Zadar, Croatia has a sea organ which plays music by way of sea waves and tubes located underneath a set of large marble steps.
It forms an attractive visual and aural part of the sea front and was made by the architect Nikola Baši? as part of the project to redesign the new city coast. The site was opened to the public on 15 April 2005. Waves interact with the organ in order to create somewhat random but harmonic sounds.
White marble steps leading down to the water conceal a system of polyethylene tubes and a resonating cavity that turns the site into a large musical instrument, played by the wind and the sea. 35 musically tuned tubes with whistle openings on the sidewalk use the movement of the sea and air to play musical chords dependant on the size and velocity of the waves.
The 5 musically tuned pipes of each section are arranged in 1.5 meter spacings. A listener, standing or sitting on a chosen point on the scalinade, should be able to hear 5 to 7 musically tuned pipes play their natural music. Thus, whole five-pipe sections are tuned to one musical chord.
The mournful organ tones are reminiscent of whale song so should be quite a hit with our tour operators taking tourists to see whales, dolphins, sardines and the other aquatic sea life in Algoa Bay.
The Zadar Sea Organ is joined by:
1. The San Francisco Wave Organ: An acoustic sculpture constructed on the shore of San Francisco Bay in May 1986 by the Exploratorium. Through a series of pipes, the wave organ interacts with the waves of the bay and conveys their sound to listeners at several different stations. The effects produced vary depending on the level of the tide but include rumbles, gurgles, sloshes, hisses, and other more typical wave sounds. The structure incorporates stone platforms and benches where visitors may sit near the mouths of pipes, listening.
The Wave Organ is located at the end of a spit of land extending from the Golden Gate Yacht Club. The stone pieces used in its construction were salvaged from the demolition of the Laurel Hill Cemetery in San Francisco. Exploratorium artist in residence Peter Richards conceived and designed the organ, working with sculptor and mason George Gonzales.
There is a panoramic view of the city across the narrow channel into the St. Francis and Golden Gate yacht clubs, bounded on the left by the Fort Mason piers and to the right by a towering eucalyptus grove bordering Crissy Field. The Marina Green park lies directly across, just beyond a stone sea wall.
The Wave Organ includes 25 PVC organ pipes and is dedicated to Frank Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer was the founding director of the Exploratorium, led the fundraising efforts for the Wave Organ, and he died seven months before construction started.
2. The Blackpool High Tide Organ: The High Tide Organ is a tidal organ 15 metres (49 ft 3 in) tall constructed in 2002 as part of “The Great Promenade Show” series of sculptures situated along Blackpool’s New Promenade in the UK. The artwork, described as a “musical manifestation of the sea”, is one of a few examples of a tidal organ; others include the San Francisco Wave Organ and the Sea Organ in Croatia.
The sculpture was designed by the artists Liam Curtin and John Gooding, and was constructed in concrete, steel, zinc and copper sheet. The harnessing of wave energy, and the sculpting of the concrete and metals, is said to produce a unique interpretation of Blackpool’s natural and man-made environments. The instrument is played by the sea at high tide through eight pipes attached to the sea wall. These are connected under the promenade to 18 organ pipes within the sculpture. The swell of seawater at high tide pushes air up the sea-wall pipes and causes the organ pipes to sound. The best time to hear the High Tide Organ is two to three hours before or after high tide. On very calm days the organ is silent for part of its cycle. The pitches of the pipes are based on the harmonic series in B flat.
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