French artist Sophie Calle with her beloved cat Souris.

French artist Sophie Calle with her beloved cat Souris.

Courtesy of Le Monde

It's not unusual for an artist who suffers a loss to use their art as an outlet for their pain and grief. French artist Sophie Calle is no different, using a death in her family as inspiration for her new album Souris Calle. It's the inspiring deceased family member that people may find unusual. Specifically, her cat Souris.

For Calle though, using the loss of Souris (French for "mouse") as inspiration for new material shouldn't be thought of as unconventional. Yet others might see it that way.

Explaining the loss in an interview with Artnet, Calle gave good reason for feeling the Souris' death so deeply. 

“When you say you’re sad about the cat, it’s a bit obscene for people," said Calle. "You can’t say that. I mean, if I say my mother or my father is dead, everyone tells me ‘Oh, poor thing, she lost her mother. Oh, poor thing, she lost her father,’ but if we say that about our cat, we seem ridiculous. It makes me laugh, when for me, in my daily life, it was almost more violent because I lived with my cat. I didn’t live with my parents.”

Helping Calle on her ode to Souris are A-list artists including Bono, Pharrell Williams and The National. R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe contributes vocals to the song “Souris Nocturne" while Laurie Anderson and Pulp lead singer Jarvis Cocker provide 'A Cat Named Mouse" interlude tributes to Souris.

The 37-track album made its debut at the Perotin Gallery in Paris this month and is available for streaming on Spotify in addition to triple LP vinyl.