Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson BA (Hons), PGdip(HE)

Senior Lecturer, Media and Creative Industries

Ian Thompson has taught across media, arts, and film and TV production programmes at Greenwich since 2003. He has led undergraduate programmes in 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 BBC radio programmes online, and a creative producer at pioneering digital agency Razorfish making early websites for clients such as FT.com and Benetton. He was also co-director of a commercial sound design practice, developing new approaches to 3D audio production.

Ian's creative practice incorporates music, sound, and video. His work has been performed and shown at venues throughout Europe, including a collateral show at Venice Biennale in 2017 and 2019. He regularly performs on 'cello with various groups, and was bass guitarist with an internationally acclaimed music group in the 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 research and scholarly interests are informed by creative practice, primarily as a musician and sound artist. Industry experience also underpins teaching into BA and MA programmes across the School of Design.

A book chapter, The Soundscape Approach to Sound Design Research, in Doing Research in Sound Design (ed. Michael Filimowicz) will be published by Routledge in Spring 2021.

Ian is also writing a book, Audio for Artists: A Practical Guide to Sound, to be published by Routledge in 2022/3, and composing site-specific music works for two audio visual installations, forthcoming in 2021 and 2022.

Recent projects:

The Cosmic Pond, 2018 (in collaboration with artist Sarah Sparkes)

Arts Council England funded artist's residency at Allenheads Contemporary Arts, Northumberland UK

Creating work inspired by contemplation of space beyond realms of human habitation, in territories traditionally understood through mythical projection rather than lived experience, we reimagined a disused reservoir at the residency site as The Cosmic Pond. A stereo hydrophone rig was constructed, floating on the surface of the reservoir and relaying captured sounds of freshwater invertebrate life to a loudspeaker installation at the adjacent North Pennines Observatory.

The residency also included public talks, interviews with local wildlife groups, public events, and resulted in many hours of audio recordings of life inside the reservoir.


A compilation of recordings from The Cosmic Pond is available to download:  https://sonoslocalia.bandcamp.com/album/the-cosmic-pond

Sonos Localia, 2018 - ongoing

Internally funded project to establish a non-profit digital audio label.

Primary aims:

  • 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.
  • Develop new audiences for spatialized acousmatic work.
  • Provide revenue to reinvest in future projects, and to remunerate artists from sales of their work.

The label was launched in October 2018 with a compilation of work by new and established composers and artists who have presented electroacoustic and acousmatic compositions at our multichannel Loudspeaker Orchestra concerts. Compositions were rerecorded using ambisonic and binaural microphone arrays in a controlled studio environment, bringing the spatial listening experience usually restricted to only a few seats at the centre of a live performance to new and wider audiences.

Ongoing Sonos Localia releases support School of Design research in sound practice, and associated activities.


Recent publications

Selected exhibited works:

Sparkes, S. & Thompson, I. (2018) The Synchronising Cue [Digital video], Sound / Image exhibition, University of Greenwich, London, 10th-16th November 2018

Sparkes, S. & Thompson, I. (2018) The Cosmic Pond [Installation and residency], Allenheads Contemporary Arts, Northumberland, UK, 29th May to 22nd July 2018

Sparkes, S. & Thompson, I. (2018) More than an Island [Photographic image], Haus Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia, 13th-30th June 2018

Thompson, I. (2017) Arrival Time [Sound installation], University of Plymouth, 3rd September 2017

Sparkes, S. & Thompson, I. (2017) Peninsula [Digital video], EMPIRE II group exhibition, Castello 1610/A, Venice, Italy, 13th May to 24th November 2017

Thompson, I. (2014) Litus Expromo [Sound installation], Over Time group exhibition, Stephen Lawrence Gallery, Greenwich, London, 19th September to 16th October 2014

Thompson, I. (2014) Symphony No.1 in DAB [Digital radio, computer], NOISE colloquium, University of Greenwich, London, 20-22nd March 2014

Thompson, I. (2013) Roll Out [Interactive sound installation], Festival No. 6, Portmeirion, Wales, 14-15th September 2013

Thompson, I. (2012) When I was a kid, that was the dream [Site-specific sound installation], Tate Modern Tanks, London, 24th August 2012

Selected live performance:

Barnell, L., Fuchs, L., Shiell, S., Thompson, I., White, H., Wright-Spinks, P. (2018) Wakeful (live score) [Live film score accompaniment for Wakeful. 2018. [Film]. Anne Robinson. dir.], APT Gallery, Deptford, London, 10th November 2018

Barnes, M., Ramos, P., Shiell, S., Thompson, I., Worley, R. & White, H. (2016) UNEARTH/DISSINTERRA [Music performance], MIA Festival, Atouguia da Baleia, Peniche, Portugal, 8th May 2016

Thompson, I. (2016) BELL [Acousmatic composition], St Leonard's Church, Shoreditch, London, 27th March 2016

Barnell, L., Barnes, M., Shiell, S., Thompson, I., White, H., Wright-Spinks, P. & Wilson, R. (2015) HERD [Music performance], Summer Show, Royal Academy of Art, London, 4th July 2015