YouTuber Plays the Star Trek Theme on a Tesla Coil Theremin

YouTuber bd594, also known as James Cochrane, has invented a totally new way to play the Star Trek theme.

A tip of the hat to the website Hackaday.com, for turning me on to the video, in which Cochrane shows viewers how he constructed - and plays - what he calls “The World’s First Tesla Coil Theremin”. As Hackaday describes it: “It starts with a laser tape measure modified to serve as an Arduino rangefinder, coupled to custom MIDI code to make a laser harp MIDI controller. The Tesla coil in question happens also to be a MIDI instrument, so the one can control the other with ease. The addition of an earthed chain mail glove allows it to be played in close proximity to the coil, and he rewards us with a rendition of the Star Trek theme.” [insert theme here]

Cochrane, in the video, notes that he “played the Star Trek theme an octave lower because it was easier on the oneTesla TS coil.” He also includes a diagram of how he put the whole thing together. To view the video for yourself, I highly recommend you check out his channel on YouTube, which is chock full of intriguing musical-slash-mechanical contraptions.


This article was written for the podcast Daily Star Trek News.

Alison Pitt is the writer, producer, and host of Daily Star Trek News, on the Roddenberry Podcast Network. A veteran Star Trek podcaster, she started her career on the weekly show Priority One: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast in 2015. She has appeared on panels at Star Trek Las Vegas, WonderCon, and San Diego Comic Con.

Alison Pitt