Alluvial Gold presents a sonic exploration of the often-forgotten worlds below the surface of our rivers in a performance installation by percussionist Louise Devenish, and composer Stuart James in collaboration with visual artist Erin Coates.
Australian rivers such as the Derbarl Yerrigan (WA) were heavily dredged and ground up for mortar, roads, and building materials at sites across the city throughout European settlement. Similar histories of dredging, changing estuarine ecology, and the impacts of settler intervention took place in river systems across southern Australia, particularly in areas used as ports or trading routes following European colonisation.
Taking the histories, materials, and ecology of metropolitan rivers in Australia as a point of departure, Alluvial gold explores the changing worlds below river surfaces caused by colonisation and industrialisation.
Instruments are modelled on dolphin bones, native oyster shells, and marine ecology, paired with electronics and nestled against curtains of shells creating a sparkling cluster of harmonics, percussion, and sculpture mixed with sound recordings captured in the river.
Exploring the confluence of multiple narratives connected to rivers – Alluvial Gold offers a sonic picture of what is below the surface in this art installation meets contemporary music performance.