A unique interactive musical harp using electronic sensing rope technology.
This piece originally appeared as part of the Extreme Textiles exhibit at the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in 2005. During 2006 it was installed in the main lobby at Pixar.
This piece is currently seeking a new home in a museum or similar location!
Please email dan-at-MonkeyLectric-dot-com if you can help.
HOW TO PLAY THE HARP
- Grip any blue rope near the center of the rope
- Pull hard to make a sound!
- Each rope makes a different sound (listen to the mp3 file below)
- Watch the display screen when you pull
- Conductive fibers are braided with traditional fibers to produce a patented rope technology that is capable both of carrying a load and monitoring the weight of that load. The rope acts as its own strain gauge, monitoring tension constantly while the rope is in use. In this installation, changing the tension in the blue sensing ropes creates an electrical signal that modulates the music that you hear through a synthesizer. Just as the human muscular-skeletal system is a tensegrity of muscle and bone, the ropes and aluminum tubes form a tensegrity of tension and compression, pushing and pulling, weightlessness and gravity.
- Based on Tensegrity structures. The three main struts are held in place only by the tension of the ropes, they are not attached to each other or to the floor. A "standard" three-strut tensegrity of similar form has nine ropes required to hold it up. Here we have replaced each of those nine ropes with a spline of twelve, resulting in 108 total ropes. The resulting structure is surprisingly sturdy, it can easily support hundreds of pounds from the top end of each main strut with negligible deformation.
- 9 feet high, 8 feet wide, 8 feet deep (dis-assembly is possible for transport)
- approximately 300 pounds
- three main struts are 12.5 feet long, 5.5 inch diameter.
MAKE YOUR OWN!
You can build your own non-musical model of this structure in just a couple hours. All you need are 3 sticks, a roll of string and a drill. (see the last step of the instructable)