When someone says they play the electric guitar, really what they’re saying is that they play an electrically amplified guitar. But mega-shred wizard Alex Campbell (Seek Irony, EverFret) played electricity with his guitar by plugging his Kiesel into a Tesla coil through a device that translates his notes into pure electricity. There’s no speakers at all in this video, no amplifier, just the arc lightning creating the pitches and the volume.
As a kid I spent many, many long Friday afternoons at the Boston Museum of Science, still one of my favorite places on earth, and every now and again I would catch the electricity show on their MASSIVE Tesla coils, and it’s extremely loud and pretty scary, but REAL fun. There was always a segment where they would use the Tesla coils to play a song, so I was aware that this was a possibility, but I had no idea there was a way to play it in real time with a stringed instrument until now.
Alex is playing through a unique (as in, only one exists in the world) pedal called the Teslafuzz (top right in this picture) that somehow “converts the analog guitar signal into IRs and then sends out the light responses via fibre optic cable to the Tesla coil” according to Alex.
For more of this impressive feat, check out ArcAttack.