Sonic siestas

Sonic Bed_Shanghai plays new music which moves and vibrates for and through the bodies of an audience.

This sonic and social experiment takes the form of an oversized king-size bed. Due to their frequency and intensity, the sounds are perceived not only with the ears but also with the entire body in what is a surprising experience. The sound affects the body: ribcage-rattling rumbles, lung-fluttering twitters, colon-wobbling throbs, cranial-massaging noise comes and goes in waves, moving up and down, wrote a tester.


Sonic Bed_Shanghai is part of a series of sonic beds designed and composed for by Kaffe Matthews. The project is to build 12 localized beds in 12 different countries around the world. Each of these worldwide beds will use the same design but be built locally with a new sound work being made by Matthews using site specific sound material of that country.

To create this music, a specially developed software interface is being developed through the Music for Bodies research, through which the maker can draw and record sounds through the space of the speakers built into the bed's frame and beneath the mattress. Sonic Bed contains a 12 channel sound system. 12 independant sources of sound can thus be playing and moving independantly at any one time.

More sonic siestas

Staalplaat Soundsytem's The ultrasound of therapy.

Lynn Pook and Julien Clauss' reactions epidermiques (previously called PAUSE) is made of 5 hammocks connected to each other at the center by strings. Any movement caused by the presence of a visitor is transmitted to the other hammocks.


When a visitor sits in a hammock or leaves it, the rocking movements of the hammock are detected by sensors. This information influences in real time the audio-tactile events transmitted by 9 loudspeakers distributed in the hammocks. The sounds become really audible only for those who lie in the hammock and press the hands on their ears. The mechanical vibrations resulting from the transmission of the sounds in the loudspeakers become perceptible on the body itself and the sounds are retransmitted in the inner ear by bone conduction. Each loudspeaker has its own channel so that the sounds, and the vibrations they cause, can move on the body from one source to another.

Image source.

Check also Matthews' red velvet sonic armchair which has nine speakers immersed in the upholstery.