OIST Sonic Lab presents:             


An Okinawa Sound Portrait 
for the Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island

Featuring recordings made all across Okinawa’s main island, our sound portrait blends many different aspects of this richly diverse, sub-tropical sonic landscape: from the cries of Okinawan birds such as the rail and the ryukyu robin, to the hidden underwater, percussively clicking delights of the coral reef, and much more in-between. The work represents a cycle of activity during 24 hours across Okinawa, underpinned by the calmly rising and falling ocean sounds of Seragaki Island.  

The creative process was informed by our initial research into sound and well-being, and is rooted in the idea that reconnecting with nature’s cycles and rhythms through sound can ground us and instil a sense of peace.

The composition also features the unique and evocative sound of a delicately drifting sanshin - the signature instrument of Okinawa - performed by Mutsumi Aragaki. 

The soundscape is complemented with a series of beautiful sketches by renowned Okinawa-based artist Ichiro Kikuta, which gently appear and fade out to mirror the unfolding sounds.

We invite you to relax and enjoy this very Okinawan experience, designed to enhance a sense of calm.

 Nick Luscombe, Artistic director, OIST Sonic Lab

About OIST's OKEON project

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) is a pioneering graduate university, which conducts research that bridges disciplines to explore new frontiers of scientific knowledge. We educate a new generation of scientific leaders. We are a catalyst for an innovation hub in Okinawa.

Created and maintained by OIST, OKEON stands for Okinawa Environmental Observation Network.

OKEON continuously samples ecological data in Okinawa. There are 24 field sites on Okinawa’s main island, with each location hosting specialized equipment for collecting insect samples, images and videos, audio recordings, and microclimate data.

The OKEON Project is constantly working with OIST and the broader community to create better access to environmental science and improved understanding of Okinawa’s ecology and wildlife. The ongoing collection of this data will allow us to track changes to wildlife populations and ecosystem health over long periods of time.

Read more about passive acoustic monitoring.


Artist behind the sketches

Ichiro Kikuta 菊田 一朗

Born in Fukushima City in 1961, Kikuta spent his childhood observing nature and drawing. After high school, he traveled to the suburbs of Oxford, England, to study the work of Charles Tunnicliffe, a British bird painter he admired. There, a chance encounter with Utamaro's flower and bird paintings led him to study traditional Japanese painting in his own country rather than imitate Western painting.

Since then, in his self-taught quest to discover the essence of Japanese painting, he has broken out of the conventional framework and conceived the idea of reviving the Japanese-style paintings of the Heian to Edo periods, especially the thought-provoking Yamato-e style perfected by Sotatsu Tawaraya. In 2006, he moved to Kunigami Village in northern Okinawa, fascinated by the Yanbaru region, where he studied rare Okinawa rails. In his studio, he thrives in pursuit of an expression of a deep spiritual world, mainly through ink and wash paintings, using the flora and fauna of Yanbaru as his subjects.


Venue & access

Main lobby, Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island, Okinawa
Parking and Transportation: See information on Hyatt Regency Seragaki website (directs to an external page)

Nick A. Luscombe, Ichiro Kikuta, Mutsumi Aragaki, James Greer, Izumi Fukunaga

Additional materials were kindly provided by Cassondra George, OKEON, Jeffery Jolly, Timothy Ravasi, Shunsuke Hanamata, Kenji Takehara.

We are grateful for the support from OIST Graduate University and JST-funded Bioconvergence Center for Innovation at OIST. We thank the Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island for the venue and KEF speakers for the equipment loan.

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