The Wave Organ

83 Marina Green Dr, San Francisco, CA 94123, USA

Head to this jetty near the Golden Gate Yacht Club in the Marina district and simply listen. The Wave Organ, a wave-activated sculpture made of granite and marble culled from the demolished Laurel Hill Cemetery, provides an enchanting experience. As waves roll in and crash against 20 pipes that extend out into the water, the sound is amplified, creating a liquid symphony of gurgles, rumbling, whooshing, and swishing. The balance of high- and low-pitched sounds is both entertaining and strangely profound. A bonus: The views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge never get old.

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The Wave Organ is an acoustic sculpture constructed on the shore of San Francisco Bay. Through a series of pipes, the wave organ interacts with the waves of the bay and conveys their sound to listeners at several different stations. The effects produced vary depending on the level of the tide but include rumbles, gurgles, sloshes, hisses, and other more typical wave sounds. The structure incorporates stone platforms and benches where visitors may sit near the mouths of pipes, listening. The Wave Organ is located at the end of a spit of land extending from the Golden Gate Yacht Club. The stone pieces used in its construction were salvaged from the demolition of the Laurel Hill Cemetery in San Francisco. Exploratorium artist in residence Peter Richards conceived and designed the organ, working with sculptor and mason George Gonzales.

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