for double bass and overtone harp

Performance Information:

Premiered on November 16, 2014 at Littlefield, Brooklyn, NY

Lisa Dowling, double bass
Molly Herron, overtone harp (keyboard)
Amy Garapic, overtone harp (tactile)

Commissioned by the Brooklyn Arts Council.

About the work:

This overtone harp, created by Andy Cavatorta, is the harp of a baby grand piano set upright in a new frame with a new soundboard and fixed with a bank of thirty electro- magnets. The electro-magnets are controlled by a Midi keyboard, which can be used to stimulate each string at its fundamental pitch or up to its 8th partial depending on the rate at which the electromagnets are turned off and on. 

This instrument is played by two performers: one (Tactile Harp) plays on the harp itself, plucking the strings, playing with mallets on the frame, etc., and the other (Overtone Keyboard) controls the magnets via a midi keyboard. 

The harmonic blooming that the magnets draw from the piano strings reminds me of the invisible yet tangible effects of the pull of cosmic bodies, such as the moon. The blood moon is the October full moon which is particularly close to the earth and was the moon under which I wrote this piece in 2014. 

More information on Andy Cavatorta's overtone harp