Water forms the arteries of the planet. We are 60% water. Water is a key ingredient for life, and a key catalyst for the origin of biological life on earth. What could be a deeper and more direct connection between the planet, other species and each other?

River Echoes 2021 is a project by Kathy Hinde created with producer Sam Francis, commissioned by Ginkgo Projects and sponsored by Bouygues UK. More details here : submergedsounds.co.uk

River Echoes is a collective investigation into Bristol’s waterways through a series of participatory Deep Listening Walks and a live sound, music and film event on and under the waters of Bristol. Throughout September Kathy Hinde explored the sounds of Bristol from an underwater perspective by inviting people on a series of Deep Listening Walks joined by a variety of guests who shared unique insights into Bristol’s rivers and waterways, leading to a series of podcasts where can be listened to here.

River Echoes Deep Listening Walk #1 with artist Kathy Hinde and ecologist Dr. Ian Thornhill, photo by Paul Blakemore

Devised by Bristol based artist, Kathy Hinde, RIVER ECHOES LIVE, a site-specific music, sound and film performance, took place on and around Bathurst Basin, close to where the culverted River Frome flows un-noticed into the re-routed tidal river Avon.

From midday, intriguing sounds emerged from 16 strangely-shaped metallic horns revealing the usually inaudible underwater sound world of Bristol. 

A passerby stopping to listen to River Echoes soundscape emerging from a metal ‘Listening Horn’. Photo by Ibi Feher

At 4pm this subaquatic soundscape morphed into a live site specific performance inspired by listening to the underground resonant spaces of the river Frome, flowing under the city. A multi-layered, spatialised composition for brass, featuring Bristol musicians Liz Purnell, Pete Judge and James Gow, joined by Sam Underwood and Beck Baker (ORE) and Sophie Cooper, along with rowers, paddleboarders, together, creating an immersive, spatialised resonant soundscapes inspired by Bristol’s under-explored underwater worlds.

River Echoes Live at Bathurst Basin. Photo by Ibi Feher
River Echoes Live at Bathurst Basin. Photo by Pat Hennessy
River Echoes Live at Bathurst Basin. Photo by Ibi Feher
River Echoes Live at Bathurst Basin. Photo by Ibi Feher
River Echoes Live at Bathurst Basin. Photo by Ibi Feher
River Echoes Live at Bathurst Basin. Photo by Ibi Feher
River Echoes Live at Bathurst Basin. Photo by Ibi Feher
River Echoes Live at Bathurst Basin. Photo by Pat Hennessy

At sunset, when the tide was at its highest point of the day, lights started to flicker onto the water of the Avon cut, close to the point where the Frome re-joins the tidal waters of the Avon from its underground passageway through the city.  As the tide retreated, a projection of River Traces was gradually be revealed onto the mud banks, a 16mm film created from particles, sediment and plant matter gathered from the whole length of the river frome and exposed onto celluloid film, developed using coffee, plants and water from the river.

River Traces projected onto the banks of the Avon New Cut, at high tide. Photo by Ibi Feher
River Traces projected onto the banks of the Avon New Cut, at low tide. Photo by Kathy Hinde