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Jonathan Brind via YouTube
Jonathan Brind via YouTube

Listen to These 7 Sound Sculptures

Jonathan Brind via YouTube
Jonathan Brind via YouTube

Some art is intended to be viewed—and some art is meant to be heard. These seven examples require the use of both senses.

1. THE SINGING RINGING TREE // BURNLEY, ENGLAND

Looming above Burnley, the Singing Ringing Tree is made of galvanized steel pipes. As the wind blows through the pipes, the nearly 10-foot-tall sculpture creates eerie sounds in several octaves. When it was completed in 2006, the sculpture improved the aesthetic of the area in more ways than one—before architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu created the tree, the site was home to an old transmission station. Its rundown brick building and unused telegraph lines were dismantled and reused elsewhere to make room for the sculpture.

2. THE WAVE ORGAN // SAN FRANCISCO

Like the Singing Ringing Tree, San Francisco’s Wave Organ also uses nature and pipes to make beautiful music. But in this case, the element used is water, not wind. Peter Richards developed the idea for the Wave Organ in the 1970s and tapped sculptor George Gonzales to help him bring the concept to life. The installation was finished in 1986 and has been delighting visitors to the San Francisco Bay ever since. The sound is created when waves interact with 25 organ pipes made out of PVC and concrete that are installed at different elevations. If you're planning to witness the musical magic in person, check the tide first. The Wave Organ typically sounds best at high tide.

3. BLACKPOOL HIGH TIDE ORGAN // BLACKPOOL, ENGLAND

Can’t make it to San Francisco? Then try for Blackpool, England. That’s where you’ll find the Blackpool High Tide Organ, a “musical manifestation of the sea” made of concrete, steel, zinc and copper that was created in 2002. High tide pushes air up into inlet pipes, which causes organ pipes to make sounds in a B-flat series. “Its sound is more ambient than tuneful,” co-designer Liam Curtain explains of the 49-foot-tall structure.

Visitors can hear the award-winning organ play up to three hours before high tide, and it continues for about two hours after high tide.

4. A SOUND GARDEN // SEATTLE

First things first: Yes, the band Soundgarden is named after this sculpture. Created by sculptor Douglas Hollis in 1983, Seattle’s “A Sound Garden” consists of twelve 20-foot steel towers with wind vanes and organ pipes attached to them. When the wind blows, the vanes rotate the pipes in that direction and haunting sounds emanate from the sculpture—but it will have to be a strong wind. Because of the work's deterioration over time, only strong winds create audible tones.

5. THE PENDLETON SPINNRADL // CINCINNATI

The next time you catch yourself in downtown Cincinnati, keep an eye out for the Pendleton Spinnradl—at 14 feet tall, you can’t miss them. In order to see the two collaborative sculptures at work, visitors simply turn a handcrank that makes them sing. One plays “Coney Island Dip,” written by a Cincinnati composer, and the other appropriately plays “Spinnradl,” a German dance song.

6. HARRY BERTOIA'S SOUNDING SCULPTURES // BALLY, PENNSYLVANIA

Harry Bertoia wanted to create an instrument that anyone could immediately play without years of training and study. During one of his experiments, Bertoia was bending a wire and it broke, striking another one. The melodious noise it made immediately stood out to him. What sound would it make if hundreds of wires struck each other?

That question inspired the world-known artist to create a series of sculptures in the 1960s and '70s in varying shapes and sizes. Eventually, Bertoia went on to record 11 self-released vinyl albums of himself playing the structures. He called the music "Sonambient," a term meaning the process of making sound with the sculptures.

7. SEA ORGAN // ZADAR, CROATIA

Like some of the other sculptures on our list, the Sea Organ, created by architect Nikola Bašić, also relies on the movement of water to create sound. But its structure is a little different—a series of stone steps disappear down into the water, and beneath them, 35 pipes make noise based on the waves and air pressure. There are five pipes per step, each one tuned to a different chord. The 230-foot-long Sea Organ won the European Prize for Urban Public Space in 2006.

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8 City Maps Rendered in the Styles of Famous Artists
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Vincent van Gogh once famously said, "I dream my painting and I paint my dream." If at some point in his career he had dreamed up a map of Amsterdam, where he lived and derived much of his inspiration from, it may have looked something like the one below.

In a blog post from March, Credit Card Compare selected eight cities around the world and illustrated what their maps might look like if they had been created by the famous artists who have roots there.

The Andy Warhol-inspired map of New York City, for instance, is awash with primary colors, and the icons representing notable landmarks are rendered in his famous Pop Art style. Although Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh, he spent much of his career working in the Big Apple at his studio, dubbed "The Factory."

Another iconic and irreverent artist, Banksy, is the inspiration behind London's map. Considering that the public doesn't know Banksy's true identity, he remains something of an enigma. His street art, however, is recognizable around the world and commands exorbitant prices at auction. In an ode to urban art, clouds of spray paint and icons that are a bit rough around the edges adorn this map of England's capital.

For more art-inspired city maps, scroll through the photos below.

[h/t Credit Card Compare]

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Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
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There’s a Ghost Hiding in This Illustration—Can You Find It?
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

A hidden image illustration by Gergely Dudás, a.k.a. Dudolf
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

Gergely Dudás is at it again. The Hungarian illustrator, who is known to his fans as “Dudolf,” has spent the past several years delighting the internet with his hidden image illustrations, going back to the time he hid a single panda bear in a sea of snowmen in 2015. In the years since, he has played optical tricks with a variety of other figures, including sheep and Santa Claus and hearts and snails. For his latest brainteaser, which he posted to both his Facebook page and his blog, Dudolf is asking fans to find a pet ghost named Sheet in a field of white bunny rabbits.

As we’ve learned from his past creations, what makes this hidden image difficult to find is that it looks so similar to the objects surrounding it that our brains just sort of group it in as being “the same.” So you’d better concentrate.

If you’ve scanned the landscape again and again and can’t find Sheet to save your life, go ahead and click here to see where he’s hiding.

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