These Musical Instruments Play With Fire

Pyrotechnic projects from DIYers
Longtime trombone player Valentin Guérin spent a year building his Pyro-Trombone, which shoots a stream of flame from the horn. Guérin activates the fire by pulling a trigger rigged up to a container of fuel. To prevent imitators who might burn themselves, the musician is wary about sharing more details of how his instrument works: “It is very dangerous,” he says, “and I don't want people to harm themselves if they try to replicate it.” This fall, Guérin has organized a series of pyrotechnic performances around his native France, including a fire opera. "It's a big production with lots of pyrotechnics where the musicians are also manipulating the fire," he says. The artists include a singer who wears a fire crown and "levitates" two fire balls above her hands. You can watch Guérin putting the Pyro-Trombone through its paces in the video above—it gets good at about 1:10. Valentin Guérin

Most musicians are content to produce beautiful sounds. Others aim bigger and brighter—and hotter. These three musical instruments are literally playing with fire. It goes without saying, but don’t try building these at home.

Fire Organ
Candle MIDI