This is an excerpt of Mark Smart’s prog-rock Tesla Coil piece Island at the Center of the World, which is about the history of Easter Island.
Tesla coils were used to create musical pitches via a control system designed by university student Steve Ward. Two coils were used. The right coil is playing a prerecorded MIDI track, acting as the bass, and the left one is performed live as a lead sound via the Haken Continuum fingerboard.
In spite of the frigid temperatures (4 degrees Fahrenheit, 26 mph winds), the concert was well attended and was voted the most popular event of the open house.
For performing a prog-rock piece about Easter Island on Tesla Coils using an alternative music controller in frigid weather, Smart deserves a special insulated prog keyboard god cape.
The performance was recorded live in Urbana, Illinois on March 7, 2008. This outdoor concert was part of a student-run open house for the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois.