Okay, so the Eigenharp Alpha isn’t actually from Star Wars, but you can definitely see the similarities between it and an instrument or two from Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes. I stumbled across the video below of three dudes playing these things on YouTube and think I’ve found a brand new musical obsession. According to the EigenLabs website, the version on the left here is called the Eigenharp Alpha and has, well, I’ll just copy their own description:
“Available in a variety of finishes, it has 120 highly sensitive keys, 12 percussion keys, 2 strip controllers, a breath pipe and numerous pedal inputs. This gives almost endless possibilities for flexible keyboard layouts, fast instrument switching and expressive musical control. The comprehensive software system provides a wealth of musical performance features, including playback of its own native instruments, many common software plugins, soundfonts or midi instruments.”
Pretty cool, no? I’ve been fascinated by electronic music ever since I heard the crazy mixes of Fatboy Slim back in the day. Since then I’ve been wanting to pick up a drum machine and some kind of turntables (I’ve recently been looking for MP3 versions, but more for funsies than as a serious buyer). This thing looks like it would be the perfect instrument for someone trying to get their feet wet. I also like how, since it’s so brand new, there probably aren’t as many rules you’re supposed to follow when it comes to playing it.
The only problem so far is that it runs over $6,000. Compared to a really nice guitar, that’s not too bad, but I bet a lot of people might shy away from that because it’s a brand new instrument.
In the good news department, there is a smaller version called the Eigenharp Pico which boasts “18 playing keys and 4 mode keys, a strip controller and breath pipe, the smaller Pico has the majority of the playing features of the Eigenharp Alpha.” This one translates to a little under $600 by my calculations (and by mine, I mean Google’s).
Of course, considering the fact that I’m mostly unemployed and trying my hand at this freelance writer thing, I won’t be purchasing an Eigenharp for myself, but if you faithful readers wanted to band together and order me one for Christmas (or if Eigenharp wants a review) I’d be more than happy to accept this generous gift. Oh and perform at your parties. I’m sure I’ll pick it up pretty quickly.