“What does Debussy smell like? It might not be something you’ve had cause to wonder, but it was the burning question when I took my seat to hear the composer’s String Quartet in G minor on Saturday” performed by the Phaedrus Ensemble at London’s Rich Mix arts center, writes Lyndsey Winship in Monday’s (1/13) Guardian (London). “On my seat was a small black box that said ‘Open Me,’ and inside the lid another message: ‘Smell Me’.… BitterSuite is a project run by 24-year-old producer Stephanie Singer, and it’s inspired by synaesthesia, the neurological condition that leads to a confusion of the senses.… The audience were blindfolded and fed different sensory experiences in parallel with the music: fizzy pop and cola bottles for the effervescent second movement and fingers scampering up your arms in tandem with the first violin…. For Singer … it’s about bringing the music to life and changing the way we listen. She’s been running music workshops employing similar sensory techniques at a pupil referral unit in London and is particularly enthusiastic about engaging young people with classical music.… And as for what Debussy smells like, I’d say a definite whiff of Parma Violets.”

Posted January 14, 2014