River Flow

In one of the more beautiful invocations of rivers in modern literature, the former United States Poet Laureate Kay Ryan wrote, “As it moves along / we notice—as / calmly as though / dining room paintings / were being replaced— / the changing scenes / along the shore.” An image of serenity, yes, but also one of continual change, of old making way for new even as the new recalls the old. The sound, of course, is equally mesmerising. In that spirit, here’s a playlist of some of our favourite river recordings—for focus, meditation, calm or just ambience. And because one never steps in the same river twice, our editors update things here regularly. If you hear something you like, add it to your library.

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada