More Aeolian Pipes

I’ve made some more Aeolian Pipes – very long ones and very small ones. The aim is to try and get the wind to make them sing or hum. I experimented with two designs for the long pipes – one is an open tube and one is closed at one end. Both look great at the beach. Standing with their feet in a rippled, shallow pool and their tops reaching above the horizon, they are visually just right and remarkably stable. Unfortunately it was very still at the weekend and there just wasn’t enough wind to fill the pipes with sound.


To test their sound worthiness I’ve tried blowing into them – I haven’t enough puff! I’ve tried using a hairdryer – they started to melt! I suspect it would have to be very windy for them to produce any sound at all ….

So I went back to the drawing board and thought about what shape and configuration of hole I know will produce a noise – my flute. Here are two tiny pipes that do make quite a melodious sound – a monotone – when I blow across the hole in the side. Their diameter is less than an inch. They are open at one end and I hold them horizontally to blow across the hole on the side. Funnily enough I need to cover the open end to produce a sound – something that is not necessary on my flute. I think it has something to do with the sharpness of the side aperture.


I suppose it was inevitable that eventually I would start making things that bring me full circle, back to my original occupation of playing the flute. I shall keep on experimenting – the next move is to make these big, closed at both ends and with a sharp hole (probably quite big) at the side.



7 thoughts on “More Aeolian Pipes

  1. judy martin

    I am finding your explorations into combining the sense of sound with nature and human breath into something visual (and beautiful) really very interesting and exciting. Thank you for posting about it and sharing your discoveries. Very brave.

  2. debbielyddon Post author

    Thank you Judy, the connection between what I see and what I hear in my surroundings is fundamental to me. I’m really enjoying these explorations.

  3. Wholly Jeanne

    I ditto what Judy said. I’m intrigued, gobsmacked-in-awe. I live on top of a mountain right smack dab on a waterfall, and I’ve often wondered how I could get piano strings across the falls. It’s heavily wooded here, most always a breeze, and I think that’s what I’m after: to have Mother Nature give piano lessons. Don’t exert any effort other than to ponder it, though, cause really, the falls kick up such a melody on their own, I doubt I’d even be able to hear the “piano”. I just love what you’re doing here.

    1. debbielyddon Post author

      Thanks Jeanne, funnily enough I’m on holiday at the moment in the Lake District, UK and we have done a lot of walking to the tops of mountains ….. Wish I had brought the pipes here as it is very blowy! Debbie

  4. Pingback: Odds and ends | debbie lyddon

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