When Ligeia first told me that she wanted to visit the Sea Organ in Zadar, Croatia, I didn’t know what to think. I hadn’t heard about it and, if I’m being honest, I wasn’t all that interested in it. Since it was an important spot for Ligeia, though, we added an overnight in Zadar to our month-long Balkan adventure. In hindsight, I’m so thrilled we visited, as it turned out to be one of the highlights of my trip.
Located along the northwest wall of the peninsular old city, the Sea Organ in Zadar chants out its incessant song. Below the large, marble steps, a series of tubes and a resonating cavity transform the waves of the Adriatic Sea into wonderful harmonies.
When the sea is turbulent, so too, is the music. This was the case when we first visited during sunset of the day we arrived. The Sea Organ is a relatively big tourist attraction for Zadar, one of the biggest cities on the Dalmatian Coast, so the tones emanating from the below had to compete with numerous conversations, laughter, and the occasional shrieks of children.
It was a true cacophony of sound, and an experience that I later learned to be a perfect example of chance music. Ligeia studied music, and with her father being a new music composer, she was able to appreciate a whole different aspect of the Sea Organ. I just closed my eyes and focused on the beautiful, yet haunting, sounds of the sea.
The Next Morning
Despite the fact that I was battling a cold, we woke up early and walked back to the sea wall to hear the Adriatic’s morning song. On the marble steps were a quartet of tired party-goers, quietly enjoying the last few minutes of their night, and a backpacker sleeping on his large bag.
With the sky still dark, the tranquil sound of the music let us know that the waves were smoother than the evening before. As the sky brightened at dawn, we watched the gentle rolling motion of the sea and listened nothing other than her soft voice. It was a beautiful way to start the day.