The “Sea Organ” Makes Perpetual Music with Ocean Waves

While many of us are content to listen to the natural sounds of ocean waves, architect Nikola Bašić took things a step further and faciliated a means for ocean currents to produce actual music. Behold: the Sea Organ. Constructed in 2005, the acoustic jetty spans some 230 feet (70 meters) and incorporates 35 polyethylene tubes of varying diameter. As waves flood each tube underwater, displaced air is forced through large whistles tuned to play seven chords of five tones. Day in and day out, music seems to emanate from the ground, a playful interplay between nature and design. Listening to the video above, the sound is somewhat like random chords played by a huge calliope.

sea-organ
linssimato/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Bašić’s Sea Organ won the 2006 European Prize for Urban Public Space, and was inspired by a 1986 piece in San Francisco of similar design called the Wave Organ by Peter Richards and George Gonzalez. (via IFLScience)

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