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The Overtone Harp

The Overtone Harp gives new life, new pitches, new timbres to an old piano harp.

Oscillating magnetic fields stimulate the strings in their fundamental modes and also in their first eight harmonic modes. This creates layers of sound like a pipe organ and gives access to additional consonant intervals not found in 12 tone equal temperament, such as the Perfect 3rd and Perfect 7th. Its custom sound board is made of lightweight spruce tone wood, providing a bright sound well suited to the airy overtones.

The video below explains it best.

It was completed with much contribution from composers Molly Herron, Albert Behar and Merche Blasco. And a long night of wiring and cable-making with Lui Kawasumi.

The video above shows an improvisation by composer Molly Herron. The video below is an in-depth demo and explanation by the good folks at Motherboard.

Motherboard Interview