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I worked with AEG to produce a boutique soundscape for their Event “Dinner with a side of Drama” – in a collaboration with Chef Mark Best, and designer Elizabeth Gadsby.

For this project I have created a series of music and sound compositions which accompany all the different courses over the evening. It’s an experiment in how the pairing of sound or music can amplify certain elements of the experience. Sound can heavily influence our perception of taste, and the right sound can increase or decrease our enjoyment of certain foods. We can boost sweetness, spiciness, warmth and coldness and even morph flavours. We are constantly taking in sonic information with our brains, and that effects how we taste and feel. This is a relatively new field of study called Gastrophysics which looks at the science behind eating, and how all the sounds, sights, and tastes affect our experience of it.

My masters thesis in Acoustic Physics was all about the physiological effects of sound, specifically how we can use low frequency sounds to manipulate how people feel. In this project I’ve been experimenting with how adding low frequency sounds can really slow down our perception of time, so we really savour the experience, or for example, how a light sweet dessert paired with high pitched staccato notes can increase the perception of sweetness by about 10%

“Crunchy” mid frequency sounds can make food taste crispier or crunchier. Fast tempo music makes people eat quicker, and long drawn out meditative music slows us down. Higher pitch staccato notes can be used to increase sweetness – or environmental cues such as the sound of wind, or fire, can make food taste warmer or colder by comparison.

Of course all these sounds will affect people differently, as we are all individual, but there are also some commonalities we can use – it’s all a creative experiment and interesting to think about when creating an experience – people love to be (pleasantly!) surprised and it’s fun to think about how we can do this – food can be very artistic and creative and it’s a way we can express ourselves and delight others.