Ian Thompson

Mr Ian Thompson BA (Hons), PGdip(HE)

Senior Lecturer, Media and Creative Industries

Key details

Mr Ian D Thompson
BA (Hons), PGdip(HE)

Senior Lecturer, Media and Creative Industries

Ian Thompson has taught across media and arts programmes at Greenwich in part- and full-time capacities since 2003. He has previously led programmes in BA Creative Industries, Media Arts Practice, and Digital Arts.

Prior to joining the University, Ian was Senior Multimedia Producer at Somethin' Else, developing strategies for delivering online BBC radio programmes, and at pioneering digital agency Razorfish, building early websites for clients including FT.com and Benetton. He was also director of an SME researching and developing approaches to 3D audio production.

Ian's arts practice includes sound and video works, and his work has been shown at Tate Modern, and collateral group shows at Venice Biennale in 2017 and 2019. He is also a musician, regularly performing on 'cello with various groups, and was bass guitarist with an internationally famous band in the mid 1990s.

Responsibilities within the university

  • Senior Lecturer, Media and Creative Industries
  • Module Lead, Creative Filmmaking Technologies


Allenheads Contemporary Arts / Arts Council England – major funded residency 2018


  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • The Association of Motion Picture Sound (AMPS)
  • Member, Institute of Leadership and Management
  • Associate Member, Audio Engineering Society
  • https://gre.academia.edu/IDThompson

Research / Scholarly interests

Ian's key research interests are in applied arts practice, specifically in the context of acoustic ecology, and also in immersive sound design.

A book chapter, The Soundscape Approach to Sound Design Research, will be published by Routledge in 2021, and he is writing a book, Audio for Artists, to be published by Routledge in 2022.

Key funded projects

Sonos Localia, 2017-18

Internally funded (Seedling Fund) project to develop a non-profit digital audio recording label specialising in recording and distributing works featuring spatial sound, primarily (but not exclusively) in binaural stereo.

Primary aims of the project:

  1. Develop a distribution outlet for new sound and music works by composers, musicians and other creative artists exploring the compositional, aesthetic and dramaturgical possibilities of spatialized and localised sound.
  2. Develop new audiences for spatialized acousmatic work.
  3. Provide revenue to reinvest in future projects, and to pay artists from distribution of their work.

The label was launched in October 2018. The first digital release, Loudspeaker Music for Headphones Volume One, features binaural recordings of works by new and established composers and artists that have presented electroacoustic and acousmatic works via the multichannel Loudspeaker Orchestra at the University of Greenwich. By re-recording the live event in a controlled studio environment using a dummy-head microphone assembly, a sense of localisation and immersion usually restricted to a few listeners seated at the point of convergence of a multichannel sound field in a live performance scenario can be captured. Listeners to the recordings can experience (via headphones) a sense of presence normally limited to a few seats in the concert.

The label's first release has been met by favourable reviews from the featured composers and those who have purchased it. More widespread publicity will accompany the second release scheduled for early 2019 (at time of writing). This is an ongoing project, for more information and latest news please visit:

BEYOND, May-July 2018

Funded artist's residency at Allenheads Contemporary Arts, Northumberland UK, in collaboration with artist Sarah Sparkes.

The aim was to develop artistic work in response to the notion of spaces and concepts beyond realms of everyday human habitation, crossing thresholds into territories generally known by way of imaginative projection rather than lived experience.

Taking inspiration from the North Pennines Observatory that shares the site with the arts centre, and a disused (but still full) reservoir that once served a local lead mine, we reimagined the reservoir as The Cosmic Pond. The title refers to an observable phenomenon in which temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background appear as ripples.

The main part of the project was the construction of a stereo hydrophone rig floated on the surface of the pond, relaying the sounds of freshwater aquatic life from beneath the water to speakers inside the warm room at the observatory. This provided a live soundtrack to accompany views of the universe via the observatory's telescope; sound and image from territories beyond.

The project also included talks, interviews with local wildlife groups, public events, and many hours of recordings of life inside the reservoir that will form the basis for future artworks. These are also of interest to scientific and other research communities concerned with the behaviours of freshwater fauna.

Documentation of the project is ongoing: