Music can create feelings, reaching inside people and stirring their senses into a fondue of emotions, in ways that can make people smile, cry or jump in elation.
Is potentially testing whether Roquefort is a fan of hard rock or Queso a follower of flamenco really so completely far-fetched?
The University of the Arts in Bern does not think so and is helping Wampfler conduct the experiment.
“At first we were sceptical,” admitted Michael Harenberg, the university’s music director. “Then we discovered there is a field called sonochemistry that looks at the influences of sound waves, the effect of sound on solid bodies.”
HOPING FOR HIP-HOP
Scientists have experimented with sonochemistry, in particular looking into how ultrasound can affect chemical reactions.
With Wampfler’s refined cheeses, the pungent sounds played to them also include techno beats, ambient choirs and Mozart’s classic Magic Flute.
“We are trying to … answer the question: in the end is there anything measurable? Or something that has an effect on the taste?” Harenberg said.
Students at the university are helping to conduct the project as part of a programme launched last year to bring communities in the region together — in this case agriculture and the arts.
“At first we were a bit scared,” laughed programme director Christian Pauli.
“We never thought we would find ourselves one day in a cellar in Burgdorf concerned about cheese,” he said.