30 May 2022

Where have the the rivers gone? A sonic exploration of the Sheaf and Porter rivers in concert

Composers from the University of Sheffield Sound Studios showcase new works recorded from Sheffield's lost rivers.

Group in tunnel surrounded by water

The Department of Music at the University of Sheffield offers compositional practice at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

This enables students to further define their creative voice in both instrumental and computer music areas, with students having the opportunity to  make mixed-media work.

Based in the Department's studio facilities, The Soundhouse, The University of Sheffield Sound Studios has a thriving creative community led by Professor Adrian Moore. Professor Moore is renowned for his electroacoustic music, focusing on ‘sound diffusion’ over multiple loudspeaker systems. 

For 2022, Professor Adrian Moore is leading a collaboration between the Department of Music and The Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust.

The Sheaf and Porters River Trust aim to re-open access to parts of the rivers to restore Sheffield's wildlife habitats and to create an attractive and useable open spaces for the health and wellbeing of residents, workers and visitors.

Rivers such as the Sheaf and the Porter were covered up in the 1860's due to the unsanitary conditions surrounding the river banks and the conditions this caused for the slum housing that existed in Victorian Sheffield.

Man crouched down recording water in cave

The Sheffield urban caving tours are an experience into the underground world of the river network. A group field trip in early May provided staff and students with a unique opportunity to explore the lost rivers under Sheffield's town centre.

The two hour walk through large arches, low tunnels and open river beds allowed composers to record unique soundbites and audio clips. The expansive network runs from Millhouses park to the 'Megatron' by Sheffield Train Station and contains a wealth of diverse soundscapes. 

Group walking through river

Recordings from the trip have been used to create short compositions (instrumental and electroacoustic), that will be performed live at Persistence Works.

The concert will allow guests to learn more about sound in Sheffield, alongside the creative process of young composers.

All welcome:

Where have the rivers gone - poster for event.

River Concert

Wednesday 15th June 

2.00 - 4.00 Installations and artwork by Cathy Speirs and Alison Churchill  

5.00 - 5:30 Drinks Reception (free) 

5:30 - 6:15 Talks and discussion

6:30 - 7:30 Concert

Future projects include a scoping exercise for a greater understanding of the rewilding and daylighting of the Castlegate development, and the potential for future collaboration between the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust, Sheffield Music Hub, and other potential collaborators.

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