Over forty years ago in the original Star Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi called the lightsaber “an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.” Having seen the prequel movies, we think that Old Ben was probably bending the truth again, “from a certain point of view.” But the lightsaber went on to capture our collective imaginations for decades. Now, one fan has decided to use the shells of lightsaber replicas to transform them into musical instruments.
Via Gizmodo, the host of YouTube’s Look Mum No Computer debuted a video in which he demonstrated how he combined a lightsaber with a theremin. Léon Theremin created the first theremin back in 1928, and it’s an electronic musical instrument that is most commonly associated with classic sci-fi and horror films, although it has also been used by rock bands and avant-garde musicians.
One of the key steps in the creation of the lightsaber theremins was the insertion of an accelerometer chip. As explained by the host, that is the same chip that allows smartphones and video game controllers to recognize which direction they are facing at any time. Since a theremin is also controlled by the motions of a performer’s hands, the accelerometer chip turned out to be an ideal choice for this build.
After showing a time lapse video of the lightsaber theremin’s creation, the host revealed that he had actually created two of them before demonstrating their capabilities by hooking them up to an amplifier. And while the host was able to use the instruments to play part of John Williams’ Imperial theme, he admitted that he’s not very good with the theremin. Someone with more skill and experience should be able to follow his lead and do better.
What did you think about the host’s lightsaber theremin? Ignite your thoughts in the comment section below!
Image: Look Mum No Computer
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