|The LightHarp has a total of 32
light-sensor virtual strings. These strings can play separate
notes, individual samples or function as frets on a single string.
A schmitt-trigger mechanism greatly improves the response time
of the sensors and reduces onset delays to less than one millisecond.
The thresh-holds of the schmitt-triggers can be attenuated to
turn specific strings on/off. This allows for the performance
of modal glissandi for ragas and Asian scales. Although the
LightHarp was designed for Indian music, it is also capable
of performing uniquely rich and dense abstract synthesis textures
and experimental micro-tonal tunings. The 32 strings are transposable
over eight octaves and tuning to various scales and paradigms
is controlled through the use of the ancillary controllers.
The LightHarp uses spotlights, lasers
and light sensors to trace virtual strings through space for performers
The instrument does not make sound itself but rather it
controls computers and synthesizer's in performance.
was originally built in Fiberglass and designed by violin and instrument
maker David S. Brown in collaboration with Stuart Favilla and Robin
Whittle [a notable computer music instrument developer and designer].
The current LightHarp has been designed and constructed in leather
by world renown, Tasmanian leather artist, Garry Greenwood. The
LightHarp is also the World's first Indian computer music instrument
and resembles a veena in shape and iconographic design.
The ancillary control panel consists of 24 simultaneous channels
of scanning analogue to digital control capable of hundreds of MIDI
controller assignments. The main controllers include breath-control,
a pitch and modulation joystick, pressure sensitive and position-sensitive
touch strips, foot-control pedals, two large dial controllers [that
operate concentric to each other] and an active electromagnetic
proximity controller wand. The instrument is usually played with
5 independent degrees of freedom.
Click here to visit the website of Joanne Cannon and Stuart Favilla