The music of water

Create a landscape soundtrack

We've heard of tuning pianos and guitars, but tuning a stream? Gordon Hempton, an Emmy-winning sound recordist from Port Angeles, Washington, says you can shape your garden's natural soundscape of stirring breezes, buzzing bees, and trickling fountains. Start with a water feature, tuning it by moving and adjusting stones until you reach a pleasing burble.

"Old streams tune themselves over time, becoming quieter and more melodic," Hempton says. To amplify its music, back the water feature with a masonry wall. And if outside noise invades the garden, block it with a berm.

Go to to learn more about Hempton's recordings.

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