The Waterphone is an acoustic instrument, invented by Richard A. Waters in the late 60s, that can be played in a variety of ways, creating a wide range of often haunting musical sounds.
According to Waters, the sound of the Waterphone has been compared to the haunting melodies of the Humpback Whale, voices from inner/outer space and the device has been described as acoustic synthesizer.
Once you’ve heard the Waterphone, you’re likely to recognize its frequent use in soundtracks. Waterphones have been used in many films, including Poltergeist, Star Trek, The Matrix, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
“One of the reasons that the Waterphones are utilized so much on movie/tv sound tracks is that the schiziosonic water sounds and the tuning(s) represent the Strange & Unknown: other world – alien beings, drugs, ghosts, physic experiences, death, etc.) and the sound of the waterphone is frequently used to indicate this,” explains Waters.