If music be the food of love play on
William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
Tonight all over the world millions of lovers are tucking into their Valentine’s day meal, or a box of choccies that their nearest and dearest has lavished on them. Think of how much more enjoyment you could get out of this experience with the added boost of some ‘sonic seasoning?’
There is mounting evidence which shows that certain sounds can enhance the way we taste. Food scientist Charles Spence has conducted research into how different pitches and even different instruments can influence our taste-buds. (Crisinel & Spence, 2009, 2010). It was found that high pitched, bell like sounds were associated more with sweet tastes, making chocolate taste oh so much more chocolatey! Whereas umami and bitter tastes were matched to low-pitched sounds and spicy food was associated with hissing, crackling and rushing sounds.
Below is an excerpt from track 1 on the album Awakenings that I co-created with Soundscapes, an ensemble that composes and performs music specifically to affect mind, body and emotions – and now taste-buds! On this track you will hear a mixture of bells and chimes in a high pitch as well as the gentle waterfall sound of a rainstick, making it the perfect soundscape to a sweet day with a bit of spice thrown in for good measure. Play this soundscape when tucking into those Valentine’s choccies or melt in the middle pud and never be the same again.
Happy Valentine’s day!
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