Musical Laser Beams

February 6th, 2013 BY Ashley Mikulik | No Comments

Lasers are nifty things. Since their invention at Bell Labs in 1958, they’ve been used to perform eye surgery, target smart bombs and carry zillions of bytes of data along fiber-optic cables. Nonetheless, it took decades for someone to figure out that these highly focused beams of light could replace the strings on a 1,300-year-old Japanese zither.

Miya Masaoka is a composer, koto player and inventor of the Laser Koto — a tripod-mounted laser array that she plays by passing her hands through the beams, triggering a variety of sampled and processed sounds from her G4 PowerBook. Each flick of the wrist and twitch of the finger is interpreted as a stroke on the instrument’s virtual strings…

Very cool! When I was little I used to love going to the laser shows at my local planetarium. Now you can play music with them! I wonder what else we can use lasers for in the future?

Read the rest of the article and see a Youtube video here.

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