are trying to transform people’s opinion about rats – usually, we guess, that they’re gross – by making them create electronic music.

The project is called Ratsputin, and was devised by Andrew Sanchez and Jennifer Anderson, a pair of digital culture students from ASU. The rats involved are Sanchez’s pets, Gus and Izo.

“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 Sanchez. “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.” The project was inspired by Sanchez watching one of his pet rats (Gus) interacting with an iPhone.

To make the music, 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. The results were then fleshed out by humans, and according to the ASU website, ended up featuring “psychedelic drones, atmospheric bleeps and ethereal cries”. They claim it sounds like the Beatles’ ‘Revolution 9′ or Bjork’s Biophilia album, but we’re thinking closer to Balam Acab. Tri Angle, sign ’em up!

Find out more at ASU [via Electronic Beats]

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