Soundscapes, sonifications and compositions by staff & students at UWE and CCRI

Sediment recording

Sedimental by Hugo Bishop, Louis Catlett, Adam Khadaroo and Piran Watson, 2010
Arrangement of field recordings and foley sounds, 3:58 mins
The piece documents fine sediment movements in one of the small riverlets feeding into the Severn estuary. The journey begins above water and then descends to the level of the moving sediment. Since the location sound overlaid the actual sediment sounds, additional foley sounds were recorded in a tank and added to the piece later on.

The sediment originates from small rivers, like the river Parrett. It is a mixture of clay minerals, sands and polysaccharides (mucus produced by mud-dwelling microorganisms). The sands and the polysaccharides render the mud more cohesive and increase its ability to bind pollutants (heavy metals, pesticides, etc) present in the water.

During spring tides, the accelerated flow of water in the estuary means that a larger amount of silt is re-suspended and moved about. Then about 30 million tonnes of fine sediment are in suspension.