Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sound Art: David Byrne - Playing the Building

Former Talking Heads singer and all round musical legend David Byrne has unveiled his new installation at The Battery Martime Museum in New York. The building is kitted out with various devices attached to a variety of different parts of the building itself. These devices are used to make sound through striking wind or vibration and channeled into a customised keyboard allowing you to 'play the building'.

Reminds me of an arty version of Barry Blesser's 'Spaces Speak' book we talked about here.

check out the pics and vids at DavidByrne.com

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sweet Child of Wine

Research commissioned by Chilean wine producer Aurelio Montes (pictured) by Dr Adrian North of Heriot Watt University has discovered that music plays a big influence on how we perceive taste in food and drink. When they played Gun n Roses "Sweet Child Of Mine" to people drinking cabernet sauvignon, they thought that the wine tasted 60% more robust than they did when no music was playing.

This is rooted in cognitive priming theory which we've talked about before and again goes to prove the powerful effect that music has on our behaviour. The article in the Times prompts that this could be an end to piped music in restaurants as more places seeks to nulify music's effect. However, i don't quite go along with this - why don't the restaurants take advantage of this effect by focusing more on the music design in their spaces to have a positive influence of taste and perception of the food such as the "Sound of The Sea" experiment by Heston Blumenthal

It is also significant that during any restaurant experience we are being primed by mixture of factors including the visual decor, lighting, service etc not just the music - and it is only by getting all these factors correct in combination can the restaurant really make proper use of this priming effect.

Times Article by Melanie Reid