High Tide Organ

The creative swell of seawater at high tide pushes air up the sea-wall pipes and causes the musical sculpture organ pipes to sound.

The story

The Story:
Welcome to the High Tide Organ, this music VST was inspired by the magnificent musical sculpture by Liam Curtin and John Gooding.

The original musical sculpture was played by the sea at high tide through eight pipes attached to the sea wall. These are connected under the promenade to 18 organ pipes within the sculpture. The swell of seawater at high tide pushes air up the sea-wall pipes and causes the organ pipes to sound. The best time to hear the High Tide Organ is two to three hours before or after high tide. On very calm days the organ is silent for part of its cycle. The pitches of the pipes are based on the harmonic series in B flat.

I sampled the organ before it was destroyed by the local council and thought it would be a wonderful idea to allow this brilliant-sounding sculpture to live on and be available for everyone around the world.

You can make some very interesting musical textures with the 8 different sounds and there’s a few FX to add such as delay, reverb, sustain, and release.

The High Tide Organ was a tidal organ 15 metres (49 ft 3 in) tall constructed in 2002 as part of “The Great Promenade Show” series of sculptures situated along Blackpool’s New Promenade in the UK.
The sculpture was designed by the artists Liam Curtin and John Gooding.
The artwork, described as a “musical manifestation of the sea”, is one of a few examples of a tidal organ.
It was removed due to neglect and lack of maintenance by the Blackpool city council in early 2022.


Reviews for High Tide Organ

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Carnival of Kites

    It reminds me of Sargent Pepper and Carnival of Souls.
    Very evocative and nostalgic. I like it allot.

    Scavenger6322 June 2022
  • Well worth a look

    Great GUI loads of character

    Caift24 June 2022
  • History repeating!

    What a worthy sample task! Not only providing an interesting pack for us but preserving a little cultural heritage as well. Brilliant!

    I love the core tide organ sounds, and the added rambling horns add interest too. They add to the random nature of the tide organ nicely. The eight blending options also provide plenty of flexibility. The reverb, delay, sustain and release options are well chosen. My main issue is that the combinations of sounds within each slider changes as you progress up the keyboard, with no way of identifying where or why. The sounds at C1 on the loading setting are, for example, quite different to C3 or C4. Without reading the code, it is difficult to understand why. And some of the slider selections do not play for the full keyboard, even though the highlighted keyboard indicates that they should - a Decent Sampler feature but confusing nonetheless.

    The GUI is really good too - the main sliders are maybe a tad narrow: they can take a couple of clicks to grab.

    Mark Lowrie30 June 2022