With Thomas Bangalter clearly being blown to pieces in an epilogue video shared on the group’s YouTube channel in late February, Daft Punk is officially no more. Tributes to the duo keep rolling in, and Fabricio H. Franzoli’s might be the best yet, with a set of arcing Tesla coils programmed to play Around the World.
Tesla coils are probably one of the last things most people would consider a musical instrument, but if you’ve ever seen one demonstrated at a science center or event like Maker Faire, you’ve also probably heard one in action as they’re very loud. The sound they create is produced when nearby air molecules are heated and start to vibrate, and by adjusting the frequency, a Tesla coil switches on and off every second, the pitch of the sound they create can also be adjusted.
By also carefully controlling the “phase, pulse width and firing frequency” of the sparks emitted, Franzoli is able to recreate recognizable pieces of music with a surprising amount of nuance to each performance. At times, given the electronic and heavily filtered nature of Daft Punk’s music, Franzoli’s Tesla coil sounds remarkably similar to many sounds of the original piece.
Had half of Daft Punk not detonated somewhere on an abandoned salt flat it would have probably been inspired by this Franzoli performance to make one final album full of screaming Tesla coils and classic disco samples, but sadly it’s too little, too late, and from here on out, the best we’ll get is Tesla coil covers of Daft Punk’s greatest hits.