1908: Body and Soul

Sarah Atkinson, Marley Cole, Marie McCarthy, Sarah Weatherall

Research output: Non-textual outputPerformance


1908: Body & Soul was one of four flagship projects commissioned by the Creative Campus Initiative (CCI), part of the Cultural Olympiad, and awarded an "Inspire" Mark project as endorsed by LOCOG. Dr Sarah Atkinson and Marley Cole collaborated with the Lightning Ensemble Production Company in order to investigate the event and the personalities of the first London Olympic Games in 1908. The performance reimagined stories and characters from the Edwardian sports and entertainment spectacle in a theatrical staged show inspired by circus. Sarah and Marley used practice-based research techniques to explore the collusion of old and new media, and the interplay between fact and fiction through the digital sonification of the 1908 Olympic games. Working with both the very earliest generations of analogue sound recording equipment (such as carbon granular microphones), and the very latest (contact microphones, surround sound and hypersonic audio), this project provided a unique site for the practice-based study of multi-channel sonification and spatialisation. Exploring the theatrical nature of sound and audio authenticity, the research also focussed upon the mediatisation of sound, which characterises contemporary live sports broadcasting. The work extended into explorations of audience expectation, perception and interaction within the specially designed surround sound and hypersonic soundscape. Initial research took place within the Olympic Archives. Documentary printed materials are being consulted to investigate the nature and types of the sounds of the period, since no sonic recordings exist. The types of vocabulary and vernacular heard from the crowds that are described textually will be sonically translated for the soundscape. Contemporary broadcast practice is being explored alongside the work of project mentors Dennis Baxter, Sound Designer for the Olympics and Bill Whiston, Sound Designer for Wimbledon. The same techniques that are used for fictional computer game audio and cinematic films are now incorporated into live sports coverage. Using fictional techniques such as Foley artistry to craft sound effects in order to increase drama and excitement are mixed with archival sound and field recordings in order to experiment with notions of authenticity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2012
Eventother - Jacksons Lane Theatre, London, 14-15 June 2012
Duration: 14 Jun 2012 → …


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