The sound sources for River Valley Snapshots were recorded by my colleague Andreas Kahre and myself at a number of parks, play areas and natural ravines connected to the North Saskatchewan River and the river valley area of Edmonton (Alberta). These recordings consisted mainly of hydrophone recordings of fish and other underwater noises in the river and in nearby ponds. Both Andreas and myself made several pieces from these recordings which were used in a permanent summer sound installation called Sound Columns at the entrance way of the Queen Elizabeth Pool in the Kinsmen Centre in Edmonton.
In River Valley Snapshots I juxtapose underwater sound-making of fish and other creatures from the North Saskatchewan River with sounds occurring above the river or adjacent to it. The rhythmic clatter of the fish in this work appears and disappears amongst the sounds of cars passing in the rain over the metal grills of the Walterdale Bridge and children playing in a water park. The spatialization performance engages the two worlds in a playful dance and brings their environments closer together. The wet nature of this soundscape reveals the peculiar microclimate of the Edmonton river valley, which counters the Canadian prairie stereotype of dry and open landscapes.