Cooking Music Algorithms

A series of sonic-gustatory experiences, of experimental electroacoustic ASMR video performances. The combination of a seemingly mundane cooking performance interacting with an autonomous music algorithm of a complex feedback network. A celebration of the mundane, a festival of insignificance contrasted by the meticulous video production of a complex-sounding sound-art performance.

A short-circuit of the gustatory experience with the acousmatic experience: the auditory is feeding the gustatory while the latter is listening back.

The composer is performing a supposedly instructional video of cooking an omelette or a pizza. A set of microphones are set up to listen very closely and to record every micro-movement of his performance. From preparing the ingredients, kneading the dough or hitting eggs, to cutting vegetables and herbs or tasting the resulting meal – all sounds of the cooking process are fed in real-time into a naively intelligent autonomous algorithm, which sonically analyses and reinterprets every sound to a new extended sonic reality. The performer’s movements tend to be gently slow, meditative, while the interactive sound results as a complex reflection. Every sound and gesture is interconnected into a complete sonic-gustatory performance, tickling and teasing those senses of the auditor. While spectator-listener can comfortably sit back, observe and listen to the evolution of the sonic-nutritional process while letting it influence her autonomous sensory response.

The overall project includes the following three volumes:   

  1. How to make an omelette – with interactive sound: a four minute performance, posted in 3 parts over three weeks focusing on the audience of Instagram

2. How to make a pizza – with interactive sound:  An one-hour video performance commissioned and presented as an online premiere-event for Ensemble Ipse, New York. Part 2 develops the idea and explores the experience in its extensive form, having a more detailed composition process over one hour duration.

3. Re-pizzing: the third part goes back to short form videos mainly intended for Instagram audience. Every small video is a remix in terms of music and editing, creating a new sensory-packed compressed in terms of visuals and sound series of experiences. Experimenting more with parallel music layering remixing combinations.

The combination of the seemingly mundane cooking performance is interacting with a complex sonic feedback network, the autonomously driven music algorithm Ephemeron. An eco-systemic installation, through its sonic process creating a dynamic living environment for the performer-listener. Sound processes are created solely by the sounds in space, all connected to a single sonic entity surrounding the performer-listener, creating a sonic ecosystem including autonomous sonic entities of constant interactions.  As a sound result, the work emerges from the interactions among space, software and performer-listener as an ever-changing living algorithmic ecosystem. The live ecosystem results from a live algorithm with the ability to ‘listen’ through the microphones and ‘express’ itself through the loudspeakers. The work through this software is able to organise its structure; it is able to self-organise and adapt in space.

Inspiration comes from the internet trend of cooking videos mainly used to entertain through the sharing and connecting with an audience with gustatory experience. At the same time there is a rapport with the interestingly peculiar trend of ASMR internet performances, which aim to sympathetically tune to the sensory phenomenon triggered mainly by sound.

Treating the theme of insignificance from its futility to the appreciation of the beauty of things as they are. A silent challenge of closely observing micromovements, listening closely to the surrounding microsounds, and distorting them through the power of an artificial imagination-like sonic mirror.

Concept Music Composition | Algorithmic Development | Performance | Direction &Video Editing: Phivos-Angelos Kollias

Cinematography | Camera: Jade Wu

Shot in: Honig Studios, Berlin

Thanks to : Jiannis Sotiropoulos for Honig Studios | Mike Robbins for the feedback

Long form performance (vol.2) commissioned by: Ensemble Ipse | Max Giteck Duykers | Joseph Di Ponio