This is what happens when I put my iPod on random during the walk into work in the morning:
This has got to be about the coolest performance I've seen, and not just because it was bloody cold and windy. The Continuum keyboard by itself is fascinating; it's essentially a piano keyboard with a continuum of pitches and an extra dimension of modulation. But it's clever: It can tune itself so that you don't have to be precise in order to play in tune, but it doesn't get in your way when you want to bend pitches or slide up and down. The output is MIDI, which controls a synthesizer, which in turn modulates a pair of Tesla coils!
Zounds! The crackling of the electricity through the air is music, and not just something you could generously construe as music, but totally rocking tunes, polyphonic, melodic and harmonic, expressive, and dangerous.
Here's one more short video. Hopefully EOH will post some high-quality videos with better sound; it looked like they had some decent recording equipment set up.
Congratulations to the people at the 2008 UIUC Engineering Open House who put this together!
The bottle-o-phone project never really panned out. A sad story, really. The idea came to me while taking Doug West's wonderful graph theory course at UIUC.