Tesla coils take on Lady Gaga

May 27, 2011 by Deborah Braconnier report

(PhysOrg.com) -- In an amazing display of lights and sounds, the Open Spark Project and the Tesla Orchestra, formed from researchers at Case Western Reserve University, have taken Tesla coils to a whole new level. Their new Tesla Orchestra uses Tesla coils to covert music into an amazing display of lightning and sound.

An alternating current, or AC, generates each bolt of lightning. Given that it is an AC current, the bolt has a frequency that the operators can tune to represent different note on a keyboard. They designed a series of microchips and that take a standard MIDI signal and convert it to a fiber optic signal that is sent to the Tesla coils.

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This 40-minute version contains all the songs as played in the concert.

The Open Spark Project put a call out to all last month, inviting them to submit original songs that they could convert into their light show. Because the Tesla coils are only capable of playing one note at a time, they asked the artists to create songs specifically designed for the coils. In their demonstration videos, where they take on the Lady Gaga hit “Poker Face”, they will take out and perform the melody part with the Tesla coils while playing a backing track to go along with it.

On June 11, 2011, they will be performing a live show at the Masonic Auditorium in Cleveland and will be showcasing the original songs from the various artists.

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Poker Face by Lady Gaga, played on one of Tesla Orchestra's giant musical tesla coils.

Explore further: Another World Record in Magnet Development: 21.1 Tesla, Superconducting NMR Magnet for Chemical and Biomedical Research

More information: www.opensparkproject.com/

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3.4 / 5 (5) May 27, 2011
Making music with tesla coils is not news. People have been doing it since the 50s.
5 / 5 (2) May 27, 2011
debbie downer
not rated yet May 27, 2011
The news isn't making music with tesla coils. The news is finally the world can visualize Lady Gaga's music with tesla coils.
not rated yet May 27, 2011
Gag me with a spoon. We already had a Madonna, why do it again? Copy cat slut!
1 / 5 (1) May 27, 2011
Agreed, gunslingor1! And while I hope I never cease to think tesla coils are cool, especially the bigger ones, musically speaking I think they're right up there with, well, lightning.
Maybe it is just my own personal tastes, but "thunder-buzz" is one of those keyboard patches I shy away from.
not rated yet May 27, 2011
Gag me with a spoon. We already had a Madonna, why do it again? Copy cat slut!

but lady gaga's skin doesn't hang down 6 inches from her bones. I think the correct term would be replacement.

Besides, if you don't like her, then just don't listen to her.
3 / 5 (2) May 27, 2011
I want one!
2.5 / 5 (4) May 27, 2011
i wonder if those guys sitting in the background realize how much exposure to gamma radiotion they are getting from being that close to basically lightning for that long...

Bob B would probably love to never hear GaGa but its on the radio too much -- and beside he has ears that hear -- he was 'born that way' -- and without the ears he might be considered -- a 'monster' -- so he's labeled a gaga fan either way he goes
5 / 5 (1) May 27, 2011
I still think it's one of the best uses of 1.21 jiggawatts of electricity...
5 / 5 (1) May 27, 2011
That first video sounds like a Girl Talk mashup to me.
5 / 5 (1) May 27, 2011
Now that I see the start of the video, I know it is Girl Talk.
4 / 5 (1) May 28, 2011
I wonder what someone from 1850 would think if they saw this?
3.7 / 5 (3) May 28, 2011
I wonder what someone from 1850 would think if they saw this?

They would accurately assess that we suffer from some form of social and cultural retardation.
not rated yet May 29, 2011
What is really mindblowing is that after 150 yrs, modern science has STILL not either falsified OR proved most of Tesla's claims.
Sure, the Tesla coil is pretty standard, but most bios claim a host of discoveries Not mentioned in standard texts on EM. So was Tesla for Real or merely a crackpot ?
not rated yet May 29, 2011
The fact that Tesla engineered Lady Gaga's music into the design of his Tesla Coil is a testament to his artificially enhanced space Alien Genius. Not even the Daleks were so advanced.
not rated yet May 30, 2011
The Open Spark Project? Nice name. Hijacked nature music directly into your earholes!!

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