Musician Performs the Theme to ‘Interstellar’ on an Underwater Pipe Organ Known as a Hydraulophone

Musician James Hancock performed the theme to “Interstellar” on a 12-jet hydraulophone, an woodwind-style instrument that is also known as an underwater pipe organ. The instrument was invented by the “father of wearable computing” Steve Mann at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University and uses jets to create different tones as the water is temporarily blocked from the soundhole.

Because the sound is produced by the medium that’s in direct contact with your fingers (the water), you can exert a lot of subtle control over shaping and sculpting the sound. You can play chords on hydraulophone, and you can separately sculpt and shape each note in the chord, and do this continuously while the note is sounding.

The hydraulophone can also accommodate more than one player at a time. Here are a pair of players performing “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals.

via Boing Boing

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.