2014-08-01

Co.Exist

Watch: Strauss's Blue Danube, Re-created Using The Sound Of Wind Turbines

The familiar sound of a classic, made haunting by the hollow echoes of prairie winds through PVC pipe.

Siemens has come up with a unique way to celebrate its commission for 448 wind turbines in Iowa: an ad featuring Strauss's "Blue Danube," re-created using the sounds of Iowa's wind turbines.

Before heading to Iowa—the state ranked first in the nation for electricity generated by wind—to put together the song, musician Will Bates turned to the streets of New York City, where he tinkered with PVC pipes to find the best way to capture the sound of wind. Eventually, he came up with a way to configure the pipes and microphones so that he could pick up the necessary sounds (working with normal microphones sans PVC pipes wouldn't pick up the tonal qualities found in wind).

In Iowa, Bates was driven around by local police offers to record sounds. "I remember almost getting frost bite at 5 a.m. filming the sound of turbine blades in the middle of a farm. That was a very new experience—and I’ve had my share of adventures," he told Siemens in a Q&A. "I find the project is sticking with me and my team a lot. We will never look at a flag pole the same way again. Occasionally someone in the studio suggests getting the microphone out when there is a strong gust of wind."

Check out the ad, and Bates's version of "Blue Danube," in the video above.

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