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Schwartz Launches Explosive 'Sound of Taste'



Grey London & Partizan's Chris Cairns craft gorgeous slow-mo spot to music by MJ Cole

Schwartz Launches Explosive 'Sound of Taste'

What does flavour look like? How does it sound? These are the questions that inspired herb and spice experts, Schwartz, to create what they describe as a ‘Sonic Flavourscape'. An audio visual dramatisation of the intense effect that herbs and spices have on the senses.


Several tonnes of black peppercorns, cardamom, basil leaves, cinnamon, cumin seeds, ginger, chilli and coriander were rigged to explode in perfect sync with a bespoke musical composition. Each explosion represents an individual piano note or chord, which when filmed in super slow motion, creates a surreal three dimensional sound scape.

The project bought together an eclectic collective of creative collaborators. DJ/Producer MJ Cole was approached to translate the sensation of taste into a musical composition. Cole, who was classically trained at the Royal College of Music, created a delicate and intricate piano piece. Film maker Chris Cairns and pyrotechnic designers, ‘Machine Shop’, then went to work turning this sound into a physical scale.

Different Herbs and spices were assigned to the notes based upon their different characteristics and colours. The size and volume of each eruption was also painstakingly adjusted to reflect the sound that it represented. For example, a bright and clean E-flat major chord became fresh green chives. While C, G and E-flat, were ascribed to fenugreek seeds, paprika and turmeric powder.



“This is a visualisation of the intense sensory stimulation you get from herbs and spices. We wanted to make the invisible, visible. While the finished piece appears effortlessly in sync, triggering one hundred and forty separate explosions to within a millisecond, was incredibly complex. It took a lot of testing, trial and error”, explained Cairns.

The installation, which was built at Pinewood Studios in the UK, incorporated eighteen different herbs and spices hand selected from as far afield as India, Madagascar and Guatemala. The film was shot on a combination of Phantom Flex and Phantom Miro, Canon 5DmkII and Canon C300. Footage of the installation and a short film about how it was built will be released into social channels on January 10th.

The entire concept was devised by the Creative agency, Grey London, specifically to launch new Schwartz Flavour Shots, an innovative new range of herb and spice blends locked in oil.

It is the latest in a series of successful musician/brand collaborations instigated by Grey. Other notable partnerships include DJ Fresh for Lucozade Lite and Dre Skull for Puma Fragrances.

"The Sound of Taste was one of those projects where, as an ad agency, we simply put a process in motion then stepped back and allowed it to develop. It was a real privilege to watch visuals and music fuse together so harmoniously", added Andy Lockley, a Creative Director at Grey London.


Client: Schwartz
Vice President of Marketing EMEA: Jeremy Shute
Marketing Director: Paula Jordan
Creative Agency: Grey London
Chief Creative Officer: Nils Leonard
Creative Director: Andy Lockley
Art Director: Pauline Ashford
Copywriter: Mike Kennedy
Producer: Katherine Maidment
Assistant Producer: Charlotte Marshall
Managing Partner: Philippa Baldwin
Business Director: Camilla Ashenhurst
Planner: Matt Buttrick
Account Manager: Lucy Gregory
Account Executive: Rowenna Trevellyan
Creative Producer: Georgie Moran
Director: Chris Cairns
Production Company: Partizan
Music: MJ Cole / Soho Sound.
Post Prod: MPC
Editors: Trim
Sound Design: String and Tins
Air date: 13th Jan 2014

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Partizan London, Fri, 10 Jan 2014 10:38:04 GMT