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This is awesome. Thanks for sharing. There are usually these sensors used at big rock and pop shows, however, I would never mind just attending a light show - it's awesome.

There is a huge mistake in this article that should be corrected: It was not Geoffrey Rose, who invented the Laser Harp; it was the frenchman Bernard Szajner. See my Laser Harp Pages ( for the complete history, as well as an interview with Bernard.

Manuel Schulz

Hmph! This is what you get for scorning my love of electronica, missy. I've known about Jarre for years. There's a lot of innovation in this genre. This is very cool though.

Raman Kashyap (not Kashyup) has done some incredible writing in the field of fiber optics. His book on Bragg gratings was informative and intriguing. He has roughly 100 US patents and is one of the truly smart guys in the world of optics.

Manuel, Id suggest correcting the Wikipedia entry for laser harps, which cites the inventor as Geoffrey Rose. Far more people will use Wikipedia as a first stop than my humble little blog. :)

hi jennifer,

i do regulary. unfortunately, geoffrey rose is undoing my editing all the time. he claims to be the inventor, but he is not. he contacted me, urging me to change the laser harp pages naming him as the inventor. he has absolutely no evidence that he is the inventor. nor has he sent anything to prove it.

i am in very good touch with bernard szajner, the original inventor of the harp. he sent me tons of infos about his harp, and everything that happened to it, including the story of giving the permission to jarre for the china concerts to use a laser harp.

anyway, i enjoyed your article. if you have any questions about the harp, you are welcome.

best wishes

manuel schulz

Wow! You'd never heard of Jean-Michel Jarre, I was a big fan in the late 70s early 80s, although never got to see his pioneering instruments used live. Just for your interest, he's the son of composer Maurice Jarre who composed the famous music for Lawrence of Arabia, and countless others. J-M's big hit was Oxygene, which as a budding chemist at the time, I could not help but be drawn to. I guess if you're a physicist you should have been attracted to the later Magnetic Fields album.


This reminds me of a talented cat I've seen...

"See this YouTube video of Jarre..."
Youtube says,
"The video you have requested is not available." :(

I invented and built the first the world’s first laser harp ( and coined the name) in1976…this claim has been howled down by Szajner’s accolytes ad nauseum…
I am happy to provide proof…Jon Anderson of YES played my harp, Simon Drake,well known British illusionist watched me build the harp, Eve Richter of Tarm Laser lent me money for the synthesiser, Robert Sheridan lent me the laser…all of this verifiable and 5 years before Szajner built his first harp…I even met him in 1976 and showed him a photo of my harp…funny, but he denies ever meeting me…the time has surely come to correct this farcical situation ….
The image you found is the original 1976 harp…updated from one 5 mw hene laser to 10 5 mw dpss lasers.It is what is now called a framed laser harp, although I also designed the unframed laser harp at this time but did not build one.
The original harp was designed around a synthesiser chip with attack, decay, sustain and release selected across the 25 intersections of the 10 laser beams…it kind of worked, but I scrapped that esoteric concept for a Korg synthesiser as basis, and connected 5 notes on one axis with variations of a quality on the other axis, for example tremolo, traveller or repeat…
I also used a Roland 727 percussion synthesiser in another variation to create a 25 channel drum ensemble which worked well.
I have some images of the first days of the harp which I will dig out and send to you if you are interested.
It is gratifying to see the passion that the laser harp has generated thru the large number of harps that have appeared down the years…
Geoffrey Rose


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    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
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      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
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      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
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