Thank you, Colleen, for sharing this quintessential horror soundtrack instrument with me!
The Waterphone, invented by Richard Waters, has been used in countless horror movie soundtracks.
Waterphones are stainless steel and bronze monolithic, one-of-a-kind, acoustic, tonal-friction instruments that utilize water in the interior of their resonators to bend tones and create water echos. In the world family of musical instruments, the Waterphone is between a Tibetian Water Drum, an African Kalimba (thumb piano) and a 16th century Peg or Nail Violin. Each Waterphone is custom made using a hot metal process developed over the past 40 years. The tonal rods are tuned to a combination of micro-tonal and diatonic relationships presented in two distinct but intergrated scales having both even and uneven increments.
Take a listen!
Apparently, there are many imitation Waterphones being produced and sold all over the world, but the creator states that they are a rather “sad” rendition, and lack the depth and nuance of the real thing.