Due to numerous historical developments in its immediate vicinity, Söderström is not that easily discernible as a river. Its already barely audible soundscape has today become additionally silenced by noises from the controversial modernization of the surrounding neighbourhood. To counteract the local impact of climate change on the sea water levels, the flow of Söderström will soon be almost entirely regulated by humans. Composed largely of noises from the construction work undertaken under, above and around Söderström, this piece is a story about a desire of some humans to fix their presence by fixing the river. It is a reflection on how, ever more often, rivers resound through their encounters with the elements of human infrastructure rather than speak for themselves.
Söderström is a multichannel soundscape composition developed during an online residency at Riversssounds. The piece is based on a series of soundwalking and field recording excursions along the bank of Söderström, which is considered to be Sweden's shortest river.
"Riversssounds invites you to navigate the rivers of Europe via the microphones of sound artists. By using digital tools and artistic imagination, Riversssounds is a virtual portal for connecting the physical realities of different cities through sound."
The piece can be listened to on
A soundwalk composition accompanying the project can be listened to here.
An artist talk that contextualizes and explains my way of working with soundscapes and field recording can be listened to here.
Fragments of the soundscape composition commissioned by Riversssounds
Historical illustration of Söderström from the 17th century. Source: stockholmskallan.stockholm.se
Photos from the neighbourhood of Söderström that currently undergoes reconstruction, April 2021
Fragments of 'Echolocations', a live-streamed performance from the construction site at the bank of Söderström in Stockholm / Jacek Smolicki / Walking Festival of Sound 2021