That dapper fellow above is one Nikola Tesla. Born on the 8th of July, 1856, Mr. Tesla would go on to be one of the major contributors to what we now call modern electronics. He also laid the foundation for today’s remote control, developed the modern AC current system and went on to publish many patents that are invaluable to wireless communication and radio. Then in 1888, after creating the first brushless induction motor, he went on to make a little thing called a Tesla Coil. This is basically a really big transformer that produces low current, high frequency and high voltage electricity. They were not a huge technological success but you can see them in many entertainment settings today, producing blue-white lightening strikes that we can interact with.
Then in 1970, the grandfathers of stoner metal, Black Sabbath, released the song Iron Man. [I know this is classic rock. It’s an exception] Containing one of the most classic riffs ever to grace a guitar, Iron Man would go on to be the stoned Saturday evening or the inspiration for a generation of listeners and musicians. Without this riff, there probably wouldn’t be this many awesome bands to grace the pages of this blog.
So what do these things have to do with each other? Well there’s a group called ArcAttack. They specialize in playing music that is synchronized to a set of Tesla Coils. See where this is going? The Tesla coils have a feature that modifies their spark output to correspond to musical notes. The group also performs with a robot drum kit controlled using MIDI data.
So now we have ArcAttack, playing Iron Man, between two Tesla coils. Better but a hat on, cause this might just blow your mind.
Here’s another video of them performing the Dr.Who theme song at Makers Fair 2010.
Thanks to BoingBoing to finding this gem.