There's something unsettling about watching AquaSonic perform. Each of the band's five members is submerged in an aquarium, and the sound is produced from entirely under water. And it's eerie, too. The water changes the sound, making it fey and strange, the sounds of mermaids.
The project, which is about to world premiere in a series of concerts in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in late May, has taken some time to unfold. Special instruments had to be designed to play under water, such as a carbon fibre violin that won't unglue and a bow with nylon strings, and a specially developed water organ, or hydraulophone, that uses water instead of air to produce sound.
The band's two vocalists also had to train themselves to sing under water, developing the trick of keeping an air bubble in their mouths and singing through the bubble. And because of the way light refracts off the glass in their aquariums, they have to rely on waterproof earphones to hear each other.