WFAE was formed on Friday, Aug. 13th, 1993 by over a hundred people from many parts of the world and from such differing disciplines as architecture, audio art, communications, education, film sound, geography, music, physics, psychology, radio broadcasting, sociology, and urban planning. It was created on the final day of the Tuning of the World, the First Conference on Acoustic Ecology at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta, Canada.
As Acoustic Ecology is the study of the relationship between living organisms and their sonic environment (soundscape), it is WFAE´s main task to draw attention to unhealthy imbalances in this relationship, to improve the acoustic quality of a place wherever possible and to protect and maintain acoustically balanced soundscapes where they still exist."
>I am curious if anyone out there can lead me to research being
>specifically on the effects (both harmful and beneficial) of sound (and in
>particular, music) on human digestion.
>For a while now, I have been doing some work as a music consultant for a
>few restaurants here in Toronto. If such research is available, I believe
>it may prove very useful in my work.
Please keep me on your email list for findings on this subject; it´s been a concern of mine for years. I´m convinced humans and other creatures are predisposed genetically to natural, peaceful, non-threatening environments for the promotion of good digestion. Sunlight, moderate temperatures, plus the sounds of birdsong, wind in the willows, running water, and children at play combine for an unbeatable environment for good digestion. Picnics, camping meals, and outdoor food intake of almost any sort remain strong magnets for people today despite the current culture of fast food and frenetically to and fro fuel shoveling that often substitutes for meals. The best meals are always communions with nature and those communions are biased toward good digestion. The best indoor dining environments are based on the same fundamental principles.
Your query set me off on an introspective research frenzy. My explanation of the principles of appropriate sound for good digestion has evolved over decades of considering this question as it surfaced often in my private conversations and public presentations.
In concert with the forking, spooning, biting, drinking, chewing, swallowing, and peristalsis are glandular secretions of enzymes, acid, and other juices needed for digestion. The various glandular secretions are triggered in sequence by the senses of smell and taste, the muscular activity of eating, and the progression of food from mouth to large intestine.
Because sound/music completely fills a space (body cavities) and travels along (bones) and through (tissues) what it´s not filling, it has the power to entrain or force the digestive system to conform to the structure of the sound/music. Entrainment is an established physical principle; at the root level it´s the foundation for all communication. In a nutshell, the music of sound forces the music of food consumption and digestion to conform to the dynamic structure of the sound. Regardless of style or period, dinner music is an oxymoron. There is no music that will promote optimum digestion; there are too many variables to harmonize, synchronize, and create the appropriate resonances. Even the least obtrusive music at mealtimes should be pianissimo, as soft as possible... or, maybe even a little softer.
I´ve noticed that there are a number of classes of frequencies that are particularly troublesome for my digestive system. Frequencies felt in the body, i.e., low frequencies, with high amplitudes and throbbing, pulsing envelopes make me sick to my stomach...so the expression goes. There definitely seems to some connection with the resonant frequencies of body cavities.
Any continuous or highly repetitive sound structures in a dining environment are always a source of general irritation which ultimately contributes to impaired digestion. Such structures probably cause phase disruption with peristalsis. The process of consuming and digesting food has a rhythmic structure all its own. Any sounds that conflict with that structure will upset digestion.
Any sounds that are at the aggressive extremes - loud, pounding, abrasive, complex multiphonics, screeching, insistent, repetitive, explosive, (the list could go on and on) - will lead to poor digestion. The principle of entrainment becomes operative.
Any sound that creates a high tension environment would definitely not be conducive to good digestion. The muscles in the digestive system work best when relaxed.
Body music, i.e., any music that makes you feel like moving your body, such as dance music or marches, will undermine good digestion. Entrainment, again.
The best sounds for human digestion are the cheerful sounds of friends and family. My mother, a great cook even with limited means, absolutely insisted that peace and harmony prevail at our meal gatherings which included six children. She maintained that any deviation from peace and harmony poisoned the food she spent hours preparing. One of my strongest childhood memories was the time my father broke the dining rule disciplining one of the children. Without uttering a word, my mother stood up, raised her end of the table and sent everything on the table sliding in the direction of my father. The dining rule was never broken again.
Booking information and comments.
©1996-2004 Ron Pellegrino and Electronic Arts Productions. All rights reserved.