Comments on Dead Media Working Note 16.2
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Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 03:54:26 -0500 (CDT)

Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08, @08:34PM EDT (#52) --------------------------------------------------------- About 15 years ago, I attended a very weird lecture sponsored by the "Visual Music Alliance" in Los Angeles. The presenter was a very eccentric UCLA professor who studied the history of "visual music." He traced the history back as far as the ancient Greeks, who had concerts accompanied by a "light organ" which had little candles behind colored pieces of glass with a shutter, to project colors on a screen. But the one thing of this lecture that most impressed me was his tales about the Flame Organ. Apparently, back in the 19th century, in the heyday of pipe organs, there were quite a few flame organs. These were usually made with transparent glass tubes, and flammable gasses would be fed into the tubes, ignited by a sparking electrode under the organist's control. Different gasses that burned in different colors would be used in different tubes, the effect was as much visual as musical, and the colors were said to be quite vivid. He says that Wagner was particularly enamored by the flame organ, and there is still one remaining vintage flame organ, Wagner's personal machine, in the Wagner museum (wherever the hell that is). Considering the long history of this device, I'm not impressed with the new "hot pipe organ." Stuff like this has been done before, and better, by groups like Survival Research Labs. Its just another huge emitter of greenhouse gasses.

Petethelate (pdbrooksatpacbelldotnet) on Saturday July 08, @09:59PM EDT (#112) ---------------------------------------------------------- Wagner museum is in Bayreuth, where the Ring opera cycle is shown.

Anonymous Coward on July ?? --------------------------------------------------------- I don't recall the lecturer going into that much detail about the actual gases and the mechanism. One thing I forgot to mention was that these were indoor pipe organs, they didn't shoot columns of flame out the top like the modern ones, the flames were visible inside the glass pipes. These were regular pipes like any pipe organ, the tone results from gas passing over a small slot. The lecturer described the flames shooting up the pipe, but didn't mention any columns of flame coming out the top. I imagine that would have burned the place down. What we really need is some recon at the Wagner museum. The lecturer said the Flame Organ is in playable condition, but they're afraid to play it in case they blow up the only intact example. Its more valuable as a relic than as a musical instrument.

danakil (danakilATifranceDOTcom) on Saturday July 08, @08:36PM EDT (#54) ---------------------------------------------------------- A french artist has a site describing his own fire organ, you'll find some impressive pics there. He has several instruments (including drums) working this way.

The site is : http://perso.club-internet.fr/orguafeu (there's an english version)

And you'll find there a picture of the 1st fire organ, created in the 18th century!