In this lap-played lute, the resonating body is a stainless steel bowl. The bridge is configured to deliver the string vibrations directly to the bowl’s flat bottom. As the strings sound, a small amount of water shifts about on the bottom, causing ever-changing resonance-shifts and creating an exotic, dreamy affect. With the instrument strapped to the knees, the player can rock it to keep the water moving. The aqua vina can be played by plucking or bowing, usually with a slide to vary the string pitches.
Several people have created water lutes like this one, including the French maker Jacques Dudon who coined the name aqua vina.