Musicians from the News Zealand Symphony Orchestra perform a world premiere at a chicken farm near Wellington, N.Z.

In Monday’s (10/9) Guardian (U.K.), Eva Corlett writes, “At a Hawke’s Bay farm, members of New Zealand’s symphony orchestra dressed in their black finery and stood in the dewy grass to premiere their latest composition in front of a large, well-plumed crowd. The music contained many hallmarks of traditional baroque music, but as it began, the instruments started to screech with sounds more commonly heard in coops … The audience that gathered to listen to the concert last week was in fact a couple of thousand chickens. The bespoke piece of music—Chook Symphony No. 1—was created specifically for the birds out of an unlikely partnership between the orchestra and an organic free range chicken farm which wanted a piece of chicken-friendly music to enrich its flocks’ lives…. Research has shown animals can respond positively to classical music, and chickens are particularly responsive to baroque, according to some studies. The composer, Hamish Oliver, who used the baroque tradition as a starting point and drew inspiration from composers such as Corelli, Bach and Schnittke, wanted the piece to be playful by including sounds from a chicken’s world…. As soon as the musicians started to play, the [chickens] gathered together.”