There’s just something inherently peaceful about the sound of rain. Even though the raindrops are all a bit random and chaotic, the end result is actually soothing and rhythmic. In fact, if you go out and buy one of those “peaceful sounds” CDs, you’re bound to find birds chirping, ocean waves, and of course the sound of rainfall.
Artists Annette Paul, Christopher Rossner, and Andre Temple have decided to take that feeling of peace to a whole new level by building Funky Blue, a series of rain-powered musical instruments on the facade of a building.
The whole setup is brilliantly simple. Rain water collects at the roof of the building and is funneled to the side of the building with the instruments. From there, water pours down a series of tubes, pipes, bowls, and troughs. The rain water makes a variety of different noises as it splashes down the concoction, from the pattering of falling water to the smooth hum of a running stream.
Some of the pipes are actually shaped like musical instruments, but don’t be fooled by their appearance. The shape is more an homage to musical instruments than any real attempt to create the sounds of trumpets or trombones. When it rains, the effect is certainly musical, but don’t expect the type of sounds you’d hear on your local music radio station.
The Funky Blue pipes fit brilliantly with the blue-green facade, which immediately calls to mind the colors of the ocean. You might think that this type of building would look a bit out of place, it actually fits right at home in the German city of Dresden. The city is famous for being one of the most progressive and green cities in all of Germany, and it is filled with Baroque and Rococo architecture. In Dresden, the fusion of green environmentalism and beautiful architecture is the norm rather than the exception. Funky Blue should definitely be on your itinerary if you happen to visit the land of weinerschnitzel and beer. After all, music is the universal language, so you can still enjoy the experience, even if you have trouble speaking the local language.
After all of this, I’m sure you’re dying to know: what does all of this sound like? Well, it sounds a bit like rain, to be honest. What’d you expect? If you listen closely, however, you should be able to pick out the various different sounds of the water all working together. It’s not Mozart, but it still sounds nice.