I’ve been watching these critters for awhile, because I’m really intrigued by the idea of an instrument which, essentially, something new in the musical universe. If you don’t know what an Eigenharp is, think of it as a software synthesizer interface that’s somewhat similar to a Chapman Stick (although only in a peripheral way). You play it by using a breath pipe, a key matrix made up of 120 keys, 12 percussion keys and 2 ribbon controller strips on the sides. It’s billed as “the world’s most expressive instrument”. So far it’s been dismissed by a lot of professionals because it’s an entirely new way to approach music. As such, some people think it’s little more than a toy. But for someone like me, who’s constantly been frustrated by the need to rely on other musicians (who are a moody, egotistical bunch… let’s face it), the idea of being able to do more musically on a single instrument is highly appealing. I also remember when people believed the desktop computer would never be anything more than a curiosity.
Anyway, this thing is hideously expensive, so I won’t be getting one any time soon (hell, I can’t figure out a way to buy a $350 bass cabinet). But I’m going to be watching these critters, hoping that someone will come along and legitimize the instrument. I watched a video on YouTube, which I’ve embedded below, and I couldn’t help thinking while watching the performance, “Where is Devo when we need them?” This instrument could literally open up new avenues of expression. I’m dying to get my hands on one.