A love story
Harp·E is a labour of love of London-based multi-award winning Dutch designer Joris Beets.
A harpist himself, Joris has already taken the harp world by storm by developing DELTA Harp. The super sleek electro-acoustic instrument which won the Red Dot Design Award, is now being played by both classical and experimental musicians on the world’s biggest stages and is produced and sold by the market-leading SALVI Harps.
But while DELTA has achieved many things - from shifting the instrument’s reputation to making it suitable for any genre and introducing a superior base range - the issue of high costs of quality lever harps still remained. Something needed to be done about the most expensive elements of the instrument - levers, which usually total over 200 intricate metal parts and are extremely expensive, making the whole instrument unaffordable for many.
The idea was simple - to reinvent the mechanism and rethink the frame construction completely while using the finest quality strings and a state of the art sound pickup system, making Harp·E a stage ready instrument for a fraction of the price.
In partnership with the Dutch Harp Festival and "Het Leerorkest", an Amsterdam-based NGO providing musical instruments to over 5000 children, Joris' Harp·E team spent months researching the needs of musicians, children learning the instrument, harp teachers, schools and those servicing and maintaining the instruments.
The challenge was to come up with solutions for the main pain points of traditional harps - they’re expensive, fragile, heavy, impossible to carry around and are a nightmare to amplify and play in a band or orchestra - among many others.
The result - an affordable, flat-packed, self-assembly electro-acoustic harp that is sturdy and lightweight without compromising on the quality of the sound. Harp·E is here for anyone to explore the fun and the magic of this beautiful instrument.
the team behind the story
Marco de Souza, founder of Het Leerorkest, great inspirer and motivator behind getting development off the ground and realising the first 300 Harp·E for his charity.
Remy van Kesteren, internationally acclaimed harpist, founder of the Dutch Harp Festival, always at the forefront of anything harp related, driving force of nature behind the inception and funding of the Harp·E development.
Founder of Joris Beets Design, creator of the Harp·E, on an ongoing mission to innovate the harp and shape its future as an instrument of choice for generations to come.
Industrial Designer at Joris Beets Design, joined in 2019 as a graduation intern developing the first working prototype of the Harp·E, and ever since his engineering skills are central to the quality of the Harp·E.
Product Designer at Joris Beets Design. Since 2021 she's been a core team member setting up the Harp·E project as a start-up. Next to taking care of our visual and web design, she is now working on new product design and managing production of the next batch op Harp·E.
Head of Strategy and Sustainability at Joris Beets Design, while the rest of the team gets carried away by product innovation, Genia safeguards the right decisions to ensure long term continuity of the Harp·E project.
Manager Logistics & Customer Care at Joris Beets Design. She spent most of 2022 leading a group of volunteers assembling hundreds of Harp·E for charity, so she knows the instrument extremely well. Currently she is expanding our in-house assembly and fulfilment facilities.
An incredible group of people provide ongoing input to the project, including first and foremost the Leerorkest technicians (Jeffry, Rodney, Ron, Stan, Michael), teachers (in particular the amazing ever-enthusiast Iris, but also Juan and many others), students, their parents and other staff and volunteers. Then there is Andy, electronics guru at Joris Beets Design through years of work perfecting first the DELTA and then the Harp·E electronics. And the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at the TU Delft providing expertise and great interns. And David, whose eye for detail provides ensures Joris Beets Design products are true objects of desire.
The Leerorkest story
(& Harp-E demo by Remy from 08:25 in below video)
social & sustainable enterprise
Our assembly and pick & packaging partners are a special project in itself - working with local people in the Netherlands with a distance to the labour market, educating and training them while paying them the fair standard labour union-defined wage at all times.
By buing a Harp·E you help them on their journey to becoming fully employable in the regular job market.
They sort and assemble the various options and package the Harp·E in an all-cardboard, recycled material packaging and then bring it to the shipping company right next door.