#17 Musical Tasting

by Junk Kitchen

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Organic music is paired with local food samples!


Music has its miniatures, its songs, the sonata form and the symphony. Food may come to you as an appetizer, a side, a main course or a dessert. Both have existed for millennia (perhaps food having been around a bit more) and both have maintained their designated places in society, i.e. the dance hall and the greasy spoon. The body can’t live without food and the soul can’t survive without forms of expression. It seems rather difficult to imagine a world without either… Well, perhaps certain sects of monks can survive without food… But for the rest of us, both are as important as the air we breathe! So if this is true, why are these two so disconnected? Food definitely has its tastes, textures and smells to lure one in. And in some echelons of restaurants, the presentation of food can be visually stimulating as well. But does food have a sound? No, I don’t mean the sounds of food being made i.e. the noises of a backed up kitchen with the head chef about to loose his head. I mean an aural stimulus that’s experienced while eating. Aside from crunching and slurping, food never really found its way into the sonic realm. I mean eating is a social activity, after all, and why should any extra noises spoil a good conversation?

Well, what about music? Sure we all pretend one way or another that we have a relative amount of “taste” in the arts (though I hope you haven’ t taken the term too literally) and so we all tend to express our feelings through borrowing terminology from other disciplines. For music, we seem to lavish it with the use of visual and temporal metaphors to express the sensations it provokes. Phrases like “blue notes,” “harmonic color,” “dark chords,” “melodic shapes,” and “warmer tones,” are used throughout all musical genres to describe intangible characteristics of pieces, and are spoken by virtuosic classic players and “hippies” alike. In fact there’s so much of this vocabulary floating around that it would be quite possible for one to mistake music as a visual art, if you were only hearing descriptions of it. Perhaps that’s why so many ethnomusicology graduate students end up with careers in… professional photography?

As Thanksgiving marks the beginning of this year’s ever turbulent holiday season of consumer spending slip-and-slide we should finally attempt to acknowledge music’s place within this festive feasting once and for all. I don’t mean by intentionally performing dinner music live although an in person Muzak show is on my bucket list… I mean this: can these two pillars of history, culture and experience finally be on the same mutual bill? For generations these two things have traded off their limelight in their respective venues with one being more important than the other. If I go see live music at a bar, will the food surpass the quality of musicianship? Or if I go to a “fancy” establishment, is there ever a possibility that the canned music will outshine my pumpkin ravioli in cream sauce? Well, not likely. But who has really tried before? Can the two ever be on the same plane without one being on the backburner or playing second fiddle?

Junk Kitchen wants to bring these two worlds into one program by pairing them accordingly as a part not of the same show, but… the same menu. “A Music Tasting” is our attempt at bridging the gap by presenting pairings of organic music and local food simultaneously. The night will be made up of a variety of different performers and local food venders who through these pairings will hope to create a new way to eat and listen. Perhaps this is our take on “smell-o-vision,” the early 60’s theater trick of releasing scents into the air of things that were on screen so as to enhance the audience experience. This is most likely something NOT approved by the EPA, FDA, CDC, the Chemical Hazard and Safety Board, or the Clean Air Act. But with organic music and local trusted food I think we’re safe to explore the frontier of “aural tasting.” Our mission: to discover how music and food when paired together enhance our sensations in a complete experience beyond their individual parts.

FEATURING:
Eve Boltax, Mary Joy Patchett, Matt Samolis, Ryan Kowal, Paul Jacobs, Ben Dicke, Kevin Laba, Jacob Mashak, Emily Koh, Rosalie Burrell, Dave Dominique

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released November 15, 2013

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Junk Kitchen Concert Series Boston, Massachusetts

Ben Dicke and Esther Viola Kurtz founded the Junk Kitchen Concert Series in 2012 in order to attract broader audiences to improvised and composed music. By pairing diverse topics with eclectic musical material, the series has addressed everything from the artistic relevance of smooth jazz, or the threat of global water scarcity, to the musical virtues of the Chickadee. ... more

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