"But the garden isn't what catches my attention. There are strange devices
on the fence, in the trees, and staked to the ground.
Some are made of plastic bottles (taken from the landfill,
I guess), others are made of tree branches and flat ribbons, metal bars and
rope. Dozens of them. It isn't pretty. Lem How must be insane to decorate
his garden like this.
Then, as if to answer me, a strong wind howls down the
hill. It rattles the dry leaves in the maples, sings through the spruce, and
swoops down on the clearing, lifting my hair and touching my cheek. And the
things begin to sing. Some hum and some whistle, some clang together but
in the most beautiful ways, as if the wind itself were singing. It sounds
like the music of the earth."
The Secret Under My Skin, pp.68-69.
Aeolus was the Greek god of the winds. He lived on a floating island called
When I was researching the wind instruments in the book, I used the internet.
Here are some of the pages I visited.
For instructions to make a Plastorgan, a simple wind instrument made out
of plastic bottles, visit Didier Ferment's Free Sky
For lots more about making aeolian instruments, visit Uli Wahl's
Aeolian Instruments page
To see an aeolian garden and hear the instruments, visit Robert Valkenburgh's Wind Instruments Page. You can see and hear many different kinds of aeolian instruments.
To see the giant wind harp that inspired the final scene of The Secret
Under My Skin, visit the NFO Wind Harp
of the NF Observatory in New Mexico.
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