The Human Harp is a project using movement of a performer connected to the interface to create music and ‘play’ the bridge. The interface is a number of modules with string/sensors which attach to the performer. The sensors capture the rate, length and angle of the string pull and translate those movements through Max/MSP to produce synthesized sounds via granular synthesis. The inspiration for artist Di Mainstone was looking out over the Brooklyn Bridge and thinking how much it looked – and sounded through the hum of the cables in the wind – like a harp.
“As I listened to the hum of the steel suspension cables, the chatter of visitors and the musical ‘clonks’ of their footsteps along the bridge’s wooden walkway, I wondered if these sounds could be recorded, remixed and replayed through a collaborative digital interface? Mirroring the steel suspension cables of the bridge, I decided that this clip-on device could be harp-like, with retractable strings that physically attach the user or Movician’s body to the bridge, literally turning them into a human harp.”