The Laser Harp Pages

For many years Manuel Schulz maintained The Laser Harp Pages. This site was a major influence on me, and offered some wonderful technical information on how a laser harp could be constructed.

In early in 2010 he decided to close the site. Later the same year he asked me if I would be interested in hosting the site content. I firmly believe that all the great information he collected should be preserved, so I very quickly agreed…

All of the following content was provided by Manuel Schulz

Steve Hobley April 2010


[nggallery id= 13]


History of the Laser Harp

Bernard Szajner is the pioneer of the laser harp, which he invented in April 1981. After letting Jarre use his concept for the China Tour, some technicians started building different versions of it. Below is a short Breakdown of the most important harp versions I know so far, as well as their utilizations. I know, there are a lot of rumours going around and the information out there is very, very different. Therefore, I have contacted and interviewed nearly everybody listed below to present you the (hopefully) most complete information about laser harps.

Year

Design

Technician(s)

Concert

Driven instrument

1981

Bernard Szajner

Bernard Szajner, Claude Lifante, Denis Carnus, Didier Badez

6th Festival of Science Fiction and Imagination

Polysequencer MDB

1981

Claude Lifante

Christian Queniart, Franck Vialle

Jarre: The China Concerts

RSF

1986

Philippe Guerre

Gilles Gingras, Yan Terrien

Jarre: Houston and Lyon

Elka Synthex

1988

Laserpoint, Ltd. in Cambridge, UK

Gilles Gingras

Jarre: London, Docklands

Elka Synthex

1990

Christian Hubert

Gilles Gingras, Claude Lifante

Jarre: Paris, La Defense

Elka Synthex

1990

Albert de Jonge

H. A. de Jonge

 

 

1994

Yan Terrien

Yan Terrien

Jarre: Hong Kong, Concert for Tolerance

Elka Synthex

1996

Sebastien Pamart

Sebastien Pamart

1999: Rave electronique

 

1997

Yan Terrien

Denis Benoit

Jarre: Oxygene Tour, Oxygene in Moscow

Akai Sampler

1998

Andrew Kilpatrick

Andrew Kilpatrick

Concert at the University of Western Ontario

Roland Juno-2

2000

Laurent de la Casiniere

 

Jarre: 12 Dreams of the Sun

 

     

Jarre’s latest one (creator and details unknown; seems to be DPSS based) was used in Athen at the Acropolis and I think that it is the one he still uses now…

At the end of the 90s, laser harp fans as well as laser companies started to build several laser harps featuring many different technical principles. Regarding the amateur-league, the most important efforts made Albert de Jonge, who built the first home made laser harp, Andrew Kilpatrick with his framed laser harp and Sebastien Parmart who really made it to a frameless laser harp. Therefore I mentioned them in the table above as well.

 

Articles

An interview with Bernard Szajner, the inventor of the very first laser harp

I am very proud to present you, dear visitor, an interview with Bernard Szajner, the real inventor of the first laser harp ever made. The interview consists of 4 parts, concerning general questions, technical issues, Jean-Michel Jarre and questions about the person Bernard Szajner.

Technical Talk with Yan Terrien

After Jarre used Bernard Szajner’s Concept of the laser harp on his China Tour, he let top laser specialists redesign and rebuild his harp to get a frameless one. Yan built one of the latest frameless laser harps which was used in Paris and Hong-Kong and was so kind taking his time to answer a bunch of technical questions about this project.


Andrew Kilpatrick about selfmade laser harps

Andrew Kilpatrick has done a really cool framed laser harp on PIC microcontroller basis. In the following interview we talk about selfmade laser harps – motivations, approaches and Andrew even gives some hints for people who want to start such a challenging project.


Sebastien Pamart – Building the frameless laser harp

Sebastien Pamart was able to create one of the first frameless laser harps using a stepper motor to control the mirror.


Stephen Hobley – Frameless laser harp with Arduino

My laser harp was built in 2009 using a standard laser galvanometer and an Atmel AVR microprocessor.

[nggallery id= 14]


Bernard Szajner
Congratulations Manuel, your site is definitely unique and perfectly documented…

Amitiés Bernard Szajner
January 18 2008 14:40:00


Yan Terrien
One day, in the seventies, my life has changed when I became the laser technician
of
Iannis Xenakis, and so many years of emotion started from there…. I understand
the passion
that you have for the laser. Thank you for this very interesting site.
January 18 2008 14:40:47


Denis CARNUS
It’s OK, Manuel, all is right and great in this marvelous history of the
laser harp.
Ich gratuliere dich für dein arbeit, Donnerwetter… The big Denis CARNUS.

January 18 2008 14:41:34


Andrew Kilpatrick
This site is a dream come true for many people like myself who are interested
in laser harps.
Good luck with the site, and to all of you who think you want to build a
harp… it will be an
excellent challenge and learning experience.
January 18 2008 14:42:43


Pascal Wynar
Many thanks Manuel for this very complete and useful web site…Now the dream
become reality! Amitées, Pascal
January 18 2008 14:43:28


Halvard Halvorsen
Excellent site. I have linked twice to it, latest today (20050107) when trying
to correct The Times
(where Bob Stanley today claims Jarre invented the “light organ”).
January 18 2008 14:43:57


Fabien BIGOT
CONGRATULATIONS Manuel ! Your website is very full of informations for Laser
Harps builders.
I whish it a long life ! Thank you !
January 18 2008 15:12:57


Simon Hamid
A very informative site. Alot of time and effort has gone in to fact finding.

Keep up the fantastic work Manuel.
January 18 2008 15:13:21


Diego
The page is very interesting… I think the laser harp has been the best
visual instrument.
January 18 2008 15:13:47


Poipoi
Lots of love from Poland to all laser harp fans!
January 18 2008 15:14:56


Carl Bowden
Great website which has realy helped me to build my own 9 beam framed laser
harp. An alternative
way to create the fan of beams from one laser is to use a defraction line
grating and just block every
other beam up to 5 beams eather side of centre. I’ve used a 60mW dpss laser
which show up well in
lite smoke. I followed your build instructions and the finished result works
perfect.
January 18 2008 15:15:17

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Henry Nelson October 24, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Man, really want to know how can you be that smart, lol…great read, thanks.

GEOFFREY ROSE May 24, 2011 at 2:51 am

HI ALL
JUST WANT TO CLEAR UP THE CONFUSION ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF THE LASER HARP…IT WAS INVENTED BY GEOFFREY ROSE IN 1975/6 WHO ALSO COINED THE NAME…THIS IS NOW BEING RECOGNIZED BY MANY PEOPLE…AND ABOUT TIME TOO…

Not Important January 4, 2012 at 9:30 am

I just went to the laser harp pages to find it was now here. It states that Stephen Hobley is “*the*” laser harp expert of today, when all I can see is pages of information copied from others…

[snip]

OK, I’m going to stop you there. If you would be kind enough to repost your comment with your name and contact details included, I would be happy to approve it, in its entirety, unedited.

Additionally I would be *more* than happy to respond.

Steve

Leave a Comment

Comments links could be nofollow free.