Another sunny spring day, another walk. On Dundas St., across from the construction-ravaged Art Gallery of Ontario, I heard spooky, resonant music. A few steps further, and I found the source: a man playing a remarkable water-organ.
I stopped to ask him about it. He said his name was Steve, and he had invented the organ, which he called Nessie, to amuse his 2-year-old daughter. He showed how blocking the jets of water with your fingers produced different notes; a softer note could be produced by allowing a bit of water to trickle through.
A crowd began to gather. "Well, isn't that something!" said a woman standing next to me. An older Chinese woman, having observed Steve's playing for a few minutes, took over the jets and played, with great authority, something complex and operatic-sounding. Steve asked her what other instruments she played, and she said, "I am from Peking," and made keyboard-playing motions with her hands.
A more polished version of Nessie -- Nessie 2.0? -- will apparently be part of an upcoming Ontario Science Centre exhibition on hydraulics. Update:
Read the comments -- some helpful readers have come through with more information about this!