July 31st is one of the more unusual holidays; it’s uncommon musical instrument day. In honor of this upcoming holiday, we would like to shine a light on five of by far the strangest instruments you’ll ever see. And what do we mean by weird? Well, do trees and lightning sound weird enough? Because apparently, they can produce music.
The name Zeusaphone seems appropriate for a musical instrument that literally plays music with lightning. The instrument is also called a Thoramin or singing Tesla coil, and it’s essentially a plasma speaker that works by controlling the spark output of a Tesla coil which creates a shocking effect.
This instrument, in all its weird glory, wins in both categories of best name and most terrifying listening experience. The name zeusaphone was coined at a public demonstration of the instrument in 2007 at a science fiction convention in Naperville, Illinois.
The pyrophone is another wonderfully strange organ. It’s also known as the fire organ or the explosion organ. For a good reason, too, because it literally explodes. The organ is powered by gasoline and propane; so the sound is produced by combustion and explosion.
In order for this musical instrument to be played, at least some portion of the organ needs to be on fire. Talk about a rock and roll show! Pyrophones date back as far as the 19th century.
This is something you probably have never even heard of. There are actually a few sea organs in the world, and the one in Zadar, Croatia is incredible. The Sea organ is an architectural sound art object and an experimental musical instrument.
It plays music via sea waves and tubes located underneath the large marble steps. As waves crash over the tubes, harmonious sounds echo over the steps. So basically, the sea is the musician. Pretty cool, huh?
The Singing Ringing Tree is a work of art that is constructed from varying lengths of pipe. The winds pass over them, creating an eerie sound. The original tower is 3 meters over the East Lancashire landscape in England.
Some of the pipes are only structural and visual elements, but others have been cut across their width to allow the sound to emit. The harmonic qualities were produced by tuning the pipes by to their length and adding holes to the underside of each. In March 2017, another singing ringing tree was built outside of Austin, Texas, in the rural town called Manor.
These musicians are serious about playing with food. The Vegetable Orchestra was founded in 1998 in Vienna, Austria. They play all kinds of music on fresh vegetables, with everything from bass drum pumpkins to carrot flutes.
While some vegetables/instruments are ready as is, some need to be sculpted. The group doesn’t waste anything either. They use the remaining pieces of the vegetable to make a soup that they later serve to their audience after a performance. Talk about eco-friendly music!