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The Human Harp lets you play bridges like a musical instrument

Feb 01, 2016

Hear the song of suspension bridges with this wearable electronic harness.

Ever been overcome by the majesty of that king of swing, a suspension bridge, and fantasized about playing the whole thing like a giant harp? Well… doesn’t everyone? Seriously, isn’t that fantasy as widespread as like, the Fast Times Phoebe Cates pool scene for musicians?

Well, we’re in luck: now anyone can tap into their inner Jean Michel Jarre with the Human Harp, a wearable instrument that turns any suspension bridge into a giant, motion-controlled harp. Watch it in action:

Created by artist and researcher Di Mainstone, the Human Harp consists of a wearable harness covered in digital sensors, and a series of modular devices that clip onto any bridge, or more specifically, their suspension cables. The musician (or ‘movician’) attaches a ‘bridge bow’ to a suspension cable, which then strikes the cable with the rubber ball attachments. These vibrations are picked up by a contact mic and processed by a computer, then played through an attached loudspeaker.

If that all sounds super complicated, check out the helpful (and very professionally-illustrated) infographic from the Human Harp website:

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