The Optron is a visually fascinating musical creation from the mind of Chet Udell.
The Optron is part lightsaber and part electric guitar. A mind-bending combo of movement, light and electronic sounds.
The below video features a performance of Photosynthesis, played by the instrument’s creator. Udell’s creation was inspired by Japanese artist Atsuhiro Ito, who created the first Optron in 1998.
Udell’s instrument has evolved considerably from the original which contains 144 discretely controlled RGB LEDs, all underneath the unassuming shell of a standard fluorescent light.
The instrument can sense position and pressure on it’s neck, which makes it feels more familiar to those used to playing guitars. It also responds to motion and tilting in space. When coupled with visualisation software, the instrument’s sounds can be manipulated by waving hands over it like a theremin.
Best of all (if you have some skills with microprocessors), you can make your own with some tips from Udell himself.
Find out more about the Optron here.