Playing the Aquaalt

In this lap-played lute, the resonating body is a stainless steel bowl. The bridge is configured to deliver the string vibrations directly to the bowl’s flat bottom. As the strings sound, a small amount of water shifts about on the bottom, causing ever-changing resonance-shifts and creating a dreamy affect. With the instrument strapped to the knees, the player can rock it to keep the water moving. The aquaalt can be played by plucking or bowing, sometimes with a slide to vary the string pitches. Several people have created water lutes like this one, most notably the French maker Jacques Dudon.

Share This