The Electric Laser Harp


I have an endless list of silly things that I think I might do someday and I’m going to add this to the list: Building an Electric Laser Harp. A friend of mine is an expert electrician so that might be possible. Of course after I master astro photography, my grand musical/opera and a host of other seemingly important projects.

The video above is a “fully functional laser harp” built by Stephen Hobley. He says it took him 22  years of thinking about it and six months to actually create it. About the above video he says:

“Finally got the bugs worked out with the sensor. The harp is driven by an Arduino (Boarduino varation) and connected to the impOSCar VSTi software synthesizer, the TAOS sensor array sits on the floor in it’s own stand. The array above the harp i is just made up of fs mirrors for added p’zazz.”

Visit for more info. I was looking to buy his plans to build one but he says he entered an agreement with Lightwave International to develop the next generation of laser harp. Ok, so maybe building one isn’t quite as straight forward as I might have guessed. But I did see on his website that a high school student built one as a project.

Here’s a more basic analog laser harp without all the frills and cool lights. This was a Final Project for UCSD Electronic Technologies I VIS 147A. Fall Quarter 2006.


Here’s a video of Jean Michel Jarre performing with a laser harp live onstage. It was interesting to me because one of the midi notes gets stuck and he has to reset his keyboard to stop the midi note from sounding.


And the overall lesson in all of this is: If it’s not working, just turn it off and back on again. 🙂

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