Ever wonder what it would sound like if Poseidon started an ambient noise project? Then head on over to Zadar, Croatia, and check out the world's one and only sea organ, the Morske Orgulje!
Basically, this is an organ (similar to a harmonica) played by the motherfucking ocean! The Adriatic Sea to be precise. The Sea Organ is a piece of urban architecture that interacts with the local seashore to create a beautiful and eerie song as perpetual as the tides.
Zadar is a littoral (stop snickering it just means “coastal”), rapidly growing tourist destination with a history of about 3000 years as a bitchin' place to park your yacht and get a tan. On a trip to Croatia, Alfred Hitchcock once remarked that the sunsets at this spot were the most beautiful he'd ever seen, and the dude was a director so he knew something about stunning visuals even if most of his films are in Technicolor. After reconstruction following World War II, most of Zadar's beautiful shore was defined by harsh concrete walls—when chief architect Nikola Bašić was charged with an urban upgrade at the turn of the last century he wanted to find a way to “ennoble” the already mellifluous lapping of the cerulean sea.
Enlisting some acousticians and organists, Bašić put together his idea for a marble scalinade, a promenade of steps, starting on the pier and leading down into the waves. Seven sets of five tubes each are connected to an organ pipe and concealed beneath the structure. As the tides and waves come in and out, air is forced through the pipes resulting in a tuned pitch. The architects considered the random nature of the instrument and specifically tuned the thing so that it always sounds harmonious and plays notes from either a G or a C6 chord no matter what pipes are sounding at any given moment.
The result is a gorgeous and otherworldly little melody that fluctuates with the rhythms of the moon goddess herself and fills the air with a haunting but playful tune to the delight of tourists and locals alike. Check it out for yourself and tell me you can't see some fine-ass mermaids sun-bathing topless, trancing out to these sleepy tones and passing around that dank seaweed.
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