A recently launched Kickstarter wants to turn your favorite jams into meatballs. You know, the kind you eat. Though it might sound like a Dada-esque prank, the project Beatballs is from a group of students at the Interactive Art Director program at Hyper Island in Stockholm, Sweden, and seems (relatively) serious.
Beatballs involves custom code that converts different aspects of a song—tone of the music, its popularity—into ingredients for a meatball recipe. "Through a combination of programming, design, and just the right amount of absurdity, we have developed a code that converts music into taste," they say.
If you were wondering how the heck it works, here's an explanation along with a helpful info-chart in relation to Pharrell's track "Happy."
Our taste experts behind Beatballs analyzed how various music attributes can be expressed through tastes, taking into consideration the social, cultural, and historical associations of both food and music. Every song has its own DNA -- a unique blend of tempo, cadence, mood, and key, among other attributes. Translating these attributes into their representative flavors, Beatballs creates a tailored meatball recipe that tastes like the song.
Here is an example using "Happy" by Pharrell Williams.
"Happy" is played in F-minor, giving the meatball a base of chickpeas and garlic. It scores above average on energy level, tempo, chatter, and mood, according to the Beatballs song analyzer. This music profile inspires additional dashes of thai basil, lemon zest, curry, and strawberries. The result is a Beatball with a "Happy" twist.
Not only can can the group turn your favorite song into a tasty-ish (not sure strawberries have any place in a meatball) sphere of ground meat and spices, they can also make the meatball for you using their Doc Brown-style Beatballizer machine. Beatballizer—see video—builds the beatball for you from the various ingredients the code deduces the song tastes like. The group are raising money on Kickstarter to so they can develop smaller versions of it that can fit into people's kitchens, so we can all enjoy the culinary equivalent of, say, Bob Dylan's "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only a Meatball)." They want $350,000 to do that.
It's not the first time food and technology have met to create some leftfield products. Glow in the dark ice cream is a thing and so is data cuisine—and so too is vaporized sushi. The future of food looks anything but bland.