This was a project for Björk, who had asked me to explore instruments that harness forces of nature. I chose to start with water, or gravity and surface tension, to be more precise.
The idea was to use water’s insistent softness to create music. In this rough prototype, I dropped water droplets on the strings of a harp to set them resonating.
Trying to aim the droplets precisely was maddening. They left the nozzles in non-deterministic directions and drifted in the slightest breeze. I modified the nozzles with guide-needles and increased the water’s surface tension by adding various chemicals. But the randomness remained.
I liked the result when I finally got it working. And I had a lot of 11th-hour help from the precise and perceptive Marina Porter.
I imagined a finished version looking something like this:
In the end I decided that I didn’t want to create a future in which Björk or I needed to precisely control falling droplets in various and unpredictable environments. So these videos are all that is left of the work.
Photos by Marina Porter