Accords No. 3

Dr. Alexis Story Crawshaw and Amanda Gregory


Accords is an art installation exploring cross-sensory perception through smell, taste, sound, and touch. 


Our senses are not separate but often influence one another, sometimes in surprising ways. Both taste and smell are important to the overall perceptual construct of flavor. Sound too can impact how we perceive flavor (both heard sound and felt sound, through vibration), and certain sounds or notes may be said to better match or complement given tastes or smells.


The word accord meansto correspond” or “to be in harmony with.” Accord is also French for “chord,” as in a musical chord comprised of several notes. An accord is also a term used in perfumery to describe a compound, yet unified scent that is comprised of several other simple or complex “notes.” 


Accords plays with these conceptual connections between perfumery and music through mocktails made with the extracts of edible flowers and a musical “tuning” station. First, visitors craft their own floral drinks from a selection of floral waters. Second, visitors are invited to think in a cross-sensory way as they select sonic notes and vibrations to either harmonize or contrast with their drink. Visitors take their drinkable floral accords over to a musical interface where they can tune several musical notes and sonic vibrations under their feet into a matching musical chord or a more complex (and perhaps dissonant) “polychord” (in music, a chord made of two or more chords).


In this way, this installation hopes to invite curiosity and play around the strange connections among the senses. At the very least, it hopes to encourage some synaesthetic thinking/drinking!

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