This is our second Windharp. The first one was built in 1998 and stands on a ridge over-looking Neely's Ranch in the Mimbres Valley of Southwest New Mexico. Tempest Song stands 24 feet high and weighs about 3000 lbs.
There are 48 strings made of stainless steel wire.
The strings are tuned to C, D, Eb, G, and Bb, making a minor pentatonic
Three strings of different diameters are tuned to the same note, so we
end up with about three octaves (15 strings per octave) over the length
of the harp. The central bearing is from a semi-truck (Road Commander
II). There is a venturi wind-scoop to concentrate the wind force
onto the strings. The strings vibrate at harmonics of their
natural frequency giving an ethereal quality to the sound. We liken
it to sitting on the bridge of a 'starship'.
Bearing in the truck junkyard Fabrication of the Top Piece
The fabrication was done in Silver City and then the Harp was split into three pieces (plus the base), to transport to 'Traditions'. There it was assembled, strung, tuned, and erected, with the help of friends.
Fabricating the Venturi Loading the Harp for transport Re-assembly
Bill Neely got interested in metal sculpture after building and designing an automated astronomical observatory. He has also done multiple bonze castings in Silver City for a scale model 'Sidewalk Solar System'. Bob Griesing started his career at California School of Art in Oakland in the late 60's and was a sculptor in New York's SoHo district. Information on the Observatory, Side-walk Solar System, and the original Windharp can be found at http://nfo.edu and http://nfo.edu/tempestsong.htm