Ways to listen to a river

Nahuel Cano


Ways to listen to a river is an experimental musical storytelling, a performative concert thatinvites us to listen to the voices of rivers, to find ways of being with what these bodies ofwater have to tell about their past and present, and our future. Which are the stories andhistories that a river carries? What can we learn from them?

Rivers are particularly complex and dynamic systems: in infinite interactions they shape andare shaped by the land they flow through, while shaping and being shaped by humanvisions, fears and needs. Rivers are also incredibly powerful metaphors and spiritual forces,valuable and coveted economic assets, witnesses and bearers of history. What opens up bybeing attentive to the transformations and traces present in sonic landscapes?

The performance consists of a score of music, words and actions for electronics, VJ andperformer. The score is based on, and emerges from, a practice of mapping rivers’ soniclandscapes.

During the performance will be played map-scores of the Limay and Salado rivers inArgentina. Both rivers are part of Nahuel Cano’s personal and family history, and in them it’spossible to trace from a present on the verge of an ecological collapse a history ofcolonisation and violence. Future iterations of the project will explore the rivers Vecht and thedelta of the Rhine in The Netherlands.

On these sonic maps the historical, the political and the ecological, but also the inner,personal, territories are threads that contribute to a particular form of storytelling that not onlyinvolves what happened, the facts and data, but also the feelings, the dreams andpotentialities together with silences and gaps: what we don’t know, what we cannot hear.