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Propane-powered flame organs? People in the sand making grooves? Laser Aeolian interactive harps? It must be Burning Man time. The improbable orchestra is a knob-bestrewn groove box, hiding a gutted Pentium PC running open source sound software; several people can twiddle together. (I hear there s plenty of that at Burning Man.) The Aeolian interactive laser harp is a larger-than-life instrument: walk into the beams, and you trigger sound. And the veritable propane- powered flaming pyrophone will be back, too. So why are so many commercial electronic musical instruments so bland? Maybe the pro designers just need to get their knobs twiddled. -P. Kirn

Burning Man Interactive Music Preview [ Create Digital Music ]