Musician Plays Hans Zimmer's 'Interstellar' Theme on Hydraulophone

This unique 12-jet hydraulophone at Stanford University was invented by an engineer.
Derya Ozdemir

Nature has a way of producing music: from the soothing sounds of the wind on air to the gentle hush of the trees above, it can be an orchestra that only makes sense in the midst of chaos. Arguably, the best instruments come to be when they are taken from nature itself, and this instrument called hydraulophone is one great example of that.

A video that was originally shared three years ago has been making rounds on the internet lately, and it shows a musician, James Hancock, playing Hans Zimmer's "Interstellar" theme with a 12-jet hydraulophone at Stanford University's music building.


What is a hydraulophone?

You might be asking what that is: Well, hydraulophone is a "tonal acoustic musical instrument" which is played through physical contact with water. The sound is generated and manipulated hydraulically in this matter. 

The sounds that you hear is produced by the hydraulic fluid that the player is touching. This particular one that you'll see in this video is built with 12 water jets, which correspond to each of the instrument's notes.

Steve Mann, who is an engineering professor at the University of Toronto, is the man (pun intended) behind the invention, which was first described and named by him in 2005, and patented in 2011.

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Fun fact: Apart from providing an amazing and unique sound, hydraulophone has also been used as a sensory exploration device for those with low-vision.

It is simply a pleasure to listen while imagining yourself at a water-themed level in an 8bit game -- you can experience it for yourself down below:

If you're getting excited about owning one yourself, you might want to hold onto your wallet before you make any rash decisions. Apparently, the current confirmed price point for one is $10,000; however, that can go up to at least $13.4 million if we are talking about the first flagship innards product in the waterpark market.

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