Music Now is an informal forum series for Brown’s community of composers and music scholars. This week’s guest is Steph Ceraso. These talks are free and open to the public.
About this talk
Bittersweet Symphony: Sound and Multisensory Experience
This presentation will explore how sound’s distinct experiential possibilities can lead to a deeper understanding of how the senses work together, ecologically. I will reflect on a “multisensory dining event” in which my students worked with a chef to create original sonic compositions that complimented and enhanced the visual design, smell, texture, and taste of a prepared meal. The goal of the event was for students to compose sound designs that—along with other design elements—would amplify feelings of comfort in our participants. As I will discuss, this event introduced new ideas about the rhetorical possibilities of sound and raised questions about when and why sonic/sensory rhetorics fail. Multisensory compositions like this one, I argue, can attune us to the ambient rhetoric that influences our moods and behaviors in a range of everyday settings, as well as to the ways that sound intersects with other senses to shape our unique bodily experiences in different contexts.