1908 Creative Campus Project: The First London Games


1908 is a research project bringing the University of Brighton's expertise in sports history and analysis alongside its leading reputation in experimental media production.

Professor Alan Tomlinson (Chelsea School), Dr Sarah Atkinson and Marley Cole (College of Arts and Humanities), join the Lightning Ensemble production company and Jacksons Lane, a multi-arts venue in Highgate North London, in order to investigate the event and the personalities of the first London Olympic Games in 1908.

The performance '1908: The First London Games' by Lightning Ensemble at Jacksons Lane reimagines stories and characters from the Edwardian sports and entertainment spectacle in a show inspired by circus, with a specially constructed soundscape by Dr Sarah Atkinson and Marley Cole. It is one of four flagship projects commissioned by the Creative Campus Initiative (CCI), and awarded an "Inspire" Mark project as endorsed by LOCOG.

The College of Arts and Humanities members Dr Sarah Atkinson and Marley Cole draw on their initial Creative Campus Initiative project Auditoryum. Using practice-based research techniques they explore the collusion of old and new media through the digital sonification of the 1908 Olympic games.

The audio work will expand upon previous published research into immersive audio, surround sound and multi-channel audio extending into experiments with audience expectation, perception and interaction, exploring the theatrical nature of sound and audio authenticity. 

Working with both the very earliest generations of analogue sound recording equipment (such as carbon granular microphones), and the very latest (contact microphones, 22.2 surround sound and hypersonic audio), this project provides a unique site for the practice-based study of multi-channel sonification and spatialisation, the findings of which will be published in relevant academic journals. 

The project will inform the practices of the collaborating sound engineers and broadcasters: Dennis Baxter, Sound Designer for the Olympics and Bill Whiston, Sound Designer for Wimbledon.