Jamming with the H2Organ.

Jamming with the H2Organ.

Music from water. That’s the concept of the H2Organ, created by Steve Mann PhD ’97 and his colleagues at FUNtain. You can hear it – and vote for it until Oct. 20 (6 p.m. EST) in the Smithsonian/Cooper Hewett National Design Museum contest. As of today, Oct. 16, the H2Organ was placing sixth among several hundred competing inventions for the People’s Design Award.

Mann, a University of Toronto professor who earned his doctorate in Media Arts & Science, invented the H2Organ through FUNtain, which describes itself as the world leader in water-based musical instruments. Since the 1980s, Mann has invented a series of musical products based on water. Nessie is suggests a water monster, but is actually a freestanding, friendly instrument. The H2Orchestra is a series of instruments using ice, water, steam, and plasma.

The products, some freestanding and some fixed like fountains, are based on a patented hydraulophone technology and players make notes and chords by stopping jets of water with fingers or hands.