The Fire Organ

The piano keyboard is often related to the idea of fire, as in the famous movie “Great balls of fire”.

But today there is a simpler way to play “con fuoco”, just by controlling flames with a normal piano keyboard. This new system, named “Fire Organ”, was launched in 2014 by American company Guerilla Science (http://guerillascience.org/event/fireorgan/). It can be considered the mutant offspring of a Rubens’ Tube and a traditional pipe organ. The Fire Organ works like a drum in reverse. It takes in sound, and turns it into (flame) motion, responding in real time to live music. It is based on five Rubens Tubes connected together. They produce flames at variable intensity, depending on the sound waves generated by the keyboard. Rubens’ Tube is an antique physics apparatus for demonstrating acoustic standing waves in a tube. Invented by German physicist Heinrich Rubens in 1905, it graphically shows the relationship between sound waves and sound pressure, like a primitive oscilloscope.

Here is a video of the Fire Organ launch event:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaJczW6HgUU