Sonic Bed London


Sonic Bed_London is the original sonic bed, commissioned by Electra for Her Noise 2005, supported by the Arts Council of England and Women in Music. It is a central pin in music for bodies research and was awarded a Distinction in Digital Musics at Prix Ars Electronica, 2006.

The Sonic Bed is a purpose built portable venue which plays music that moves for the prone bodies of an audience, who can come lie in the bed alone or together.

It is a sonic and social experiment exploring our perception of sound, presenting an oversized bed as a polished wooden tank with steps to climb up to get in it. Visitors are invited to remove their shoes and come lie on and enjoy specially constructed pieces moving up and down and around their bodies. Subtle, dynamic, at times beyond hearing, Sonic Bed plays music to feel rather than just listen to.

Sonic Bed is also an instrument, to be played by anyone who is interested as well as commissioned composers to make pieces for it using the specially developed software interface, built by and being developed in collaboration with David Muth through our research.

This interface enables the maker to literally draw and record sounds through the 12 channel sound system hidden under the mattress and side panels whilst lying in it ; meaning that 12 independent sources of sound can be playing and moving independently at any one time.

Sonic Bed_London was conceived and directed by Kaffe Matthews 2002, realised in November 2005 and its success has spawned the ongoing Worldwide Bed Project.

Sonic Bed_London was designed in collaboration with Paul Weyland, built by Craig Helliwell, Sheffield, with audio consultancy from Mike Appleton, Audio Car, London, installed by Paul Rossi, covers by Camalo Gaskin and overall facilitation by Mario Radinovic.


4 x polished wooden side panels.
1 x flame retardant foam mattress.
Cushions and cover.
12 channel sound system.