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Fall/Winter 2015  “Elegant City”  featuring The Fractal Harp Mark2 

My new tune here features the newly minted upright version of the Fractal Harp. This performance was tracked live, in real-time keeping the intro/top of the piece (written on the instrument (s)) somewhat sparse and basic so you’d get the gist of what the Fractal Harp is and how it works.
The Fractal Harp Mark2: The new prototype features a 28-string pivoting slide harp/guitar ergonomically fused with a 5-string bass guitar, midi keyboard and other elements, bringing the ability to produce fully realized music in real time. It's a combined, updated descendant of the Swiss Army Bass, The Egotar and The original Fractal Harp.

The Harp: The player’s right hand controls the pivoting slide/bridge while simultaneously picking, plucking and effecting pitch and modulation. The slide brings the harp's relative notes and scales through exponentially fluid chromatic increments. Additionally, a foot pedal acts independently on specific harp strings in order to bend/manipulate pitch and intervals in a way reminiscent of a pedal steel guitar. Single or two-handed play is possible and allow for the simultaneous playing of other instruments manipulation and effects.  

The range of expression possible when weighted with the simplicity of the design is noteworthy.

The harp uses standard electric guitar strings with a 14 inch wide custom built pickup mounted close to the upper bridge.

The proximity of accompanying musical instrument elements has evolved while the slide and midi have been significantly refined since the last prototype visible in various situations seen here -

The harp also employs a midi system on its lowest strings comprised of piezo transducers acting as triggers. These function from independent strings and are used to generate real time/simultaneous drum and percussion arrangements on the fly matching & rhythmically mirroring that of the harp. Drum/percussive sounds and dynamics are determined by the specific string played and how hard it’s picked/strummed/plucked (via midi velocity). The system works with corresponding software I’ve battled evil little computers to develop. There’s also a separate set of triggers (long oak keys) between the keyboard and the harp playing the many cymbal swells on this particular piece.

5 String Hammer Bass: It’s comprised of solid oak includes a pitch to midi out function applied selectively and sparingly using a momentary switch enabling the player (yes, that would be me) to engage midi assist ONLY on specific notes. In the case of the video here, the power chord/clusters throughout the song’s middle 8 section (2:20) with hits at 2:32 are examples.

Keys: The keyboard/usb controller is crowned with oak overlays giving weighty substance to the minimal plastic keys beneath (I still don’t get why keyboards are made of black and white plastic) I’ve developed several complex sample patches/sounds for my collection of custom instruments over the past few years some of which you hear in this video (if only briefly on the tunes middle 8 section-
2:20) featuring the Takamine acoustic part that comes in at the top of the final section.

The Herb-Alpertron: The melodic horn melody part of this piece sound is created using a simple pitch to midi converter controlling a sample patch I’ve created that allowing me to actually sing the trumpet part. Though fairly basic, the setup strangely mirrors the complex and expressive interval series between notes produced by actual horn /wind instruments.

Looking forward to cranking out a lot of music on this but my mind is already drifting to improvements on the next one. Hope you enjoy the music.
more info

PS - yes, those ARE little hands on the bass tuning pegs


                     Right view
                      Left view
First Prototype



Summer 2015 "Don't Let It Bring You Down "- Neil Young cover - Swiss Army Bass -  Tracked live in real time. All sounds and samples created by JW.
Spring 2015 "Redemption Song"- Bob Marley cover  Tracked live in real time. Fractal Harp/ Vocals, keys and bass. All sounds and samples created by JW.

10 Years Gone  (Zep cover) MS Lead Guitar Challange- click here for more




 "The Rage" Copyright 2014 Jay Wasco - Swiss Army Bass/ vocals - Performed live/real time (including drums) . All sounds (drums, feedback/weasel/chud chunks /guitarishness fracked crafted played, triggered/provoked in real time -






Hang On To Yourself - David Bowie cover - Jay Wasco/Swiss Army Bass- Live studio rendition - Version highlights sounds created by JW, bitchslapped into his computer and played live/un-quantized from that cute little keyboard and microphone.
"So Far From Home" copyright 2014 Jay Wasco - Swiss Army Bass/ vocals - Performed live/real time (including drums) . All sounds (drums, feedback/weasel/c
"Crystal Begonia"   Summer 2014 Swiss  Army Bass vocals recorded Live.

More Videos.................


 The Fractal Dulcimers –   created by JW       Baritone and Tenor– 






Select Johnny  Skilsaw cuts  on soundcloud  - Blasts from the past

         Johnny Skilsaw- FLASH - Stuffed And  Motorized -  
                 Johnny Skilsaw -FLASH Blood Lead  

     Egotar                                            Introducing the Fractal Harp

Flying Shelsons

THE BEST DAY I EVER HAD (the best recording ever made)



  Check out "Mozart's " k563 Divermento from Jay's "Classical shit" performed by JW
 .... or download here


The Fractal Harp    
mp3 Downloads  








                                                                                        Copyright 2014 Jay Wasco











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