In the Key of Sea

In an earlier post I gave examples of different ways people have visualised sea level. This post is all about using the movement of the sea to make music (or sound) without human input.

The Blackpool High Tide Organ

The Blackpool High Tide Organ

The BBC Coast programme mentioned in last week’s post also featured the Blackpool High Tide Organ. This site-specific sound art installation uses the motion of the sea to create sound. At high tide, the sea swell pushes air through pipes leading into the sculpture, creating sound in a similar manner to an organ. The ambient musical effect varies with the conditions – the sound gets more frenzied as the conditions become stormier. There’s a short video clip of the High Tide organ on YouTube.

The Sea Organ at Zadar, Croatia

The Sea Organ at Zadar, Croatia

The Sea Organ at Zadar in Croatia is similar. Resembling a promenade, the 70 metre long sound sculpture has 35 organ pipes embedded inside it. These are tuned so that wind and waves entering the pipes will resonate to create melodic sounds. You can hear the Sea Organ in this video.

The Wave Organ, San Francisco, USA

The Wave Organ, San Francisco, USA

The Wave Organ is located on San Francisco Bay in California, USA. Created by San Francisco’s Exploratorium museum, it is another sculpture that uses the motion of sea water in specially constructed pipes to create sound. Unlike the installations in Blackpool and Croatia however, the Wave Organ doesn’t produce musical notes. Instead, the concrete and PVC pipes amplify and modify the sound of the waves crashing and rushing inside them. Listen to the Wave Organ on YouTube.

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One thought on “In the Key of Sea

  1. Pingback: Levels of fun, groovy interfaces and facinating facts : JISC Digitisation and Content Programme

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