Electric Harp Guitar Group
© 2008 William Eaton, Anthony Mazzella, Fitzhugh Jenkins
Harp guitar music
|Electric Harp Guitar Group
Guitarists William Eaton, Anthony Mazzella, and Fitzhugh Jenkins to debut new instruments, a new concept, and a new sound. While the three guitarists have performed many times as soloists, and with other groups, this will be the first time the Electric Harp Guitar Group will perform in a series of concerts together. The guitarists play original music composed specifically for the newly designed instruments and also improvisations that are a reflection of the combined awareness of the musicians, the concert space, and the audience. Listeners at the upcoming concerts will be treated to a sonic journey that explores the ancient past and future of stringed instruments. From the plucked entrainment of the one-string shamanÕs bow, to the present and future of guitar synthesizer and computer modeled instruments, attendees should expect to be transported. Each member of this group is an established guitarist, performer, composer, producer, and recording artist, with three Grammy nominations to their individual credits. Anthony Mazzella is recognized as one of the most innovative guitar players in the world, and was voted as "one of the top ten guitarists in the U.S." by Guitar One magazine. Fitzhugh Jenkins has become renowned for his versatility on acoustic, classical, and bass guitars and his performing and recording career has taken him around the U.S., Europe, Canada, and Hawaii. William Eaton is acknowledged as one of the worlds great designers and builders of unique stringed instruments that, according to one reviewer, "look like lost artifacts of a highly evolved alien culture." In collaboration they strive to listen, with a delicate sensitivity, to what each other is playing, allowing a unified sound to emerge that leads to the unfolding of each musical moment. This instrumental combination is a first. Imagine three 18-string instruments simultaneously resonating in harmony, rhythmic syncopation, and melodic counterpoint, using elements of jazz, classical, East Indian, ambient, funk, rock and their own finger-style innovations. Better yet, attend one of their upcoming concerts and experience this new combination for yourself. William Eaton has designed and built many multi-stringed instruments throughout the years that are considered to be works of art and have been featured in books, magazines, museums and art exhibits. While his previous creations are one-of-a-kind, this is the first time he has produced similar instruments with a group vision in mind. It is also the first time he has formed a team to help with the construction. Luthiers Robert Mazzullo, Kris Olsen, and Bart Applewhite, who are staff members of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix, worked with Eaton to complete three of the first ÔquartetÕ of instruments. The fourth instrument is scheduled to be finished in September. While the design of each electric harp guitar is the same the use of different, rare hardwoods gives each instrument a distinct character. Vermillion (rust orange), Brazilian satinwood (yellow), purple heart (purple), flamed maple (blonde) and ebony give each instrument a brilliant natural color. The 18-string electric harp guitar has an extended guitar scale neck that is approximately two inches longer than a regular electric guitar. This longer scale gives the instrument a lower range and deeper tone values. A sinewy curve arches from the headstock to the end of the fret board and flows through the sculpted body to create harp bows by which to attach two extra sets of strings. Six strings are attached to the longer harp bow, and provide open plucked frequencies in the mid and bass ranges. Six strings are also attached to the lower body of the instrument; with their shorter string length resulting in higher pitched notes similar to the small Autoharp of the zither family. The instrument utilizes electro-magnetic and piezo pickups that allows the guitar and harp strings to be amplified.