The Sonic Tuck Shop book…

All the writing about/thinking about food has inspired me to develop The Sonic Tuck Shop installation idea into a book form.

POP – the final design for my own-design, handprinted paper bags, in which popcorn was served at Sonic Art Oxford. There is more about the design process/ideas here.

At the opening night of Sonic Art Oxford I presented a Sonic Tuck Shop, the idea being that food would be presented in such a way as to draw attention to its sonic/aural qualities as well as its tasty/oral qualities!

Thus I repackaged popping candy, (or spacedust as some people call it) popcorn, fizzy sweets and fizzy drinks, as sonic experiences to be enjoyed by the mouth as well as by the ears.

This is not an entirely new idea for me; longterm readers will remember the volcanic mud recordings that inspired a chocolate cake, the first version of Taste Sensation that I composed last November out of ‘edible’ sounds, and the biscuit images that I produced before I even started my PhD.

You may also recall that in my tour of Reading as an open Art Gallery, I cited exploding mouth candy purchased from Strange Sweets as a must-have sonic experience, and that I made a video while I was doing my MA which combined the sound of popcorn popping with visual images of fireworks exploding.

And finally, anyone who went through the folders containing my Love Assignments at Love is Awesome will have noticed that one of them related to eating apples whilst listening to the sound of eating apples. This was one of the assignments which was to be completed during the course of Love is Awesome, but it was never finished and so I am picking it up now and including it in The Sonic Tuckshop artist book release. There will therefore be a CD containing the sound of eating apples, to be listened to on headphones whilst eating apples, amongst other treats for the ears…

Here are the labels I was screenprinting today;

Apologies for the terrible photo.

I was also working out the back cover, which will feature letterpress printing of some of my favourite culinary sounds illustrated by beautiful stamped images from the ever-reliable There is much scrawling and general craptasticalness when I am working out my ideas; unfortunately I can’t draw or write as fast as I can think up ideas, so you must forgive the mess.

The making of the book is to be squeezed in between everything else I appear to have on at the moment, which includes keeping up with the Counting this week. Today’s efforts in this direction were joyous with the spicy sweet potato/tomato soup being the wondrous supper that I needed after printing all the CD labels and trekking from Reading to Oxford and back again this afternoon.

This soup is dead easy; you will need

400g sweet potato, peeled
1 pint of tomato juice
1 grilled pepper (I am lazy and buy the ones in LIDL that are preserved in a big jar and already grilled and peeled… I felt vindicated when Nigella used them so much in Nigella Express)
1 red onion
1 red chilli
1 tsp each cumin seeds, paprika and cinnamon
oil spray or olive oil, depending on whether or not you are trying to lose weight 😉

1. Boil the sweet potato the night before you need this soup and stash it in the fridge. That way it will take 10 minutes to prepare instead of 40.
2. Chop and fry together the chilli pepper and the red onion. If it starts to stick or burn, add in a little of the tomato juice to soften up the mix/lubricate.
3. Chop and add in the pepper, the cooked sweet potato and the rest of the tomato juice.
4. Add in your spices and bubble it all up for about 15 minutes.
5. Whizz with handheld blender and serve with a warm pitta bread.

I divided mine up into 2 portions; one for me and one for the freezer.


Sonic NOM links:

Jennifer Walshe’s amazing Hostess in a Jiffy composition series
Simon James French’s account of recording eating noises for a Fine Art Student – WARNING: includes graphic eating sounds
John Cage’s ’27 sound manufactured in a kitchen’ – fantastic youtube upload from annleespacelab
Edible Frogs from the British Library Sound Archive
Not really edible, but definitely delicious – the bird/instrument installation at The Barbican that a couple of people have mentioned to me and which Philippa flagged up on her blog this week
Hungry Cats mewing for their food on Molly Planet – where I found to my delight that there are also some fantastic baa recordings of sheep made for me!
Not self-styled as sonic, but definitely tasty – Petit Filoux’s recipes. I love reading the recipes on Petit Filoux’s blog and was delighted to see that she has put them all together in a recipe section; I may try out a few of them to get the bubble/squeak/crackle/sizzle sound effects as well as the tasty NOMS!

5 Responses to The Sonic Tuck Shop book…

  1. Pingback: Town Centre Day, The Sonic Tuck Shop and a cup of Tea « The jelly

  2. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Blog Archive » The Sonic Tuck Shop

  3. Pingback: “The secret life of objects” « museumpieces

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