Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wednesday Wonder: The Japanese Water Harp

Water echoes your peace of mind.
It's an art by gardeners centuries ago.

While scrolling through the offerings in a recent edition of 3 Quarks Daily, I came across Leanne Ogasawara's "The Sound of Lotus Blossoming (Global Warming Part 1)", a beautifully titled essay that discusses the importance of listening deeply to nature "as something alive and something that needs to be attended to." The article also was my introduction to the unique, harmonic sounds made by the suikinkutsu, or Japanese water harp, which can be found in old, traditional Japanese gardens.

Here's what suikinkutsu sounds like:

Here's an explanation of suikinkutsu and how it works:

Of Interest:

David Rothenberg and Marta Ulvaeus, The Book of Music and Nature: An Anthology of Sounds, Words, Thoughts (Wesleyan University Press, 2001)

Yu Wakao, "John Cage and Therapeutic Silence", Voices, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2002 

Tadahika Imada, "The Japanese Sound Culture", The Soundscape Newsletter, 1994, p. 5 (pdf)

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