Aeolian Harp, a Musical Instrument Played by the Wind

Designed to make audible the shifting patterns of the wind and visually amplify the ever changing sky, the acoustic and optical pavilion is a large musical instrument. It is an Aeolian harp, designed to resonate and sing with the wind without any electrical power or amplification. The project was designed by Luke Jerram, a multidisciplinary artist known for his large scale public engagement artworks. The idea of investigating acoustics of natural elements was conceived during the artist’s research trip to Iran in 2007, when Jerram interviewed one of the Qanat desert well diggers.

Vibrations in strings attached to some of the tubes are transferred through skins covering the tops of the pavilion, and projected down through the tubes towards the viewer standing beneath the arch.