Artist unveils ‘Toilet Orchestra’ at Tate Modern

Napolean Bonaparte’s cast iron bowl is middle D while a 1910 Shanks ‘Splashless Deluxe’ is middle E. With supporting instruments including antique potties and bed bottles, they will become an orchestra.

The Swedish artist Gösta Lundquist captures the subtle sound waves with microphones and feeds them to a mixing desk.

Mr Lundquist explained to our Arts correspondent Trinny Bakewell how he makes music. “Any empty space, an empty room, or any toilet bowl is having its own musical note, based on the geometry and volume,” he said. “So, when I am pressing the key for the potty that was being under the bed of my old aunt Britta who lives in Malmö, we are hearing a kind of hissing, like an ‘A’.”

The artist is particularly proud of the cast iron toilet he discovered while exploring Napolean’s holiday villa on the island of St Helena. “So I am thinking that we will be hearing once again his toilet singing the same note as when he last sat on it in 1821.”

The exhibition runs for six weeks at the Tate Modern from July 10th with a performance of Handel’s ‘Water Music’ on the opening night.