Through a series of experiments, Herbert has created audio recordings of ingredients widely-used in processed food, etching them, via laser-cutting technology, onto various consumable items. The outcome is an assortment of edible records that will be played on the night. The audience will be invited to reflect on the foods that informed their creation and the soundscapes they produce and will have the opportunity to consume the records.

This exploration of the acoustic properties of food, together with Herbert’s interest in industrialised food production, have previously informed his works Plat du Jour and One Pig. Composed of field recordings, these works encourage us to listen to our food and accentuate the unseen mechanisms that are prevalent in today’s food industry.

For Edible Sound, his Science Gallery London performance, Herbert directs our attention towards ingredients like sugar. Often consumed without consideration of the levels being ingested, sugar in particular, is a primary component in processed foods with direct links to obesity, diabetes and other health issues. Herbert’s project spotlights this ingredient (amongst others), at a time when the negative impact of high dietary sugar levels on our health, medical services and the economy is a hot topic. Herbert’s interest in sugar stems from its ability to entice consumers in spite of the increasing evidence of its damaging effects.

This commission by Science Gallery London has been enhanced and informed by the work of scientists and researchers working in the fields of Dietetics and Health at King’s College London. Matthew Herbert’s performance offers an alternative perspective for audiences wanting to engage with issues around health, nutrition and food production. A fitting finale for FED UP: The Future of Food.


FU01The audio performance is followed by a Q&A session with writer and broadcaster Morgan Quaintance.