Louise Devenish / Stuart James: Alluvial Gold

Louise Devenish / Stuart James: Alluvial Gold

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Huddersfield Contemporary Records
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Release date: 16 February 2024

Alluvial Gold is a bold new ecologically inspired composition for percussion and electronics developed by percussionist Louise Devenish and composer Stuart James (Decibel New Music), in collaboration with visual artist Erin Coates, that seeks to expose listeners to the world that lies below the surface of our river systems.

Alluvial Gold is shaped by the intersection of multiple narratives embodied by and inflicted upon the Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River), Western Australia and similar systems across southern Australia. In drawing upon the physical structures and historical experiences of these river systems, the impact of industrialisation following European colonisation, and the audible by-products of its living ecology, Alluvial Gold slowly unravels to reveal itself over nine interconnected movements across eleven tracks.

In each movement, different combinations of sculptural percussion–modelled on dolphin bones, native oyster shells and estuarine ecology–are brought together with vibraphone and percussion. Live electronic processing and recordings of the riverbed and water’s surface–from air bubbles, shell rustles, crustacean movements, shifting algae, moss and plants–are fluidly and subtly integrated with Devenish’s live performance, creating a striking sonic tapestry in constant ebb and flow, a mysterious world of floating sounds that spin off from one another, offering an immersive sonic image.

"Alluvial Gold is a challenging and sonically complex exploration into an alternate underwater existence. It prompts us to step back and consider how our own reality and actions frequently intersect and affect countless other worlds in the process." Stephanie Reisch, ArtsHub

RECORDING CREDITS

Louise Devenish percussion
Stuart James electronics and sound design

Alluvial Gold
was directed by Louise Devenish and composed by Stuart James
Sculptural instruments used in Alluvial Gold designed by Erin Coates

[1, 7, 9, 11] recorded by Stuart James at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts on 22 June 2022
[2–6, 8–10] recorded by Hadyn Buxton at the Digital Hub, Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and
Performance, Monash University, Melbourne on 21 April 2021

Mixed and mastered by Stuart James

Field recordings were made by Stuart James at seven locations along the Derbarl Yerrigan river between October and December 2020. The artists acknowledge the support of the City of Melville and Goolugatup Heathcote in securing permissions to make the underwater audio and film recordings used in this work.

Release date: 16 February 2024
Catalogue number: HCR32