Musical Instruments in the digital age – EigenHarp et. all

Now here’s a nerdy-cum-creative name if there was one! The EigenHarp is perhaps a precursor to musical instruments that I envision will roll out in this digital age of ours. The Eigenharp is a brand of electronic instrument made by Eigenlabs, a company based in Devon, UK, invented by John Lambert and released in 2009 after it had been in development it for eight years. The “instrument” is in essence a highly flexible and portable controller, with the sound being actually generated in the software it drives. Read more about this here.

Our very own Georgia Tech hosts the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument competition and here is a link to the 2011 winner. Makes for excellent reading and watching.

Algorithmic Timbre?: Seeing all this has gotten me to ponder on why is there a discretization on the number of instruments that we have – timbre should be infinite right : maybe there are sounds that we have not just heard, and is it possible for computers to be used as a testbed for creating new instruments as a whole – this would mean being able to algorithmically define the timbre for an instrument with some parameters of sound that vary, and then vary these patterns to come up with a radically different sounding instrument.

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