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 - the levers. A full set of quality levers comprises of hundreds of intricate metal parts, 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 both indestructible and lightweight without compromising sound quality or string tension. Harp·E is here for anyone to explore the fun and the magic of this beautiful instrument.
the team behind the story
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. Based in our London design studio.
Manager Logistics & Customer Care at Harp·E since 2022. Elise has led an army of volunteers assembling hundreds of Harp·E for charity and knows the instrument inside out. She is the day to day manager of our production facility in the Netherlands.
Manager Marketing & Communications at Harp·E since 2023. Gabriela is passionate about driving innovation and shattering boundaries within the harp community. She heads up our US base where she focuses on outreach, manages our social media and customer care.
Designer at Joris Beets Design. Since 2021, Elvire has been a core team member setting up the Harp·E project as a start-up. She takes care of our visual and web design, as well as working on new products and heads up our French base.
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 absolutely central to the quality of the Harp·E.
While the rest of the team is absorbed by the day to day harp building or carried away in product innovation, Leon steers our strategy, partnerships, marketing and communication to grow the Harp·E movement.
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 first Harp·E versions in 2020.
Consulting Harpist at Harp·E since 2023. Alexander Boldachev, founder of the Zurich Harp Festival and the World Harp Day, is one of the leading performers on the harp in academic music and classical crossover. He is an improviser, arranger, educator and composer with a unique personal style.
Marco de Souza is the founder of music education charity "Het Leerorkest" in Amsterdam. He was the great motivator behind the first 300 Harp·E to be built by volunteers for children in 2021-22. He was knighted by Queen Maxima of the Netherlands for his ongoing incredible efforts.
David, designer at Joris Beets Design since 2016. His eye for detail ensures our products are true objects of desire.
We wouldn't be able to do the projects for charity without our amazing group of volunteers, dedicating a day per week to assembling Harp·E for children in disadvantaged areas, led by our own Elise.
A group of enthusiasts provide ongoing input to the project.
For instance the Leerorkest technicians (Jeffry, Rodney, Ron, Stan, Michael), teachers (Iris, Juan and many others), students, their parents and other staff and volunteers.
Andy, electronics guru at Joris Beets Design perfected first the DELTA and then the Harp·E electronics.
And the TU Delft provides expertise and great interns.
The Leerorkest story
(& Harp-E demo by Remy from 08:25 in below video)
social & sustainable enterprise
We’ve reduced packaging to the absolute minimum. Harp·E are packaged in a recycled & recyclable cardboard box. We’ve avoided using any Styrofoam: the harp is packed in a smart way so that all parts are well projected inside the carrier bag and cardboard box. Any plastic sleeves are re-used. For self-assembly projects with charities and schools, we deliver the individual parts in bulk on pallets in the most efficient way.
High quality, locally produced European components:
Except from the bolts and batteries, all harp parts are manufactured locally: the electronics come from London, the strings from Italy and everything else from the Netherlands. Harp•E are assembled, packed and shipped from our studio in Utrecht, Netherlands. We use wood from Ukraine whenever possible to support them in these difficult times.
We help schools and charities set up their crowd funding campaigns and mobilize and train up their volunteers for DIY assembly. Now they can afford larger quantities of harps than they could ever imagine!