Bach On The Eigenharp Alpha

Jose Silva sent in this video, via the Submit A Store page, capturing an elegant Bach performance on the Eigenharp Alpha:

Wonderful Instrument, just “lightly touching” it’s capabilities and expressiveness ( goes way beyond just playing one sound)

I am without words to describe how much I am fortunate enough to live this present times and play the Eigenharp’s ( ALPHA and PICO)


8 thoughts on “Bach On The Eigenharp Alpha


    This is on par with a middle school concert performance. He's playing a simple piano piece that would've sounded fine on a midi keyboard, but STILL wouldn't be noteworthy. This certainly isn't noteworthy and showcases absolutely nothing.

    Would you hire this guy to add something to your record? Or live situation? It's a giant descending sphere of mediocrity from an instrument that might be amazing in the right hands.

  2. So what are you saying, only technical mindblowlingly difficult performances of novel music are noteworthy? Time to wrap up this site then and certainly all of the iPad music apps where people are still struggling to lign up two chords or play something polyphonically with some hints of expression. It's so easy to bash on people who take risks by stepping out there to show what they're doing. IMHO yes this performance is noteworthy, it shows that the Eigenharp needs practice and that classical misic pieces are possible on it. Now, show me someone that has played a midi keyboard for three months and plays this? I think José does a great job everything considered (you do realize that there are no teachers yet and everyone is just discovering technique) and I personally like how you can hear the differences of expressiveness as the performance progresses. The least you can do is show some respect for someone who makes music.

  3. Interesting reactions. I play an Alpha also and was enjoying playing some Bach cello music just as this video was published. From experience I can say that an Eigenharp is an extremely easy instrument to pic up and play but a challenging instrument to master. I fully expect that Jose will be (actually is already) a better player of this instrument than I … but the issue here is more about genre than proficiency.

    Playing keyboard music on an Alpha invites the observation that one might just as well use a keyboard but, in fact the more interesting observation is 'wow' this fellow is playing a straight interpretation of a keyboard piece on a *very* non-traditional instrument – that was my reaction and I enjoyed the demonstration.

    I expect that there are lots of folk wondering about this instrument, both the scope of its use and their own ability to take it up – this video contributes to that.

    There is a broad range of things that Alpha will do naturally that a keyboard won't (ever) do without resorting to stale articulation switches (if at all). Also, it is an absolute, visceral, joy to play.

    All that said, and separately from reacting to this piece, the question of how an EH player might fit into varios commercial setting is an interesting one (and hey, not everyone wants to be a session player or band member).

    Here are my thoughts (with these and a few dollars, you can get on public transit hehehe)

    An eigenharp is capable of:
    – displacing most individual instruments in an ensemble setting (no big deal)
    – allowing an individual performer the scope of creating rich, complex, live arrangements (very big deal)
    – creating an dramatic presence at a performance (from string quartets to arena stuff)
    – adding unique and differentiating performances to individual arrangements
    – being a fine solo instrument

    Strangely, the last thing is (as with most instruments) the most difficult to master, hats off to Jose

  4. Agreed. This strikes me as that old school "musical elitism" that plagued that whole 70s.

    What people lack in originality, the make up for with technique.

  5. jojo –

    Not Rosalyn Tureck, but nonetheless an interesting demonstration of the instrument.

    FYI – he notes on his YouTube post that he's been playing the Eigenharp for three months.

  6. Yes, but it's using new hardware that people (or at least I am) interested in. I want to see a range of different pieces, traditional or otherwise, being played by a range of people. I want to know how versatile this instrument is. I want to see if it can be used to evoke emotion, and a sense of expressive performance.

    I rather enjoyed the demonstration, I also like that in a live situation, the way the keys light up is a rather nice visual response for the audience, which I think will work quite nicely in a live situation.

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