Two concentric circles make up the laser harp instrument and allows the user to play sound decided by satellite data.
The Cosmic Harp is an instrument that allows the user to play abstractions of satellite data. The harp is designed with inspiration the Armillary sphere used in astrology in the 16th century.
Designed as a futuristic-looking midi instrument, and using lasers instead of strings, the harp plays with notions of the new and the old. It is equipped with an accelerometer to measure the rotation of the user’s interaction with the instrument, and thus inspires a new investigation of how to play a harp.
The inner circle rotates and creates patterns in the sound when swung around. The outer circle allows the user to play more traditional harp strings.
The harp has been created for performance by the Warm Canopy project by Freddie Wyss, which is an allegory for the canopy of satellites that surround the earth. The Cosmic harp is in ongoing development for the sonic expression, and we are currently composing a sonification based on real-time satellite positions. These will be sourced from the satellites over New York city and Denmark, as these two areas are similar in population numbers (~ 6 million people). This is done by taking of a snippet of the sky over the two areas using Space-Track.org. A visualization of what that data looks like can be seen here, by the wonderful people behind http://stuffin.space.
It was featured at the ITP Winter Show 2018
6:50 – Cosmic Harp by Sid Chou & Louise Lessel