Water Towers: Meadow at Hourglass Lake

Water Towers boldly marks the transition between Longwood’s formal Gardens and its natural landscape. Comprised of 69 structures built out of one-liter recyclable plastic bottles filled with water, laser-cut wood layers, and fiber optics connected to an LED projector and sound system, the installation beckons visitors to immerse themselves in the spaces between the towers to explore the spectacle of light and sound.

Artistʼs Inspiration

When I was 21 years old, I read a book called The Gifts of Unknown Things by Lyall Watson, a radical thinker operating on the margins of accepted science. In it Watson describes Tia, a young girl living on an island in the Indonesian archipelago who possesses the magical gift of seeing sounds in color. Watson also writes about how the Earth has a natural pulse in the upper atmosphere, resonating at a rate of 69 beats per day. The pulse forms a deep note well below human powers of hearing. As a tribute to Watson, the installation consists of 69 towers that change color according to the music played from them. As a result, visitors will experience sound translated into color, just as Tia did.

–Bruce Munro


Watch Longwood staff, volunteers, and Bruce Munro creating Water Towers


  • —17,388 1-liter recyclable bottles
  • —552 laser-cut wood layers
  • —42.9 mi (69,000 m) bare optic fiber
  • —69 LED light sources with hand-painted color wheels
  • —23 speakers
  • —1 audio control box
  • —1 solid-state music player
  • —This installation uses 1,500 watts of power—similar to energy used by a standard electric heater

All materials will be recycled or reused in future installations by Munro. The bottles will be recycled locally.


DreamsGoran BregovicGoran Bregovic
O Clap Your HandsChanticleerOrlando Gibbons
Ibhubesi (The Lion Song)Ladysmith Black MambazoTraditional South African
AXAXAXAS MLO part IThe ShoutOrlando Gough
AXAXAXAS MLO part IIThe ShoutOrlando Gough
AXAXAXAS MLO part IIIThe ShoutOrlando Gough
AXAXAXAS MLO part IVThe ShoutOrlando Gough
AXAXAXAS MLO part VThe ShoutOrlando Gough
TarantellaEthelPhil Kline
EderleziGoran BregovicGoran Bregovic
Nunc dimittisNew York PolyphonyAndrew Smith
WenyukelaLadysmith Black MambazoTraditional South African
Trad: Det Lisle Banet (The Little Child)Trio MediaevalTraditional Norwegian
Come Unto These Yellow SandsShoutOrlando Gough
A Song Of SolomonShoutOrlando Gough
HlohonolofatsaSoweto Gospel ChoirTraditional South African
Hodie Christus natus estNew York PolyphonyGiovanni Palestrini
Trad: Springdans Fra VestfoldTrio MediaevalTraditional Norwegian
ArabescoSon de la FronteraDiego del Gastor
O Waly, WalyChanticleerTraditional Scottish
Where The Bee SucksShoutOrlando Gough
Lully, lulla, thou little tiny childNew York PolyphonyKenneth Leighton
Umusa KankulunkulaLadysmith Black MambazoTraditional South African
Trad: Eg Aktar InkjeTrio MediaevalTraditional Norwegian
Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G MinorYo-Yo MaJ.S. Bach
Love HeartsShoutOrlando Gough
Ave Maria Mater DeiNew York PolyphonyWilliam Cornysh
RecuerdoSon de la FronteraDiego del Gastor

Longwood Gardens wishes to thank the many artists, composers and record labels who have given permission for their music to be experienced along with the Water Towers in Bruce Munro's installation, "Light", including Avie Records for New York Polyphony and Cantaloupe Music for Ethel.

Flora & Fauna

Flora and Fauna
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