Research seminars

Martin Parker | Sonikebana: rich immersion and responsive play, can we have both?

Event details

Speaker: Martin Parker (University of Edinburgh, Reid School of Music)

Date: 18 September 2019

Time: 3.15 - 5.00pm.  

Venue: Alison House, Atrium (G10)


A view of the sound installation project Sonikebana showing some of the mobile loudspeakers and artwork.


"Sonikebana" spans the crags between installation, participative experience and experimental composition. It takes place across nine loudspeakers inside wooden boxes on wheels with painting and prints by Anna Chapman Parker. The speakers are mobile and visitors are invited to move them around the room in order to design and shape how the piece sounds. 

The formal idea for this piece is based on concepts borrowed from the refined and minimalist art form of flower arranging called Ikebana. With Ikebana, being still and observing is as important as the action of arranging – "Sonikebana" invites both approaches too.

At this talk I will range over the history of the work, I will explain why it sounds the way it does and I will show how the sound, interactions & images are intended to work together as a complete experience. As I go, I will reveal some of the challenges and surprises that came up as the project developed.

I will also look at strategies composers, sonic artists and sound designers explore that allow dynamic interaction and the potential for rich immersion simultaneously. The talk concludes by looking outwards. These are not niche challenges for composers of experimental electronic music, rather concerns actively being dealt with in areas across the media industries.

Information about Sonikebana is being gathered on my website

Image by Anna Chapman Parker, July 2019.


Martin Parker's profile page


Sep 18 2019 -

Martin Parker | Sonikebana: rich immersion and responsive play, can we have both?

Martin Parker discusses the creative decisions and wider implications of his sound installation Sonikebana.

Alison House
12 Nicolson Square