Floodtide are thrilled to be part of the Dulwich Festival next month with our sonification of the underground River Effra. The Effra is a fascinating waterway, and perhaps South London's most significant underground river. John (Eacott, composer of Floodtide) lives in Brixton, on a road that the Effra flows beneath, and so when we heard of the opportunity to stage a performance in Dulwich, we immediately knew what form this should take!
The Effra is a largely underground river that flows in several tributaries beneath South East London. In the mid-19th century much of the river was incorporated into the Victorian sewage system. Tributaries rise in Gipsy Hill and Upper Norwood, flowing beneath West Dulwich, where they join at Herne Hill. The Effra then flows beneath Brixton towards the Thames where it emerges from a storm channel by the M16 building at Vauxhall.
Floodtide on the Effra is a musical performance by Southwark musicians along the route of the Effra. A water flow sensor at the point where the Effra meets the Thames at Vauxhall produces data that is transformed into musical notation played live by musicians. This music is a sonification of the hidden natural force that flows beneath the ground of South Southwark. We were keen to mark the route above ground, whilst showing the unexpected connection that that Dulwich area has with the river Thames - joined by an underground channel of water!!
Image of Effra joining Thames at Vauxhall taken from www.londonslostrivers.com/river-effra - a fantastic website (and book) by Paul Talling for anyone interested in finding out about the Effra or any of London's other lost rivers.
Our performance of Floodtide on the Effra is made possible by Southwark Events.