08 October 2009

How could something so wrong be so right?

I am in love. What you are seeing in the video above is an Eigenharp, revealed this week from Eigenlabs and the product of eight years of development. A mixture of midi controller, wind, string, percussion and loop player it is also just about the most beautiful thing I have seen (keep in kind I am the proud owner of an Omnichord). There's a pretty good overview of how it works and what exactly it is capable of on video here, and at the bbc here, and all I can say is wow.

The problem I have always felt about electronic music is how boring it is to watch. With the exception of Love Rhino, who plays a guitar as part of his set, almost all of my musician friends hide behind a laptop and leave the audience wondering whether they are just hitting play on winamp, or if anything actually 'live' is going on. This agoraphobia was taken to extreme at an Aphex Twin gig I was at where Mr James actually spent the whole gig sitting on the floor behind the table the decks were on with only his arm visible as it reached up over his head to put records on the platters.

For triggering loops I'm partial to a few Audio Cubes, and my weakness for a Tenori-on is well known, but the ability to move away from a laptop and take front and centre on a stage while avoiding the humiliation of a keytar, is something that makes the Eigenharp an object of pure desire.

They only thing that stops me from doing my usual impulse purchase here is the price tag, starting at £3,950.


That and the fact that the only folks who'll buy one probably play in the Creature Cantina.

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At 10:13 am, Blogger Jonzer said...

Thanks for the plug and kind words on my live sets. I always felt naked on stage without a guitar. I feel your pain on the price tag. A similar financial constraint has held me back from procuring a Chapman stick for the last decade. That and having to shave my head and reduce my face fuzz to the obligatory lone 'tache as is the wont of most if not all stick players.


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