River Echoes LIVE : 17 October 2021

at BATHURST BASIN and the NEW AVON CUT

River Echoes 2021 is a project by Kathy Hinde created with producer Sam Francis, commissioned by Ginkgo Projects and sponsored by Bouygues UK. Header photo by Pat Hennessy.

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. Starting at midday, intriguing sounds emerged from strangely-shaped metallic horns surrounding the Bathurst Basin, 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, propelled by horn blowing rowers, Shirley Pegna, Claire Teasdale, Katherine Sydney, and Kamina Walton, with gonging paddlers, Ruth Essex, Vicki Angus, Amanda Payne and Sophie Nedelec… following flag waving semaphore from Kathy Hinde, together, creating an immersive, spatialised resonant soundscape 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
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 was created on a fellowship with South West Creative Technology Network in 2020.

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

River Echoes is a project by artist Kathy Hinde with producer Sam Francis, Commissioned by Ginkgo Projects, and sponsored by Bouygues UK.

Additional thanks to Mike and Briony Pope and everyone at Cabot Cruising Club for allowing us to use the Lightship and pontoon at Bathurst Basin.

Photographs by Ibi Feher, Pat Hennessy and Kathy Hinde as indicated.