History Revisited

Exploring the sounds and stories of Chatham Historic Dockyard

The installation History Revisited presented tales of Chatham Dockyard, recounted by voices of the past and reflected on by voices of the present. It was exhibited at the Mezzanine of Slip 3 at Chatham Historic Dockyard, between 4 and 8 May 2022. The installation invited the listener to walk through 18 sound compositions created by students from Canterbury Academy Secondary School and the Sonic Palimpsest research team. Schoolchildren were inspired to compose with field recordings of the Chatham Dockyard site, developing their pieces in workshops conducted by our research team in November 2021. The sonic works included sounds from the dockyard and interviews with former workers of the yard.

History Revisited was presented through the Music & Audio Arts Sound Theatre (MAAST), using 26 loudspeakers and three projectors at Mezzanine of Slip 3, Chatham Historic Dockyard. This custom surround sound system placed the listener inside the soundscapes, creating an enveloping and immersive sound experience.

Special thanks go to the Canterbury Academy students and their teacher, Andy Freeman, for their contribution to the project. All photographs of the projections in the installation were from the Chatham Historic Dockyard archives, courtesy of CHDT.

History Revisited is part of the Sonic Palimpsest research project, funded by the AHRC.

The three creators. From left to right: Brona Martin, Aki Pasoulas and Andrew Knight-Hill.