Adelaide Guitar Festival: Crossmodalism

Adelaide Guitar Festival: Crossmodalism

If you enjoy nothing more than listening to music while sipping on a glass of wine, you’re in good company.

But perhaps there is more to this pairing than first thought.

Could music actually change how we perceive taste? Could a certain song, a certain sound even, enhance our eating and drinking experience?

It might seem like a novel idea, but this idea has a name: crossmodalism.

Berlin Pianist, Chris Lloyd

A founder of the crossmodalism movement, Berlin-based pianist Chris Lloyd, says it’s all about fostering an appreciation of the full human experience in connection to its sensorial and natural environment.

“Extensive research has been conducted at the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the University of Oxford. Dr. Janice Wang, another co-founder of Crossmodalism was instrumental in much of this work – showing that there are innate connections linking our senses to each other. Professors Barry Smith, Charles Spence, and Ophelia Deroy have all worked for years exploring exactly this connection, proving that what we hear impacts what we taste, and vice versa. With proper curation, a perfect pairing can be achieved, enhancing the experience of both to levels unattainable alone.”

Sidewood Estate Cellar Door Manager Seth Piszczuk says music provides a great metaphor to describe a wine.

Adelaide Guitar Festival Artistic Director, Slava Grigoryan

“Music and wine both have the same capacity to stir our emotions via awakening our senses. Take our Mappinga Shiraz, a phenomenal wine that well deserves its many accolades. As this is a highly structured wine that is made to cellar well into the future, when first opened the flavours are so tightly woven it can be hard to separate the varied components on the palate. I relate this to a prog-rock wall of sound, there’s so much going on but unless you’re well used to this assault on the senses you wouldn’t notice the technicality of the musicians!

Given time to breathe in a decanter or even more ideally cellared a few more years the flavours start to unlock and stand in their own space on the palate.”

It’s fitting then, that Sidewood has partnered with Adelaide Guitar Festival, which runs from August 9 until August 12.

Featuring some of the world’s best guitarists, including Tommy Emmanuel, Grammy Award-winner Albert Lee and flamenco favourite Pedro Javier Gonzalez, there is music to suit all tastes.

Adelaide Guitar Festival Artistic Director Slava Grigoryan says crossmodalism is a fascinating concept, which is starting to resonate with more and more people.

“The matching in particular of music and wine has unparalleled possibilities because of the layers of tastes and responses we consumers have to both of these mediums. The evocation and depth of feeling that can be absorbed by listening to a musician’s tone or phrasing can be heightened dramatically by the wondrous taste on the palette that one can experience from sipping a characterful wine. 

Author: Jennifer Slater

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