VIDEO: Making Music From The Sun

solar thermal musicAn earthquake inadvertently converts a statue into a musical installation; Dr. Duffey replicates the effect with his own designs

We’ve seen some interesting, creative applications of alternative energy. There is the father and son team in Gaza who created their own solar oven, though they had to stop filling orders when the glass ran out. And Maurice reported on giant windstalks that are poised to generate electricity from kinetic energy produced by the wind. But creativity has taken on a whole new dimension with Dr. Michael Duffey’s solar thermal music project and designs. The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) has recently published two videos that demonstrate Dr. Duffey’s work, which derives its inspiration from a byte of Egyptian history


The Colossie of Memnon

Around 27 BCE, an earthquake toppled one of the Colossi of Memnon’s heads at Thebes (near present day Luxor). The two statues were built in 14BCE in order to commemorate Amenhotep III.

When that happened, the stone collapsed in such a way that a pocket was formed that would collect dew overnight. In the morning, the collected dew would steam as the early rays shone on the pocket, emitting a melodic sound.

The locals were in such awe of this music, they renamed the status after Memnon, the ruler of the dawn, a hero in Greek mythology.

Solar Organ

Dr. Duffey’s solar organs are put to the test in the first video, with thermal sound created from a series of  parabolic dishes, while the second video outlines a few other design ideas the George Washington University Professor is flirting with.


These include:

1) A project that uses shadows to activate music;

2) Resonant chambers with shafts of light; and

3) Flowers with reflective petals.

Though Dr. Duffey has not yet published a “how-to” so that you can make these designs at home, they are pending so stay tuned. In the meantime, sit back, and enjoy the show.

:: Land Art Generator Initiative

More on creative designs from the Middle East:
Tel Aviv’s Upcycling Junktion Studio Holding a Clearance Sale in Time for the Holidays
At Collecteco Gallery, Each Piece Tells an Ecological and Design Story
Participate in Greenpeace and jovoto’s Design Competition, “Creativity for the Energy Revolution”

Facebook Comments



Get featured on Green Prophet Send us tips and news:[email protected]

One thought on “VIDEO: Making Music From The Sun”

  1. Aviva Weisgal says:

    Make music and collect…it’s all music to my ears…
    On our flight over Belgium and Spain, it was lovely to see all the Air Turbines!

Comments are closed.