Thursday, 22 October 2015

Hopped on Music

Some things it seems are just meant to be. Timing, coincidence, luck - they all combine to spark an idea. That's what happened with Hopped on Music.

I knew of Pete Brown, I'd bought a few of his books for my other half as gifts one Christmas, so one afternoon as I listened to the radio at work, it was announced he'd be chatting to the host that afternoon. My interest was piqued, even though I normally let the words and music flow over me, that afternoon I listened more, paid more attention.

As he chatted to Stuart Maconie, Pete mentioned is workshops where he matches beers with music - different styles of beer work with different sounds, so much so that those who attended the sessions would contact him afterwards to tell how they tried a beer elsewhere and the song popped into their head, or they heard the song and suddenly they could taste the beer.

My mind made the connection with Hooked on Music. Our senses are intertwined with our emotions and memories in a fascinating way. Taste a childhood food and you're back there. The scent of a fabric conditioner can take you back to your grans house, or a familiar song can take you on a journey to a slow dance at the school disco.

Matching beer to music, is a way of playing with our senses and creating new memories, new connections, and as Pete very kindly agreed to visit us up north (and Manchester Science Festival agreed to let us run the workshop), we'll be matching 5 beers with pieces of music in the basement of Kosmonaut.

Pete's own inspiration was a piece of research from Heriot Watt University in 2008, looking at the effect of music on wine. Being of the beery persuasion, he looked into matching music to brews, resulting in the workshop that will be Hopped on Music. 

Personally, I'm really keen to see if trumpets really do taste like hops.

By Charlie Hooson-Sykes, Gin Fuelled

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