Savouring every note

Savouring every note

Jul 02, 2019
The concept of music complementing food is one that’s long since been explored – even right here on the PHMG blog. We spend hours curating the perfect playlist for date nights and dinner parties, and studies have even suggested that flavour can even be enhanced by the right soundtrack. But what if we could flip the concept on its head, and discover what our favourite songs taste like for the first time? Spotify is making music the star of the plate with its latest feature – and we couldn’t help but tuck in too.

Last month, Spotify teamed up with J. Walter Thompson Brazil to breathe new life into a long-established Brazilian cookware brand. Tramontina’s campaign entitled ‘Flavour of Songs’ allows users to turn any of Spotify’s 44 million tunes into recipes – the result of six months and hundreds of hours of research. The team enlisted the help of neuroscientist Dr Marcelo Costa, Conductor Joao Rocha, and Chef Renato Carioni to delve deeper into the cognitive principle of synaesthesia – when one sense involuntarily influences another. With this in mind, they assigned components of taste (including temperature, acidity and texture) to various aspects of music (things like rhythm, tone and instrumentation) and taught an A.I to cross-reference the data and generate recipes.

The Kinks’ 60s classic foot-stomper ‘You Really Got Me’ became chicken thighs with lemon pepper and toasted macadamias… Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 translated into a foie gras terrine with salmon caviar and cold barley… and Marvin Gaye’s soulful ‘Let’s Get It On’ produced duck cannelloni with shrimp mayonnaise and black truffles. And while some of these recipes are far from those found on the average person’s everyday menu, the project succeeded in helping a younger and more technology-focused audience get excited about Tramontina’s products. They took something people of all ages do every day – listen to music – and used this as a platform to inspire young people to cook, resulting in a campaign that appeals to all the senses.

After reading about this innovative project, we were inspired to draw on PHMG’s in-house musical talent – and find out how they too would go about turning their favourite tracks into tasty dishes.

Charlie Foy
Rationale: “I think the sharp clicks and glitches in the track represent the freshness and zing from the fruit, while the lush synths are similar to the warmth of the salad’s ingredients. Overall, I believe the minimalism of the arrangement is the perfect match for this simple yet satisfying dish.”

Jonny Swailes

Rationale: “With its zingy lemon garnish, the salmon has a tang that reflects the bittersweet melody carrying the track, and the dense yet smooth texture of the fish mirrors the famous richness of the Beach Boys’ vocal harmonies. I then thought the sharpness of the asparagus matched the sharp nature of the electric guitar, while the crisp broccoli worked well for the drums and bass in the rhythm sections.”

Fabian Molloy

Rationale: “The layers of the track combine to create a smooth, rich and warm sound – much like the unmistakable warmth of a lasagne. This sense of comfort is only increased with the keys, which reflect the signature cheese sauce that tops the dish. The rich base and clean kit throughout echoes the layered pasta sheets, with both elements creating a solid foundation to unite the piece. Overall, the rich audio experience is very much similar to the pleasure of devouring your favourite lasagne.”

In the multi-sensory world of advertising we now find ourselves in, the campaigns that get noticed are those that appeal to consumers on multiple levels. But while some trends come and go, one advertising ingredient seems to be standing the test of time – sound.