Listen to the music of the waves
Head to this jetty near the Golden Gate Yacht Club in the Marina district and listen. The Wave Organ was built in 1986 in collaboration with the Exploratorium that was formerly housed nearby in the Palace of Fine Arts. The hands on science museum moved to Pier 15, but the wave-activated sculpture of granite and marble culled from the demolished Laurel Hill Cemetery was repurposed here, and the experience is enchanting. The aquatic masterpiece amplifies sound as waves roll in and crash against 20 pipes that extend into the water, creating a liquid symphony of gurgles, rumbling, whooshing and swishing, and a balance of high and low pitched sounds that are as entertaining as they are contemplative. You'll find that no tune is ever be the same and the views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge never get old.
By Kimberley Lovato, AFAR Local Expert
The Sound of One Wave Lapping
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.
By Joan Yokom
83 Marina Green Dr, San Francisco, CA 94123, USA