Dirty Water (Uisce Salach)

Uisce Salach - the movie

Uisce Salach (Dirty Water) the movie is now available for free on-line.

CD with full live performance

Uisce Salach (Dirty Water) is now available on CD.

Uisce Salach (Dirty Water) music CD


Uisce Salach (Dirty Water) is a collaborative sound art project about contested water issues in Ireland. We are initiating a collaborative art process, creating a significant citizen’s art-science project inspired by water analyses from domestic water supplies, from the River Liffey, its tributaries in Dublin City and from Dublin Port.

The key aim of the project is to enable citizens living and working along the River Liffey to participate in scientific research with creative outcomes. Working with those residents, schools, community organisations, fishing clubs along the river and workers in Dublin Port, the project will synergise arts practice and scientific data through the employment of water sampling and creative technologies in the development of new thinking and new meaning around the sustainability of water resources.


Uisce Salach (Dirty Water) sets out to increase awareness of the environmental, economic and social value of water. Facilitated by Dublin Port to access their networks of community organisations around the port as well as port workers and supported by Create to reach community and interest groups such as fishermen along the River Liffey, Softday is embarking on the project set-up phase which includes an intense social media and communications drive.

World Listening Day 2019

Date: 18th July

We did a soundwalk on World Listening Day 2019 along and around the River Liffey. This year, in the context of Uisce Salach (Dirty Water).

Acouscenic Listening & Creative Soundwalk Workshop

Date: 18th May

This workshop was open to anyone interested in exploring Acouscenic Listening and the Creative Soundwalk as a creative tool.

Scratch ensemble wanted

We invite you to become part of the Softday Uisce Salach Scratch Ensemble.

Water sampling

We invited the public as citizen scientists to gather water samples anywhere along the River Liffey and its tributaries on Friday 22nd March 2019.

Following the success on World Water day, we issued more water test kits for citizen scientists to participate in the project. For 2 weeks, 15th to 26th of April 2019, participants could pick up a test kit and instructions and return completed samples.

Public Water Quality Testing Day

13th of August 2019

Water bottles for samples and instructions were collected on the day from the offices of Create at 2 Curved Street, Temple Bar.

Dublin’s City Kayaking also participated in this event as part of their on-going campaign to clean up the River Liffey. They can be contacted at: 085-866 7787. To further show their support for this project City Kayaking offered a 30% discount on bookings during the month of August to people interested in the Liffey water quality.

Click here to read more!

Making music

Softday have analysed all samples and used the resulting data to construct a unique interactive algorithmic soundart composition. We collaborated with a water testing laboratory and with the resulting data, Softday transformed, producing an auditory display located within a larger multimedia art work that can be manipulated/played both by humans and computers as well as disseminated via web sites and social media platforms.


The world premier of Uisce Salach (Dirty Water) was performed live by the Irish Chamber Orchestra led by Kenneth Rice, in combination with the Softday Citizen Scientist Ensemble, a form of public laptop orchestra. A new choral composition by Hannah Fahey If I fall in the Liffey was performed by the Uisce Salach Choir. Special guests included Declan Byrne, Michael Foran and John Walsh from the Dublin Dockworkers Preservation Society and award winning sound artist La Cosa Preziosa.

Date: 27th of November 2019

Time: 19:00

Venue: Liberty Hall Theatre, Dublin

We are now editing all audio and video from the event. Soon, we'll announce the resulting artefact with the final audio and video as well as additional material. Stay tuned!


Uisce Salach (Dirty Water) is suported by an Arts Council Arts Participation Project Award 2019.

Irish Arts Council CREATE Ireland Dublin Port Perspectives City Kayaking Science Gallery Dublin Fighting Words

Timeline 2019


Public Workshop


Workshops with groups of interest.


More water sampling


Scratch Orchestra Rehearsals








Public Performance of Uisce Salach, 27th of Nov. 19:00, Liberty Hall Theatre, Dublin


Editing Audio/Visual material

Release of digital artefact