Featured on  The Creators Project

OVERVIEW: Spinal Harp is an exploration of the movitian that creates music through movement.

CRAFT

In the first week we iterated on different attachment pieces and handles with a focus on fab-lab makability, sustainability and usability for both the harp maker and performer. In the second week we explored the theme of “The Prosthetic”, a dancer who’s body has become an extension of the instrument. This is where Spinal Harp was created. After some bodystorming to get an idea on which body part we could focus and emphasise on, we realised that the spine was the most interesting part of the body to work on, since every dancer depends a lot on its movement. That also got us thinking about different animals and characters that could give some inspiration on form and function. 

THEME

Spinal Harp is a performative exploration part of the Human Harp Project. The brief was simple: create a wearable device to be played like an instrument by a dancer, connected by strings to a bridge. Spinal harp is based on the concept of body extension, prosthesis and exoskeleton. By studying the movement of the body, we found suitable connection points at which we strung musical ropes to the dancer. The string connection to the body is mediated through a body extension that acts as an architectural structure supported by the body. A dancer trained to use the harp can play it through expressive movement guided by the body-extension.

The strings of the node were connected to a circular structure which the dancer attached to the bridge. By pulling this string the dancer would pull a musical wheel within the structure that changed tunes according to the tension on the string. These connections put together created the aesthetics of a harp on the Brooklyn bridge, imitating it's architecture.

We began to explore forms and shapes based on the dancers movements and crafted hand stitched prosthetics that could fit comfortably on the dancer.  Our focus was to ensure that the holster fitted perfectly and comfortably onto the dancers body so that she/he could move freely. Each musical node was connected via magnets that would plug into the prothetic suit of the dancer and generate music through her movement. 

 

The main idea was to ensure that the holster fitted perfectly and comfortably onto the dancers body so that she/he can move freely yet with designed restrictions. This design was further implemented into the Human Harp project by artist Di Mainstone. The project has been showcased and exhibited in Brooklyn New York and London. For more information please visit: www.humanharp.org

IMPACT 

The string connection to the body is mediated through a body extension that acts as an architectural structure supported by the body. A dancer trained to use the harp can play it through expressive movement guided by the body-extension. Therefore, the design pattern was dictated by the body instead of visual appeal, which made the curves and the form very functional and logical.