Hearing Cooking – An Audio Drama

Projekt description


Hearing Cooking – An Audio Drama:

Working for many years as a chef, it has become clear to me, over time, that the sense of hearing plays a major part in professional cooking. How, for instance, do I manage to make a base for a goulash, in the meantime getting a veal gravy going and doing various cutting and preparation jobs, without burning the onions for the goulash and without having to check all the time?
I manage because I can hear when the liquid from the onions has evaporated, when they begin to roast in the fat, so that I have to stir more often, until they have the right colour, when I add the other spices, stock, the meat, etc., before I can turn back to other jobs.
In contrast, when I can smell the onions, it will be too late anyway and I can begin from scratch.

For this reason, my concentration during cooking turned more and more towards listening, and the basic idea to make an audio book began to take shape.

Moreover, I noticed how exciting and specific these sounds actually are, even though they may cause the most diverse reactions in the listener – e.g. hearing the squelching sound produced by gutting a wild rabbit, or the sound of chopping an oxtail will cause some people to gag, while others will find them exciting, if not to say erotic, and others still simply boring.
The frying of parsley will spook some at first, and possibly delight others ... There is no end to the potential associations. The whole thing has something intensely thrilling about it, as long as you don't explain too much.

To be honest, the first attempts at my part to record the sounds of cooking myself, and later to process them, failed. As did Thomas Wingrich's first low-budget attempt, of speaking the whole thing into a Dictaphone.
Stephan Baumecker's commentator's booth and his recording know-how, finally, were the turning point.

Luckily, in the summer of 2011, I finally got in touch with the sound editor Lenja Gathmann, who understood my basic idea, was as excited by it as I was, and with whom I've been working together very closely ever since.
Laurine Betz, meanwhile, was a further godsend for the project as a narrator.

Having envisaged an autonomous English edition, that is no mere dubbed version, from the start,
Helene Scharka from Vienna's English Theatre has luckily brought me in contact with Howard Nightingall and Melanie Preston …
Peter John Nicholson did a good work as translator too.

The choice of dishes, as far as their actual content is concerned, is purely deliberate. After all, what this is about is the listening experience and not the cooking instructions.

Even though numerous people have expressed an interest in a visual documentation, we will not go beyond the regressive concept of an audio book.


Vienna, September 2012