Commissioned by the City of Melbourne, Australia, the Weather Harp is a wind operated, resonator harp made from marine ply, goat-skin, epoxy, stainless steel and mixed media by David Murphy with Cameron Robbins.
The Weather Harp was based on a limpit shell, and incorporates the Fibonacci numbers and the Golden Mean into its design. It has 21 strings that radiate out from the center of the resonator to produce two tuned notes per string, giving it 42 notes in all - it is tuned to an E flat pentatonic scale. The body is made of a marine ply front (1400 mm x 860 mm), with the back and resonator made from formed goat skins impregnated with a marine epoxy.
The Weather Harp is played by two wind activated devices. The wind cups were designed and made by David Murphy and play a rhythmic melody on the treble strings via an eccentric connected to the bamboo plucking arm.
The Balance Arm, designed and built by Cameron Robbins, plays the bass line by plucking backwards and forwards across the bass strings as the turbulence in the lane hits the aluminum sail. It also has a line attached to it that enables the public to activate the arm from the footpath.
A Night view of Weather Harp installation in Sugden Place 2003