International Year of Sound 2020-2021


There is a wealth of information available on acoustics, sound, and the effects of sound

Special Projects

Helping the River Sing – an innovative approach to communicating river health

The ‘helping the river sing’ project, will showcase the beauty of the famous Murray River, and help re-frame the discussion about the waterway’s health using sound.

The project will create an aural fingerprint of the river by sonifying publicly available data for sites right down the Murray – like flow rate, water temperature, salinity and depth – for the first time.

Over the last Australian summer, scientists and audio specialists teamed up to travel the entire length of the river by kayak, starting in Kosciuszko National Park in southeast NSW and ending in South Australia.

The imagery and natural sounds collected on this trip will be combined with the “aural fingerprint” to create an interactive museum exhibition. The work aims to bring the river to the public. The project will showcase the river’s central role in regional Australia and help people all over Australia connect with this extraordinary waterway.

The Helping the River Sing project is a collaboration between the ANU Fenner School of Environment Society and the ANU School of Music.

December 2021: The ABC, in collaboration with Jordyn Beazley, has created a podcast on the project. Visit the podcast at this link.

  • Country: Australia
  • Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University
  • Location: Canberra, Australia
  • Start date: October 2018
  • End date: October 2021
  • Contact person: Peter O’Rourke,
  • URL:

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