Old Chapel Is Made into a Giant Musical Instrument, Controlled with Laser Pointers (Video)

3-D-Mapped Chapel Laser-Controlled Musical InstrumentThe Macula/Video screen capture

Churches have long been associated with music, but usually there's a choir or an organ involved. The Olomouc Baroque chapel in the Czech Republic is something altogether different: the entire thing is the instrument, thanks to 3-D mapping and laser technology.

The art installation, called Archifon I., is the work of projection mapping collective Macula, based in Prague. Up to 10 visitors can "play" at the same time, aiming laser pointers at different features, triggering different sounds.

baroque church chapel music archifon iThe Macula/Video screen capture

What I like about this project is that it creates music without the materials that would go into make a whole orchestra's worth of new instruments, and plays with the idea of producing things in creative ways. But there's a sizable flip side to Archifon I, and that's the energy used.

While the lights look like LEDs, they're not there to actually provide light. And of course, the statues and columns aren't actually creating music; the sounds must be produced by a nearby speaker. But having said all that, it's still a really neat project: it changes how we think about materials, but hikes up the electricity bill doing it.

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