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Entries in water (8)


Time and Tide Bell

I love sound installations that are out in the open, especially if they’re played by nature. Last summer I was able to see the Sea Organ in Zadar in real life, and it has had a very special place in my heart ever since. The way its sound was created by waves crashing against the organ embedded in the shore fitted the view and the weather conditions perfectly. The Time and Tide Bell project by Marcus Vergette, a multidisciplinary artist from the UK, has a similar appeal.
“Time and Tide Bell” is a permanent installation, existing of 12 bells around the U.K. in several very different locations, rung by the sea at high tide. The rise of the water at high tide moves the clapper to strike the bell. Played by the movement of the waves, the bell creates a varying, gentle musical pattern.
As the effect of global warming increases, the periods of bell strikes will become more and more frequent, and as the bell becomes submerged in the rising water the pitch will vary.
In that way the project is one of the few great examples of art that will be around for a long time, drawing attention to a large-scale, long-term problem.


Céleste Boursier-Mougenot is a French artist who started out as an avant-garde composer before he turned to making long-duration large-scale acoustic installations like he’s been doing for the last two years. His most well known work might be From hear to ear, in which birds fly around the exhibition space, and plugged-in guitars serve as perches for the birds. A lot of his work showcases chance and indeterminacy in highly controlled environments.
With clinamen, one can see this fascination for chance in composition, as well as his interest in creating musical sounds with objects which are not primarily meant for that task (the porcelain ceramics).
Undercurrent in the water makes the porcelain float across, the clinking of the ceramics makes for a composition with aleatory form.
clinamen is currently on display at the Centre Pompidou-Metz in France until the end of September.

Zadar Sea Organ

Zadar, Croatia is known for it’s beautiful sunsets. But since 2005, the coast of Zadar has even more to offer. In a redesign of the coast back then, architect Nikola Bašić made a sonic improvement as well. He installed this beautiful sea organ. I’ve seen or heard about sea or wind organs in Vlissingen in the Netherlands, or the Wave Organ in San Francisco we’ve featured way back. There are lots and lots of impressions on Youtube and Vimeo, but I’ve sought out some to post here:

The Zadar Sea Organ was brought under my attention when NTS Radio (a great eclectic radio station, playing everything from experimental music to house music), broadcasted a two hour recording of the sea organ.

I love the fact it sounds very otherworldly, but still very natural and flowing. Also great to see how people come there to relax and listen.


Sonic Water

The most amazing results come from the simplest ideas, presented in a beautiful way. In this case, it’s a bottlecap filled with water, vibrating on a large speaker. The result: wonderful, complex patterns, recorded using a camera shooting in macro mode and projected on a large screen behind the installation. Sonic Water treats us to a great example of cymatics - the visualization of sound. 

Next to the installation there’s a room, a laboratory, where people can experiment with their own sound input: by playing a synthesizer, singing into a microphone or playing song from their phone, and see if Mozart indeed looks more harmonious than Slayer. 

The installation, created by Sven Meyer & Kim Pörksen has been shown in the Olympus OMD Photography Playground in Berlin from April 25 till May 24, 2013.

Fotos by


Sound Monolith

It is always interesting to see a physical visual representation of sound as it shows us the waves around us we cannot normally see. Sound Monolith by Andrew Roberts is a nice example of this, using water as a medium to show us its resonant patterns.



Jim Blashfield kindly sent me a message about his video and sound installation Circulator now being finished, and scheduled for installation at the Brightwater Environmental Centre north of Seattle’s Lake Washington, in Spring. 

It’s amazing to see the detail of the visual material. This realism is fortified by sound, which plays an important role in Circulator. We hear a nice combination of realistic sounds and dream-like musical sequences. 

The installation shows the artists impression of the water cycle. Watch the video to hear Jim Blashfield explain the installation and if you want to know more about the artist and his work, visit his website at


Cryoacoustic Orb

Yes, another project dealing with the sound of ice. There’s something magical about the ever changing, granular sounds of melting ice we hear in Cryoacoustic Orb, by Jonathon Kirk and Lee Weisert. As the melting process takes several hours, the sounds slowly evolve until there is nothing left but water. 


Wet Sounds: Swim in the music

As an avid swimmer I've been missing the ability to listen to music while working out. I recently came across a solution I would like to try; a waterproof MP3 player. But what would be even better than that? How about an underwater sound art gallery?

That's what Wet Sounds is. Wet Sounds tours swimming pools around Europe and presents sound art and music collages under water, away from their normal environment. A very interesting experiment, and I would love to be able to dive into a pool full of sound waves and get immersed by music.