SOUNDING BRIGHTON Innovative Sonic Experiments at Brighton & Hove’s White Night

SOUNDING BRIGHTON, supported by the European funded COST Action, is a co-commission with the Noise Abatement Society for Brighton & Hove White Night. A series of sonic artworks, produced especially for the occasion, will challenge notions of sound in public spaces. The works will extend the Noise Abatement Society’s pioneering initiative, Sounding Brighton: they will provoke debate and initiate innovative explorations to help solve noise disturbance in urban environments. This project is part of White Night’s commitment to ‘new work’ and ‘new approaches’.

The artists and experts who have been chosen for the White Night project all have a gift for public engagement and an accessible message/medium through which to communicate it. The work created for White Night will be of particular interest to sound artists, designers and acoustic ecologists – as well as the participating public.

In modern life, we are continually bombarded by noises, and listening has, for many of us, become a Cinderella sense. However, we can develop new ways of listening – and take more control of our listening.

Those in charge of the design, management and use of cities must take more responsibility for the sonic implications of their actions. We need to take as much care of our soundscapes as of townscapes and landscapes. Practical approaches towards better soundscapes can be explored by engaging audiences in new ways of experiencing the richness and creative power of sound – and demonstrating how it can be viewed as a valuable ‘resource’.

Within the White Night Festival’s theme of Utopia, Sounding Brighton will present innovative, participatory installations aimed at encouraging members of the community to expand their creative engagement with sound. It will raise awareness of new possibilities for quality soundscapes through immersive sonic experiences, using artistic and musical interpretations. There will also be a programme of interactive lectures.



a 3D outdoor soundscape installation, transforming the atmosphere and ambience in the heart of Brighton’s cacophonous clubbing area

The installation is being created by Martyn Ware of The Illustrious Company. Martyn, a founder member of The Human League and Heaven 17, is a musician committed to helping the public understand positive soundscaping. Situated in part of West Street, in the heart of Brighton’s night life, his installation will consist of two rows of speakers creating a 3D soundscape, through which people can walk. Martyn will present a combination of both recorded and live sounds from a kiosk at the side of the street. His soundscapes will present a contrast to the raucous disharmony so frequently heard in lively areas at night, and will be designed to connect with visitors to the area and residents, as well as those exiting the clubs.


a special event exploring ‘sound and rapport’,

 in Brighton University’s Sallis Benney Theatre, Grand Parade Campus

Audio from West Street Story, and live film footage of the crowds in the West Street area, will be broadcast by Driftwood Productions at Come Together. Here, psychobiologist and communications expert Dr Harry Witchel will facilitate three entertaining, interactive, masterclasses about Body Language, Music and Social Territory. These will enable participants to analyse the effects of the soundscape on the body language and behaviour of people in general, as well as those filmed during White Night. Dr Witchel, from Brighton and Sussex Medical School, is also well known as a media personality and body language commentator for Big Brother. He is author of You Are What You Hear.  

In the adjoining gallery, Brighton University is staging Sounding out the Museum – Peter Vogel Retrospective Exhibition, the first exhibition in the UK of Vogel’s pioneering and influential sound sculptures, which are activated by the movement, gestures and sound emanating from audiences as they enter the space.


Julian Treasure and Dr John Drever, both sound experts, will run discussions, as part of a wider programme for White Night involving independent minded thinkers. They will demonstrate how certain sounds, which are fitting in one space, are disturbances in another.  

Julian Treasure of The Sound Agency will discuss Utopia Sounds: In our louder and louder world, he asks “Are we are losing our listening?” Julian will share ways to re-tune our ears for conscious listening – to other people and the world around us.

In Creation Power, Dr John Drever from Goldsmiths, University of London will illustrate how designers of gadgets and machines, and the individuals using them, should be aware of the impact of sounds associated with these products and the ways in which they affect people – and spaces.

BRIGHTON REMIXED: Soundscape installation, Imperial Arcade

Esther Springett, sound artist and facilitator, is working with Dv8 Training Brighton, who run innovative, creative and media based training for young people. Esther is helping a group of 16-18 year olds to explore their own soundscapes, listen in new ways and learn practical, technical skills, which will open up new opportunities for them in the creative industries. Their White Night soundscape installation, the culmination of this vocational based learning project, will feature their recordings ‘remixing the sounds of Brighton’, presented through an audiovisual display.

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Do Something Different in the Middle of the Night

Brighton & Hove White Night: dusk to dawn, marking the end of British Summer Time

6.00pm Saturday 29 October to 10.00am Sunday 30 October, 2011

A contemporary, all night, free arts festival

Unique in the UK, attracting over 40,000 participants

Throughout Brighton & Hove: in the city’s cultural venues, cafes, parks, squares, streets,

‘pop up’ spaces, sporting facilities – even on smart phones and iPods

Brighton & Hove White Night 2011 celebrates the theme of ‘Utopia’, featuring more than 60 indoor and outdoor cultural events, all created especially for the night.

White Night is a “cultural reclaiming of the streets”. Venues, artists, programmers and curators create new work, and experiment with new approaches for new audiences. This is a microcosm of the city’s creativity, all in one night

The Noise Abatement Society is a UK Registerd Charity whose remit is to find solutions to noise pollution problems. Sounding Brighton is its pioneering initiative working with local stakeholders, the COST Action TD0804 Soundscapes of European Cities and Landscapes and ISO Working Group 54 on Perceptual assessment of soundscape quality to explore using soundscape approaches to help solve noise disturbance in urban environments.

Brighton & Hove White Night is led by Brighton & Hove Arts Commission. It is supported by Brighton & Hove City Council; ACE (SE); funded by Interreg IV A France (Channel) England; co-financed by ERDF, and is sister festival to Nuit Blanche Amiens. It is inspired by the all night arts festivals in major European cities, particularly Nuits Blanches Paris, Madrid, Brussels & Riga.

For further press information, please contact: Lianne Jarrett Associates,, (+44) 01273 674692

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