Join 3,551 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

soundwaves
April 30, 2007 1:43 PM   Subscribe

The Sea Organ (YouTube) is located on the shores of Zadar, Croatia, and is the world’s first pipe organ that is played by the sea. Simple and elegant steps, carved in white stone, were built on the quayside. Underneath, there are 35 pipes with whistle openings on the sidewalk. The movement of the sea pushes air through, and – depending on the size and velocity of the wave – musical chords are played (YouTube). The waves create random harmonic sounds.
posted by nickyskye (46 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
There's a CD available from the SeaOrgans site, which has a nice image of the names of the Mediterannean/Adriatic Sea winds and their directions.
posted by nickyskye at 1:46 PM on April 30, 2007


See also San Francisco's Wave Organ.
posted by loquacious at 1:50 PM on April 30, 2007


(Which I believe predates the Croatian Sea Organ - but isn't as melodic or musical.)
posted by loquacious at 1:52 PM on April 30, 2007


You're absolutely right loquacious, the San Francisco Wave Organ (also built with PVC pipes) was built in 1986 and the Sea Organ in Zadar opened to the public in 2005. So the Zadar one is definitely not the first sea organ, what a rip off!

Still, the Zadar one makes nice music. :)
posted by nickyskye at 2:01 PM on April 30, 2007


Wow, like something out of a Jack Vance novel.
posted by interrobang at 2:03 PM on April 30, 2007


That kid on the first link wasn't a fan I think. That sea organ brought him to tears.
posted by French Fry at 2:15 PM on April 30, 2007


Oh great, the sea is more talented at playing instruments than I am.

I like stuff like this, makes me wanna travel.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:29 PM on April 30, 2007


Is it me or does the Sea Organ sound a little like the Fishing with John Soundtrack?
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 2:36 PM on April 30, 2007


That's nifty. But I have one suggestion. If the Toccata & Fugue in d minor starts playing one day GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WATER!!!!!
posted by tkchrist at 2:55 PM on April 30, 2007


Harnessing the power of the sea to provide us with the crucial music we need to survive! This is great! These things should be on coastlines all over the world. Each seaside town could use its own unique scale, then music critics and listeners could muse over the relative merits of, say, Sydney over, say, Baltimore. Battle of the Seashores!

"So the Zadar one is definitely not the first sea organ..."

The big question, though, is which is the humblest. Any thoughts on that, KirthGerson?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:25 PM on April 30, 2007


Oh great, the sea is more talented at playing instruments than I am

Hey, don't take it too hard, Foci. The sea's been around a bit longer than you. Practice makes perfect!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:27 PM on April 30, 2007


Incredibly beautiful. This made my day!
posted by aladfar at 3:30 PM on April 30, 2007


And the best feature: when it starts playing off-key, you just call in the Sea Organ Tuna.
posted by hangashore at 3:36 PM on April 30, 2007 [9 favorites]


hangashore I favorited that just so you'd never ever do that again.
posted by tkchrist at 3:37 PM on April 30, 2007


Your favorite band blows.
posted by Balisong at 3:42 PM on April 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Is it me or does the Sea Organ sound a little like the Fishing with John Soundtrack?

I think it sounds almost exactly like a track on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2. Can't remember which one though.
posted by quite unimportant at 3:58 PM on April 30, 2007


Wind harps are nice, too. Google it.
posted by kozad at 6:52 PM on April 30, 2007


And the wind cries Mary
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:55 PM on April 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


heh - i'm due in zadar in june - i'll definitely be having a wee dance to this : )

(which should cheer those fun lovin croatians up no end)

if only zadar had ferries that went to split etc i'd be very happy...and i wish nicky would stop letting people know how nice croatia is !
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:02 PM on April 30, 2007


It's a series of tubes!
posted by Tube at 7:46 PM on April 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Harnessing the power of the sea to provide us with the crucial music we need to survive!

Creating nice spaces to play with the oceans and listen to the piping of the interaction humans created with the seas seems like eversomuchbetter a contribution to society than, well, a lot of things our tax dollars have done for us lately.
posted by taosbat at 8:16 PM on April 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I wish I'd said "made" not "created:"

Creating nice spaces to play with the oceans and listen to the piping of the interaction humans made with the seas seems like eversomuchbetter a contribution to society than, well, a lot of things our tax dollars have done for us lately.
posted by taosbat at 8:19 PM on April 30, 2007


I make those exact same sounds when I get my organ played. (sorry nickyskye - long day, promise I'll do better next time;)
posted by vronsky at 8:42 PM on April 30, 2007


Creating nice spaces to play with the oceans and listen to the piping of the interaction humans created with the seas seems like eversomuchbetter a contribution to society than, well, a lot of things our tax dollars have done for us lately.

Agreed 100% taosbat. I wasn't being sarcastic. I was, for purposes of the comment, appropriating a sort of 'voice', like one might hear on an old newsreel about, say, the mighty captains of industry harnessing the power of coal, but I fully believe we do need music to survive, and if in fact this sea organ was funded with Croatian tax dollars, I say hurrah for the enlightened Croat taxpayers!

But, eversomuchbetter is not a word! Spaces are your friend! :)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:36 PM on April 30, 2007


I'm happy we were in agreement from the start, flapjax at midnite; except, while eversomuchbetter may not be a word, it is a concept...one with which I dispensed the hyphens...hyphens, hymens... all dispensable, sigh.
posted by taosbat at 9:43 PM on April 30, 2007


Wow, that is amazing! This seems like such a wonderful idea.
posted by tomble at 3:41 AM on May 1, 2007


hangashore, the Sea Organ Tuna, *groan*, that's funny.

sgt.serenity, heh - i'm due in zadar in june, *groan ::envy::

vronsky, get my organ played, *groan, not so funny, you organ grinder you.

taosbat , hyphens...hyphens, hymens... all dispensable, sigh, *groan, rolls eyes.

...sheesh and this post was supposed to be a happy happy joy joy surviving the tail end of Monday kind of peaceful...a little dabbling the tootsies in the Adriatic with otherworldly, dreaminess and sunset contemplating. oh well, I tried...
posted by nickyskye at 9:13 AM on May 1, 2007


supercalafragalisticexpealadocious
posted by taosbat at 11:21 AM on May 1, 2007


ok taosbat, you get the no hyphen, no hymen prize. :) Wanna go wading?
posted by nickyskye at 11:55 AM on May 1, 2007


wading?

I don't set foot in oceans anymore. I'm pretty much over the whole everything-wants-to-eat-me-soup-with-riptides thrill; so I'll stay on the beach, thanks, nickyskye.
posted by taosbat at 12:09 PM on May 1, 2007


aww taosbat, we can just sit on the steps then, listen to the sea organ and watch the sunset.
posted by nickyskye at 2:54 PM on May 1, 2007


Nice! You'll pick me up?
posted by taosbat at 5:14 PM on May 1, 2007


Ok, you make the picnic then. :)
posted by nickyskye at 5:34 PM on May 1, 2007


Sure, do you have an food restrictions?
posted by taosbat at 5:59 PM on May 1, 2007


any
posted by taosbat at 5:59 PM on May 1, 2007


Hey, y'all gonna eat those french fries?

And hey, what's that sound coming outta the sidewalk?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:00 PM on May 1, 2007


Would you like a fry while we enlightened ones listen to ocean farts? We'll give you a bag if you'll quiet yourself.
posted by taosbat at 10:12 PM on May 1, 2007


Uuuuhhhh... yeah, okay!

Got some ketchup for these?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:17 AM on May 2, 2007


Or more likely mayonnaise, since we're in Europe and all...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:22 AM on May 2, 2007


I saw/walked on the sea organ when I visited Croatia last summer. It's just a flat patch of concrete, with some steps leading down to the water, next to a dock (obligatory wikipedia link). It's a great place to sit and read a book. The view is magnificent, especially at sunset. The weird thing is that it has the illusion of being in time with the waves and wind, which it is. But it still sounds ethereal and calming. There's also (weirdly) pictures of Alfred Hitchcock everywhere, and a big "this is why we love alfred hitchcock" sign near the sea organ. It's very relaxing, and I could've stayed there the whole day, but I got drawn in by the nearby forum (the largest outside Rome, I believe).
posted by chota at 6:32 AM on May 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


chota, So cool you shared that great description, your experience and the extra links, thanks!
posted by nickyskye at 7:01 PM on May 2, 2007


It's a great place to sit and read a book. The view is magnificent, especially at sunset. The weird thing is that it has the illusion of being in time with the waves and wind, which it is. But it still sounds ethereal and calming. There's also (weirdly) pictures of Alfred Hitchcock everywhere...

Wyrdly, that sounds like a bit of paradise.
posted by taosbat at 10:54 PM on May 2, 2007


May-o, may-ay-ay-o
Daylight come and she wan' go home
May, she say may, she say may, she say may, she say may, she say may-ay-ay-o
Daylight come and she wan' go home

Work all night on a drink a'rum
(Daylight come and she wan' go home)...
posted by taosbat at 11:07 PM on May 2, 2007


oops
posted by taosbat at 11:12 PM on May 2, 2007


Hold the day-o.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:46 AM on May 3, 2007


Seize the mayo.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:47 AM on May 3, 2007


« Older The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbabl...  |  Two wheels, no brakes, no gear... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments