At the last Madrid Fusión day event, Jordi Roca presented the idea of creating musical dishes as a way of eating music. This gastronomic innovation is the brainchild of Neil Harbisson, the world’s first cyborg and an artist able to interpret colours as sounds, what’s also known as synaesthesia.

Jordi Roca - Music - Neil Harbisson

Jordi Roca

Neil Harbisson - First cyborg

Neil Harbisson

Neil Harbisson was born colour-blind and, since he had an antenna implanted connected to his skull in 2004, is able to translate colours into musical notes and therefore hear them instead of seeing them. He can even interpret colours that are invisible to the naked eye, like ultraviolet and infra-red. So, for the cyborg, the composition of a dish makes it sound different depending on its colours. Jordi Roca is excited by the idea of being able to create a melody that could well end up being a well-known song, like the Ode to Joy, note by note, colour by colour, ingredient by ingredient. Harbisson said that if a salad sounded like a Lady Gaga song then maybe young people would eat more vegetables.

To do this, they will work together and with the help of a sound-colour detector to create musical dishes and -why not?- listen to pre-existing dishes to see what melody they reveal. In fact, gastronomy’s ambition of reaching all the senses is a trend that many chefs have tried to achieve through multi-sensory cuisine for some time; some examples are El Somni of Celler de Can Roca or Paco Roncero’s restaurant Ultraviolet in Shanghái. As regards the colours, a dish’s colour scheme is an aspect that has always been taken into account. Now, with the translation of colours into music, a giant step will be taken in the field of creation and the gastronomic experience.

Photo credit: Facebook – Neil Harbisson 

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