The Sea Wailing
archive, landscape, sound, water
Elliston, South Australia
with John Turpie
This work was devised as a response to the sad history of settlement in Elliston, South Australia, using natural blowholes in the sharp cliffs to produce a sound work.
On a sharp rocky platform about 4 meters above sea level, in dangerous conditions, we ducted blowholes into tuned organ pipes. As ocean waves compressed the air in caves and tunnels, the holes breathe in and out through the plaster-sealed organ pipes.
The smaller pipes, tuned in the tenor range to form a kind of diminished chord, created a mournful sound as the ocean played them. Large waves crashing against the rocks destroyed the bass pipes; sadly, they never got to sound.