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Uploaded on Oct 3, 2016
Jay Wasco "Elegant City : The Fractal Harp: Invented by Jay Wasco Copyright 2015/2016 jw" Improved audio version .
The Fractal Harp (Mark2) - The new prototype features a 28-string pivoting slide harp/guitar, ergonomically fused with a 5-string bass guitar, midi keyboard and other elements, bringing the ability to produce and improvise fully realized music in real time. It's a combined, updated descendant of my Swiss Army Bass, The Egotar and The original Fractal Harp. All described here http://jaysmuseum.com/
The Harp: The player’s right hand controls the pivoting slide/bridge while simultaneously picking, plucking and effecting pitch and modulation. The slide brings the harp's relative notes and scales through exponentially fluid chromatic increments. Additionally, a foot pedal acts independently on specific harp strings in order to bend/manipulate pitch and intervals in a way reminiscent of a pedal steel guitar. Single or two-handed play is possible and allow for the simultaneous playing of other instruments manipulation and effects.
The range of expression possible when weighted with the simplicity of the design is noteworthy.
The harp uses standard electric guitar strings with a 14 inch wide custom built pickup mounted close to the upper bridge.
The proximity of accompanying musical instrument elements has evolved while the slide and midi have been significantly refined since the last prototype visible in various situations seen here : http://www.jaysmuseum.com/vidlobby.htm
The harp also employs a midi system on its lowest strings comprised of piezo transducers acting as triggers. These function from independent strings and are used to generate real time/simultaneous drum and percussion arrangements on the fly matching & rhythmically mirroring that of the harp. Drum/percussive sounds are generated via MIDI by vibrations from specific strings and triggered by velocity (how hard the string is picked/strummed/plucked). The system works with corresponding software I've battled evil little computers to develop for some time. There’s also a separate set of triggers (the long oak keys) between the keyboard and the harp playing the many cymbal swells on this particular piece.
5 String Hammer Bass: It’s comprised of solid oak includes a pitch to midi out function applied selectively and sparingly using a momentary switch enabling the player (yes, that would be me) to engage midi assist ONLY on specific notes. In the case of the video here, the power chord/clusters throughout the song’s middle 8 section (2:20) with hits at 2:32 are examples.
Keys: The keyboard/usb controller is crowned with oak overlays giving weighty substance to the minimal plastic keys beneath. I’ve developed several complex sample patches/sounds & a collection of custom instruments over the past few years, some of which you hear in this video (if only briefly on the tunes middle 8 section- 2:20) featuring the Takamine acoustic part that comes in at the top of the final section.
mirrors the complex and expressive interval series between notes produced by actual horn /wind instruments
The melodic horn melodyof this piece (Elegant City) is created using a simple pitch to midi converter controlling a sample patch I've created, allowing me to actually sing the trumpet part. Though fairly basic, the setup strangely mimics/suggests the complex and expressive interval series that occurs between wide ranging note jumps in phrases produced by actual horn /wind instruments.
Looking forward to cranking out a lot of music on this but I'm already working on improvements for the next prototype. Hope you enjoy the music. Cheers
For more info and other Wasco instruments and music