Sound and Taste Workshop
This workshop, organised by Filemon at the youth centre A Place to Live in Laeken, Brussels, and guided by Bram (Aifoon) and Rasa (FoAM), introduced different tastes and sounds by association methods. The seven young participants created visual expressions of different edible ingredients and sounds that surround us. They correlated tastes and sounds in order to create an imaginary edible neighbourhood. The kids started their first session blindfolded, smelling and tasting different vegetable extracts and ingredients. During this tasting session a number of questions where asked: what colour do you imagine, what memories come to you, what shape and texture do you see, etc… Still blindfolded, the children drew what they imagined on the tablecloth, using the ingredients and extracts and going by the colour and intensity of the five tastes (sour, bitter, sweet, salty, astringent). Later, the children started to experiment with extracts on a piece of paper. Honey, cinnamon powder, red cabbage juice, paprika - all these landed on the paper, creating a number of wonderfully bizarre drawings! Then, some scented oils were prepared using mushrooms, beetroot, carrots, lavender.
The second session was guided by sound experts. The children where introduced to the basic techniques of listening, finding the sound, recording, getting it on the computer, etc. They were also asked to match the drawings they had made to one of their sound recordings. The third session was about edible “building materials”: waffles, Chinese crackers, corn puffs, seeds, flowers, honey, wasabi paste, condensed milk, coconut oil and many others. The task was to build your imaginary house! Strange and beautiful buildings were erected. Some kids did not stop after one building, but kept on building until their stack of waffles was gone… When everyone was satisfied with their results, they were invited to tell us a story about the inhabitants of the house, which country it was in, who the neighbours were. So we learned that there is a duck called Paprika who lives in the des(s)ert of Africa, or a group of students occupies a house with a wild swimming pool.
For the last session, the children split into two groups. One group went looking for sounds that could fit well with the created houses. After recording what they found interesting on the streets around the youth centre, they composed some very beautiful soundtracks. The second group worked on party treats for an imaginary street feast. According to food pairing principles, components were chosen to make chocolate. All the ingredients had to be prepared, chocolate melted, assembled together, poured into different forms, cooled down. Then it was time for the small exhibition. We hung the drawings on the walls of the terrace, the houses where displayed on the tables, the sound system installed. After a few words of reflection, we could all enjoy sweets, smelly oils, self-made breads and a few compositions for the ears.
Special thanks to children for their enthusiasm and energy, Aifoon for expertise and calmness, Coralie and Jura for the assistance, A Place to Live for a warm welcome, Pieter for transport, Lina and Christina for sharing ideas, and Maki for introducing a wonderful world of smells!