Event: RiverMOUTH project curated by Urbanvessel

Creative team:Andrew Adridge, baritone & spoken word; Mingjia Chen, vocalist & composer; Christine Duncan, vocalist & improviser; Sharada Eswar, singer & storyteller; Gail Fraser, avian ecologist; Clement Kent, biologist; Andrea Kuzmich, vocalist & composer; Juliet Palmer, composer & artistic director; Christie Pearson, architect & writer; Joseph Pitawanakwat, plant medicine; Alex Samaras, singer & composer; Andrea Thompson, poet

Guest artists: Meryem Alaoui, Braden Alexander, Julia Aplin, Nidhi Baadkhar, Suzanne Barnes, Jocelyn Barth, Elise Boeur, Mai Duong, Sean Donaldson, Laura Gillis, Michelangelo Iaffaldano, Sheniz Janmohamed, Molly Johnson, Brenda Joy Lem, Andrea Kuzmich, Liz Lima, Iryna Lozynska, Brenna MacCrimmon, Shalva-Lucas Makharshvili, Terrill Maguire, Mario Morello, Karen Ng, Henry Paterson, Hope Terry, Dinah Thorpe, Lieke van der Voort

Location: Humber River Park South

The riverMOUTH project was inspired by water’s life-giving connection, bringing spoken word, music & soundscape to the lower Cobechenonk/Humber River through the summer and fall of 2022. Urbanvessel adapted performances to the pandemic as a series of outdoor live events alongside the riverMOUTH geolocated audiowalk using the phone app Echoes.

Christie led a walk tracing the architectural history through the forested valley of the Cobechenonk river, passing the industrial hum of the Humber Sewage Treatment Plant and terminating at Montgomery Sisam’s 1996 Humber Bay Arch. The tour focused on the elegant South Humber Park Pavilion (aka The Oculus) designed in 1958 by Alan Crossley and Laurence Cazaly, and read from Brown and Storey’s 2019 South Humber Park Pavilion Heritage Report. The pavilion was the site of multiple performances over the course of the festival, including Christie’s audio piece Oculus Rain.

Oculus Rain highlights the pavilion’s dramatic central impluvium. As you approach, a faint sound of rain and thunder is heard in the distance. Moving directly below the oculus brings you into the soundscape of heavy rain and a full thunderstorm. By inscribing the experience of bathing in a rainstorm in concert with the architectural typology of the impluvium latent in the beautifully crafted structure, the visitor can feel the power of the river in its hydrological cycle, relating to larger climatic and environmental forces.