River song, singing rivers

Podcast for RadioActive – on Water

To listen is to open up the channels and currents that run deep inside us, to attune ourselves to the lives that endure in polluted rivers. This podcast is an invitation to navigate the Bogotá River in Colombia through a more-than-human song created by sound artist Leonel Vásquez together with the living forces that shape the watershed’s ecosystems.

Loaded with chemicals and sewage along its course, the river is largely devoid of the fish and freshwater crustaceans that for thousands of years teemed in its waters. People have turned their backs on the water body, even though it was once the centre of collective life.

How might listening to the river’s song renew  bonds of relation and reverence for water in dis-enchanted times? Guided by Leonel’s compositions, River Song, Singing Rivers is sonic immersion that attends to the Bogota rivers bogs, meanders, and flows as a living being worthy and in need of care.

Leonel Vásquez is a Colombian sound artist exploring ways of building spaces and experiences for listening as a political/aesthetic act involving non-human sonic agencies like waters, trees, and rocks. Their interests include underwater noise, geo-resonances, relational listening, and vibroacoustics of planetary well-being. They have done projects for Colombian cultural institutions and teach sound art at the University of Los Andes.

RadioActive – on Water is a six episode podcast series, exploring the interactions between transmission, sound, activism and water. Each episode is created by a different artist/group of artists who engage with water politics and the politics of listening through the medium of radio.

  • Curated by Meira Asher and Stephen Shiell
  • Production – Meira Asher, radioart106
  • Mastering – Daniel Meir
  • Website design – Laetitiia Boulud

To hear the podcast, visit: River song, singing rivers