Barwon Listening: Freshwater/Saltwater
What do we hear?
A project by Ros Bandt and Vicki Hallett.
Two sound artists uncovering the little-known sonic world of the aquatic habitat, the much loved Barwon River in Victoria Australia in the air, under water, underground. Exploring the river from their kayaks and using hydrophones and other recording devices, they will track its voice from its source in the Otways to the estuary where fresh water meets salt water at Barwon Heads. How many species of fish, eels, underwater insects, sea grasses, crustaceans and birds are having dialogues we can’t usually share? A range of sonic mixed media works will be created reflecting their river listening findings: sound art performed, installed and shared on line. This is an ongoing project for continued observation and reflection of the river, sensed through sound and the act of listening in place. Science and art eclipse through the magic of sound.
COVID-19 Arts, Culture and Heritage Recovery Grants Program
During 2020, Vicki Hallett was successful in obtaining a COVID-19 Arts, Culture and Heritage Recovery Grants Program from the City of Greater Geelong (CoGG). This Grant was designed to enable artists to continue working on their Art during a time where the World was locked-down due to CoVid-19 and local restrictions.
The aim of the project was to research and develop the Barwon Listening project, a site-specific sound exploration project using hydrophone and microphones to record the air, water and ground sounds of the Barwon River, Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Cultural engagement linked with the observation and documentation to create a respectful connection country and the voice of the River.
The recording of sounds, documenting, researching, gathering of content and knowledge concerning cultural significance alongside traditional owners consultation is this initial phase of the Barwon Listening Project. The sounds recorded by Vicki Hallett using hydrophones and microphones from the air, date and ground which documenting and observing the River. Research, content, data and sound processing and studio work were in the artist’s studio. Initial consultation with Corrina Eccles of the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners occurred and continued learning from and engaging with traditional owners to connect to country and cultural heritage was vital to the project for the future creation of appropriated art. Project snap shots were accessible online via a variety of platforms such as websites, streaming activities and social media. The Grant enabled the Vicki Hallett to develop the Barwon Listening project during these locked down times and continue working towards the creation of new works and collaborative projects including those with Dr Ros Bandt.
This project is supported by the City of Greater Geelong
through its ‘COVID-19 Arts, Culture and Heritage
Recovery Grants Program’
Scroll down to join us on our journey listening to the Barwon River.
Ros Bandt and Vicki Hallett are two sound artists and musicians passionate in their interpretation of the environment through sound. Their creative works are derived from original recordings and research of habitat. Barwon Listening focuses on sensing the Barwon River in Victoria, Australia. Exploring the river from their kayaks, using hydrophones and other recording devices, Bandt and Hallett track the River from the Otways to the estuary where freshwater meets saltwater. How many species of fish, eels, underwater insects, seagrasses, crustaceans and birds are having dialogues we can’t usually share? Many little-heard sounds will be uncovered and woven into new sonic creations: what does it feel like to be in the sound world of a mangrove, a seal, a pelican? This is a project for continued observation and reflection of the river, sensed through sound and the act of listening in place. Science and art eclipse through the magic of sound.
Join us on this voyage of discovery!
Listen to the River from the Kayak - commentary & sounds
Listen to this site with headphones highly recommended
Recording Freshwater Sounds
Recording Saltwater Sounds
Saltwater /Freshwater. New collaborative work Ros Bandt and Vicki Hallett.
Live streamed performance interpreting two regions of the Barwon River, a post industrial Freshwater site at Fyansford 3227 and a remnant river estuary at Barwon heads, 3218. Both sites have been degraded by human activity and worse is at hand with tourism and housing developments between these two places. Both are affecting the future of Barwon River health.
This new premiere was sounded via zoom from two different locations during lockdown, Waurn Ponds and North Fitzroy on land, through the ether of a national conference Field Trip, so we can hear the creatures that are still there during Covid up until August 2020.
What underwater dialogues can you hear? Keep listening to this site closely, for presence and absence of aquatic marine life above, below and in the mud through our hydrophone recordings. More artworks soon collaborating online across 4 postcodes. The river is missing us too. Come with us on these listening adventures.
Take care Gobarta (wadawurrung)
World listening Day July 18 LAUNCH of the Barwon Listening project July 18, Ros Bandt and Vicki Hallett
Barwon Listening: Freshwater/Saltwater
What do we hear?
A project by Ros Bandt and Vicki Hallett.
Two sound artists uncovering the little -known sonic world of the aquatic habitat, the much loved Barwon River in Victoria Australia in the air, under water, underground. Exploring the river from their kayaks and using hydrophones and other recording devices, they will track its voice from its source in the Otways to the estuary where fresh water meets salt water at Barwon Heads. How many species of fish, eels, underwater insects, sea grasses, crustaceans and birds are having dialogues we can’t usually share? A range of sonic mixed media works will be created reflecting their river listening findings: sound art performed, installed and shared on line. This is an ongoing project for continued observation and reflection of the river, sensed through sound and the act of listening in place. Science and art eclipse through the magic of sound.
“Sensing Sound“ duo, Ros Bandt and Vicki Hallett are two environmental sound artists and performers who have collaborated for the last four years creating original environmental site-specific spatial sound works. Each installation and performance is an organic osmosis of audible, visual, sculptural and performative elements rendered from the site itself. Together they probe man/nature relationships sensing sound in indoor and outdoor contexts. They have been commissioned twice by Geelong city council for Geelong After Dark (GAD) creating Earthscape 2018 and Human Aquarium public installation (2019) assisted by sound engineer Jem Savage. They are both interested in acoustic ecology, biodiversity, and wildlife /underwater recordings as a means to sense through sound, what is happening in a given space, the health, the presence and absence, the behaviour of living things, particularly underwater aquatics. Bandt and Hallett have performed at SeenSound, the Loop Bar, New and Experimental Arts Laboratory (NEAL), the Tate Gallery Fryerstown and devised interactive multichannel audience participatory concerts such as Freshwater Listening to celebrate 10 years of acoustic ecology in Australia. This longterm Barwon River Listening project, from the kayak, is a plea for us all to be better caretakers of the river and respect its changing confluences, fresh or salt, oxygenated, toxic. Barwon Listening will be of interest to local water watch groups and stakeholders. The art will raise consciousness of the need for sensitive environmental water care in the Barwon estuary. Water is sacred, our lives depend on it.
Come and listen with us from the kayak
The power of this waterway is ever-changing and spellbinding
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of these lands, waters and cultures.
We acknowledge their continuing connections to country and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
Launch of Barwon Listening - WORLD LISTENING DAY
Live stream along the Barwon River. Situated near St Albans Park. Freshwater.
Open farm land, rural environment. A cold, brisk day with slight breeze and rain looming on the horizon.
Binaural microphones plus two hydrophones placed along the shoreline.
Vicki Hallett - live stream via LocusCast sound map.
Ros Bandt - commentary over the remote recording. During CoVid19 lockdown (take 2) in Melbourne.
World Listening Day Saturday 18th July 2020.
Live stream via LocusCast. Remote recording by Ros Bandt with commentary.
SEA GRASS MEADOW
Low tide in the middle of the Barwon Estuary opposite the Barwon Heads boat ramp sandbar.
Sea meadow at low tide for the winter solstice June 2020
Ros describing Barwon Listening project from the kayak, drifting over the sandbar in the sea meadow and watching a group of royal spoonbills having lunch. Enjoy the brisk ocean breeze as we drift at low tide.
The sound of the underwater krill and snapping shrimp and many other organisms. Sunlight.
Video of seagrass and recording gear. Video by Ros Bandt
Royal Spoonbills feeding. Video by Ros Bandt
December 11, 2019 MIDDAY Mangrove rivulets Barwon Estuary intertidal wetlands,
Breathing tubes of the Mangroves, vital for the survival of these precious wetlands oxygenating plants and aquatic creatures and storing Blue Carbon . Recognised as part of the RAMSAR wetlands convention 1971.
Recorded and composed by Vicki Hallett
6 channel layered recording
Flowing river / Hydrophones in mud / Hydrophones in water
hearing places, 2020