A Sound Map of the Cache la Poudre River


  • Henry Koch


Flowing with the Cache la Poudre River, from the Continental Divide high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, cascading through diverse biomes and soundscapes and emptying into the South Platte River in the Eastern Plains of Colorado, this sonic archive of the river was recorded in 2020 and debuted as a live sound installation at the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) Conference in 2023 at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.

Along this journey through water, we are guided by the voices of Northern Arapaho leaders, whose ancestors were stewards and listeners of the Cache la Poudre River Valley before being forced to the Wind River Reservation in 1878 by government militia. This Sound Map is dedicated to honoring those indigenous leaders, who maintain a deep relationship to the land, and a spiritual bond to the water.

You too are invited to reignite your own spiritual connection to water. Listening deeply to the natural elements, you may become more aware that they are the same elements that make up your own body. By reconnecting with your true nature, your edges may begin to soften as you glimpse your vibrant interconnectedness to the water around you, and your ancient streams within the Earth.

The voices of Northern Arapaho Leaders– Crawford White Eagle, Mark Soldier Wolf, and William Hubert Friday– are interwoven with the water soundscapes throughout. These interviews were recorded in 2018, and graciously provided by the Poudre Heritage Alliance.

With special thanks to Annea Lockwood, whose river sound maps were the original inspiration for this piece; and to Stephan Moore, whose guidance was essential to the piece’s creation.

Thank you for listening.