The Waterphone is a strange musical instrument. It was invented by Richard Waters in the late sixties. Waters was, at the time, working on his art. Incidentally, his focus in art is the watercolor medium. During his studies, Waters experienced the sounds of the Tibetan Water Drum and the Kalimba. Inspired by these sounds, Waters made his instrument and brought it to local art shows. Eventually, local artists began to imitate it. Each real Waterphone is personally made by Waters, who holds patent 3896696 on the instrument. Over 1,000 have been made, but the production is currently halted. If you want to buy one in the future, be ready to shell out $1,000 for it.
The Waterphone is a large, hollow plate made of stainless steel with a large chamber protruding from a hole in the center. Filling the chamber with water produces the sigtnature water sound. The instrument is played by hitting, bowing, or plucking long, thin bronze rods protruding outwards from the diameter of the base plate.
The sound made by bowing a Waterphone is not unlike that of a whale, but it has also been compared to the violin-esque sound used in The Matrix. It has a very high pitched sound, but various sizes of Waterphones make the pitch lower or higher.
Richard Waters' website is at www.waterphone.com