Thursday, July 16, 2009

Water Fountain Sound

The Fountaineer has been resting, visiting and doing some local sight-seeing with an out of town visitor. One of the local stops was a store selling various items, including indoor water fountains. Now, being the Fountaineer, I decided to check them out. This is not unusual for me, but I was unprepared for what I noticed on this occasion.

Sound. I have previously addressed this issue within the general context of its masking benefits and that is how I generally relate to fountain sounds. I also have an awareness of sound as it is influenced by the environment in which it occurs. However, even with this awareness and knowledge, I was stopped in my tracks at the quality of sound I heard from one of the smaller fountains – a deep resonance that seemed amplified by the configuration of the reservoir.

The shape of the reservoir, a pot-like container, performed wonderful aural magic that really caught me off guard. Keep in mind that there were several other identical fountains of the same and larger sizes that were all producing their sounds at the same time, so the manner in which this particular unit stood out deserved some additional attention.

When I gave a closer look, I found that the amount of water in that unit’s reservoir was very different from the others. There was less of it! That difference seemed to have created a larger area within the container in which the sound was shaped.

Such a simple, but noticeable, difference! Upon returning home, I began to play with my fountains. I manipulated their flow rates and reservoir levels and by doing so, rediscovered my fountains’ aural capabilities from an aesthetic perspective.

So, I encourage all fountain owners to do the same from time to time and explore every aspect of their fountain's full range of sounds. Like the Fountaineer, you may be surprised and pleased by the outcome.

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