What is fermentophone?

  • Fermentation, the chemical breakdown of a substance by microorganisms such as bacteria or yeasts, results in some of the most delicious foods and beverages, including cheese, chocolate and wine. Now, research has shown it can result in music, too.
  • Joshua Rosenstock of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute has shown that the chemical processes of fermentation can be used to create spontaneous tunes. He has built multiple art exhibits called Fermentophone to showcase how fermentation can make music.
  • First, different fruits and veggies are placed in glass jars and fermented. As the fermentation kicks off, the yeast — or bacteria — present in the food chows down on the foods’ sugars, which results in the release of carbon dioxide bubbles.
  • The release of these bubbles creates a tiny sound, which is picked up by underwater microphones. A computer processes the sounds and, with the help of algorithms plugged in, electronic music is created.
  • Rosenstock said in a statement that you can eat these fermented foods, too.


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