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ZAP! Music for Van de Graaff Generator, Tesla Coils, Instruments, and Voices

by Christine Southworth

Power On 06:59
Surge 04:27
Charged 10:39
Attraction 05:17
Static 06:25
Power Off 08:10


The sound of electricity at its rawest and most majestic - sparks, booms, lightning bolts, sizzling corona and low hums from giant motors - intermingle with the sounds of cello, bass, guitar, piano, clarinets, percussion and voice.
Christine Southworth created Zap! in 2004 to explore these possibilities, using the Boston Museum of Science's Theater of Electricity as her venue and instrument. Its centerpiece - MIT Professor Robert Van de Graaff's eponymous Generator, was born in 1931 as one of the world's largest atom smashers. It is still the largest of its kind in the world, standing forty-feet tall and producing up to 1.5 million volts of electricity.
Zap!, a composition in seven parts, takes the sounds of this machine, two large Tesla Coils, and a Jacob's Ladder, merged with rock rhythms and sweet melodies performed by Robert Black, David Cossin, Felix Fan, Philippa Thompson, Eddie Whalen, & Evan Ziporyn. The resulting music is ... electrifying!


released May 24, 2008


Robert Black ... bass
David Cossin ... percussion
Felix Fan ... cello
Christine Southworth ... voice
Philippa Thompson ... voice
Eddie Whalen ... guitar
Evan Ziporyn ... keyboards & clarinets
Van de Graaff Generator and Tesla Coils operated by Jeannine Trezvant.

Recorded by Joel Gordon June 18, 2006 Boston Museum of Science Theater of Electricity.
Music recorded at LOHO Studios by Lawrence Manchester June 5, 2006
Edited by Christine Southworth
Mixed and Mastered by Rob Friedman


all rights reserved



Christine Southworth Lexington, Massachusetts

Christine Southworth is a multimedia composer dedicated to creating art born from a cross-pollination of sonic and visual ideas. Inspired by intersections of technology & art, nature & machines, and musics from cultures around the world, her works employ sounds from man and nature, from Van de Graaff Generators to honeybees, Balinese gamelan to seismic data from volcanoes. ... more

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