Science, Tech & Environment

The music of sea organ

In the Geo Quiz, we're looking for a city where an instrument called the 'sea organ' was invented by an architect. So which city is it? For starters it's in the scenic country of Croatia. Host Lisa Mullins talks to Alexa D'vorsen who tells us how this extraordinary instrument came about.

Player utilities

Listen to the Story.

Geo Answer
The answer is Zadar in Croatia where a Croatian architect came up with the idea for this unique instrument, which is played by the waves.

By Alexa D'vorsen

Nikola Basicnic grew up on one of the 300 islands off the Zadar.He was fascinated by the impact of the waves against the shore. Decades later as an architect, he was commissioned to redesign Zadar's waterfront which was damaged in World War Two. He decided he wanted to create an urban space that would somehow capture this impact of the waves against the shore so he contacted his friend, an accoustics engineer, Ivan Stamac.

Stamac proposed laying a system of organ pipes under the water. The cords, Stamac composed for the organ pipes are the same sung in klapa harmonies which are unique to the Dalmation coast.

There are hundreds of people just sitting and listening to this music looking out at the horizon. One man said he was just fascinated. �This is beautiful this a connection with life, you know, the water with the sea creating its own tones. That's free jazz, isn't that fantastic? I love it. It just shows some people are in search of beauty and some people are destroying this beautiful world and we have to affirmate these people who work for the beauty.�

Sometimes this music sounds like a giant set of pan pipes. Some people said it sound like string basses gone scuba diving. And the wonderful thing about it is that it gets people to just stop and listen.

One passerby says she comes to to listen to the music, watch the people and get lost in her own thoughts. �Like some dreams, I feel great when I'm listening to this music,� she says.