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CDM: Eigenharp Users Reflect on Playing a New Kind of Instrument

CreateDigitalMusic posted an article that I co-wrote about how the early Eigenharp Alpha adopters are playing and using this new instrument:

Novel instruments come and go; futuristic ideas appear in demos, wow crowds, and then vanish just as quickly. In order to really become part of musical practice, they require practice. And with something as unusual as the Eigenharp – a digital music controller that looks like the love child of a bassoon and a fretboard and connects to a computer – they even necessitate new techniques and strategies.

Enter musician Geert Bevin. As the creator of the fan site Eigenzone, he’s been a tireless champion of the instrument. He’s been compiling videos revealing player techniques and ideas for putting together a practical performance setup. And even Geert concedes that making music takes time.

“Six to nine months seems to be the time required to become confident enough to play the Eigenharp Alpha in front of an audience,” says Geert with a smile.

Here, Geert explains in great detail how he played the instrument in a recent video – one that should make Galactica fans happy. (You may have seen the video making the rounds, but we have some additional technical specifics.) And he shows us some of what other players are doing. They’d better be practicing, because the instrument shown, the flagship Alpha variation of the Eigenharp, costs £3995 and up. (Fortunately, if that’s out of your price range in this tough economy, there’s a cute, more portable version with many of the same features at £449. The Pico actually winds up being a pretty good deal for this kind of unusual product.)

Inventing the technology is only half the equation: it’ll take players, and time, for that creation to come into its own. Guitars and drums and flutes have had millennia. Here’s what a few months have done for the Eigenharp.

Read more on CreateDigitalMusic

Posted in Controllers, Demonstration, Live, Song.

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