Matthew Herbert, Hear what You Eat, 2016. Video Still by Reynir Hutber

Matthew Herbert
Hear What You Eat

Sunday 12 June 2016

The Long Table café, Horsebridge Centre

The 2016 Biennale ended with this very special event.

in 2016 Whitstable based musician and composer Matthew Herbert was writing a book titled The Music (published by Unbound, in partnership with Whitstable Biennale, 2018), about the formidable and profound revolution in music that is “somewhere buried in the last 100 years between the invention of the microphone, the tape machine, the sampler and the computer. Why use a violin when you can use the sound of a lawnmower? Why use a lawnmower when you can use the sound of the explosion of a bomb in Libya? The book is a kind of manifesto for sound that makes this shift explicit.”

A key chapter of the book, Presto, focuses on food:

“the sound of crushing of garlic under a thick knife in the kitchen of a caravan in a single, loud, curt, dry bang is immediately followed by a snipping off the end of a small plastic tube of liver pate on a beach. a repeated regular stabbing with a fork of the plastic cover to a ready meal by a nurse on a night shift follows and on the last of the punctures, and exactly in time, a mechanic slips and accidentally bangs a wrench against a large empty copper vat at the heineken factory in amsterdam. it makes a big, echoey, metallic clang which we listen to die away beneath the road noise. a cargo aeroplane is overhead.”

This very special dinner grew out of this chapter.

It was a unique evening of readings, recording and listening, as well as delicious food and drink. A limited edition copy of the chapter, specially designed by An Endless Supply, was given to each diner.

The dinner was held in a special temporary cafe, The Long Table, a collaboration between Matthew Herbert, chef Rosie Sykes and Whitstable Biennale, on the ground floor of the Horsebridge Arts Centre. The cafe was open every day of the festival, serving light breakfasts and lunches and all sorts of other treats from 10:00-16:30, working with local farmers to produce a menu focused on the wonderful vegetables to be found at this time of year. 

Rosie Sykes is a Guardian food writer and author of The Kitchen Revolution and the forthcoming Sunday Evening Book. She has worked in many of the UK’s most celebrated restaurants, set up the critically acclaimed Sutton Arms in Smithfield, and is development chef for the award-winning The Pint Shop. Sykes has collaborated with Matthew Herbert for many live performances including One Pig, which documented a pig’s life from birth to plate, taking a critical look at the meat industry. 

Tickets for this event cost £40 plus booking fee, and places are limited.
Book here, via Eventbrite. Or to pay by cheque email
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Matthew Herbert, Hear what You Eat, menu, 2016.

Matthew Herbert, The Music