Martin Parker: Sonikebana

Sonikebana, a long form composition and sound installation by Martin Parker with images by Anna Chapman Parker.

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Sonikebana is a long-form sound composition that is transformed and performed by listeners as it happens.

Nine custom-built speakers on wheels form the basis of the installation. Playing through the speaker boxes is a complex ecosystem of electronic sounds synthesised from short films of living material made while the artists, Martin Parker, was a resident artist at Little Sparta, the garden of Ian Hamilton Finlay. 

As you move the boxes around, the speakers react enabling you to sculpt and shape how the room sounds. When you’ve discovered positions that you like, sit back, lie down, relax and wait for other listeners to shift things. If you want to make a change, intervene again.

Sonikebana playfully brings sound art together with ideas drawn from the Japanese art of flower arrangement called Ikebana. Where Ikebana is a refined and detailed art learned over years, this installation calls for a more immediate response to sound from its audience. You are invited to listen, play and improvise with the piece and your actions become part of the work as it evolves and develops over time. In this respect the piece is very much like Ikebana where decisions to cut and connect different forms have an effect on the whole display.

The artwork on the surfaces of the speakers is by Anna Chapman Parker. Much of the imagery clearly relates to living material, but its processed quality reflects a conflict in the work as whole between immersion and struggle for accommodation within the natural world.


25 July – 17 August

Daily, 11am – 5pm 

Disabled AccessToilets


Edinburgh College of Art
74 Lauriston Place,
Edinburgh, EH3 9DF