Episode 8: A South River portrait

An experimental audio documentary about the people and the land around South River, Ontario.

Life has changed so much in just four weeks. Due to coronavirus and the response to it, much of my world is shut down and for good reason: to flatten the curve and prevent transmission of a deadly virus. As I write this, I find it funny to think that I was finishing production on the audio documentary in this episode truly just 4 weeks ago.

I arrived in South River, Ontario in mid-February. I had been invited by New Adventures in Sound Art directors Darren Copeland and Nadene Thériault-Copeland to create a composition based on interviews they had collected with residents of South River.

My goal was to create something that sounded like the place. And to do this, I incorporated field recordings that I collected and in the NAISA archive, used the interviews that Darren and Nadene gave me, and took a stab at composing my own music.

The piece was composed with the intention for playing it in the gallery’s café space, with six speakers set up around the room. All the voices in the documentary were set up to play out of different speakers so they would sound like people in the room, sharing stories. And the field recordings and music were routed to play across the mid speakers.

I’m really grateful for the opportunity to do an artist residency. I spent the time thinking, reading and creating a piece that I’m proud of.

And as we all stay at home and cancel travel plans, I hope this documentary lets you explore a new place – a village in the Almaguin Highlands.

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