Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sonic Dining

I knew it!
With the right music, you can influence the taste of your food.

Heavy Metal Macaroni.
Monk Monkfish.
Edith Piaf Pilaf.
The possibilities are endless...

Read the story here.

The above image is the cover of author Kara Zuaro's book, I Like Food, Food Tastes Good: In The Kitchen With Your Favorite Bands.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cage the Mycologist

A new exhibition opened last week at the Horticultural Society of New York to celebrate John Cage the Mycologist. It's called, “By Leaves or Play of Light- John Cage: Artist and Naturalist." (I always knew he was a naturalist at heart). His fungal legacy, I've learned, consists of his revival of the New York Mycological Society in the 1960s and his extensive fungi collection, now at the University of California, Santa Cruz (and, of course, his phenomenal success in game show history). I've also recently learned that Cage did some visual art projects that will be on display at this exhibition. Most notably some of his 1990 "Edible Drawings" made from snow peas, bitter melon, hijiki, and black beans — ingredients in his macrobiotic diet at the time.

He also collaborated on a project with mycologist Alexander H. Smith called The Mushroom Book (1972), a collection of disjointed poems alongside beautifully mushroom illustrations by Lois Long, as well as fields of seemingly random text with sporadic mushroom drawings and details scrawled by Cage all over the page. As he described it in a 1991 interview with John Retallack, this writing was meant to show ”that ideas are to be found in the same way that you find wild mushrooms in the forest, by just looking”; you can’t just come upon them directly, they “come to you as things hidden.”

Learn more about the exhibition here:

Then, buy me a ticket to New York so that I can see it.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Moo-d Music: The musical preferences of the working bovine mother

Some dairy farmers have long suspected that playing a bit of mood music can boost milk production in dairy cows. It's not unheard of for farmers to play relaxing jams for their herds, and the picture above shows a vaudeville act serenading the cows in the University of Wisconsin, Madison's dairy barn in 1930. The show was apparently part of an experiment to see whether the soothing strains of music boosted the cows' milk production.

Read more at:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Submerged Turntables

Submerged Turntable by Evan Holm music installation
Evan Holm on his "Submerged Turntable" installation.

"There will be a time when all tracings of human culture will dissolve back into the soil under the slow crush of the unfolding universe.  The pool, black and depthless, represents loss, represents mystery and represents the collective subconscious of the human race.  By placing these records underneath the dark and obscure surface of the pool, I am enacting a small moment of remorse towards this loss.   In the end however this is an optimistic sculpture, for just after that moment of submergence; tone, melody and ultimately song is pulled back out of the pool, past the veil of the subconscious, out from under the crush of time, and back into a living and breathing realm.  When I perform with this sculpture, I am honoring and celebrating all the musicians, all the artists that have helped to build our human culture."

Apparently, with the right electronics, you can submerge a record player in water and still get perfect audio. Could this turn Cage's Water Walk into a... water waltz?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ice Music

The Swedish orchestral group, Whiteroom, plays instruments made out of ice to create a chilly and eclectic performance, usually with the help of rainbow lights. From my understanding, they're part of a collection of groups playing ice music and celebrating the "winter spirit of Swedish Lapland."
 Performance Footage here: