The wooden ring that makes up the Harp was specially commissioned by us and manufactured by Ben at Make Me Something Special. The material chosen was solid North American Cherry, giving a unique traditional instrumental feel to the Harp. The timber was selected by hand, planed and glued together in a press to create a sheet of solid timber. From here the first halo was cut. The Halo also featured engraved lettering around the edge.The timber was only 18mm thick and had a vast amount of internal carved channel work cut, this being necessary to hide all the necessary cabling to make the Harp come to life.
The laser light is best visualised in a hazy atmosphere, and for performances, the Harp is equipped with a fixed haze machine to give striking view of the laser beams.
The lasers and photodiodes are what make the Harp unique. Small Class II laser diode pointers modules act on photodiodes to detect the light level and signal a change to the microcontroller.
The Harp uses a Raspberry Pi to detect light levels and synthesise sound via a high quality add-on sound card. This gives a lot of control over the possible sounds, the note configuration and the instruments used - we've even had the Harp play as a drum machine!
Detection is achieved and notes synthesised using simple Python scripts - these allow the harp to be completely customised to user's desire.
The Harp is default set to 8 notes around a middle-C scale:
Future harps will include means to actively change octave and scale to give access to all notes.