Huaca (wah-ka) is...

 

 

...a still evolving pan-cultural acoustic ceramic wind instrument. The creation of a single small clay chamber with holes for a flute sound is thousands of years old. It surfaced in many areas of the world including China, Mexico, Peru, and Italy. The huacasilvado (which means sacred whistle), while being based on this concept, is a radical innovation. It's large multiple chambers are tuned to a specific key and to each other in tempered fashion like a piano. It allows for three-part harmony in a wind instrument - extremely beautiful and highly unusual.

It was invented in 1980 by Sharon Rowell in Berkeley, California. The original impetus for the instrument was an attempt to recreate the sound of the San Francisco Bay foghorns. Sharon is both an exceptional potter, musician, and practicing Buddhist. She has developed a unique firing process that creates a gorgeous, ancient, and organic look to the instrument. It has been characterized by different people as looking like lungs, breasts, or a heart. The sound has a kind of primal quality that may call up our genetic memory of a very distant past.

 

listen to the Huaca on the album Waves

 


A herd of Huacas