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May. 24, 2011

Lady Gaga, Played by Lightning

by Katherine

Click to enlarge images

Finally, someone beat Lady Gaga at her own game: they’ve out-weirded her. The Open Spark Project has taken her music, along with many other musicians’ including mashup artist Girl Talk, and turned it into lightning.

Open Spark Project

Let me explain. The Open Spark Project uses Tesla coils as musical instruments. By controlling the frequency of electrical bursts, it’s possible to “tune” the coils to play standard musical notes. Program any melody through a MIDI controller, add a backing track, and you’ve got electrifying top 40. Amazing:


Considering Gaga’s penchant for retro technology and general weirdness, I’m shocked she didn’t think of this herself. If you want to hear your own opus played on a Tesla coil, submit your song for future performances to Open Spark here.

And while we’re on the subject, I should mention that the band ArcAttack! has beeen using singing Tesla coils for years. Any electrical noisemaker with a consistent frequency, in fact, can be turned into an instrument, as they prove with the Power Tool Dance Party:


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About Katherine

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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