Glass Harp Hack Creates Music That’s Both Cool and Creepy
By Elizabeth Fish
Everyone at some point in their lives has tried to make sweet music with the wine glasses on the table while at a restaurant. Not many could make beautiful sounds from their attempts; even fewer could do it to a professional standard. Of course, if you’re a geek, you know that clever use of motors could make a difficult task easy.
Igor Brkić made a special glass harp rig that’s controlled by a phone app: The project consists of a wine glass filled with water, a motor, a servo, and a balloon. It works by lowering the balloon into the water; the pitch changes depending on how far into the water the balloon goes..
The servo lifts the balloon, with the help of a Teensy board (a similar board to Arduino) that controls the mechanism. The Teensy board connects to the phone app that will send an OSC (open sound control) message to a laptop over Wi-Fi. Finally, the laptop sends the command to the Teensy board.
The motorized spinning board that helps create the sound is made out of wet cotton, old printer parts, and a platter from a hard drive.
Despite the various connections a command needs to go through, the result is a creepy tune. It’s still impressive, though, and saves you from wetting your finger and furiously spinning it around a glass.