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
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.
Head of Strategy & Growth at Harp·E. While the rest of the team gets carried away by product innovation, Leon steers our strategy, partnerships, marketing and communication to grow the Harp·E movement.
Manager Logistics & Customer Care at Harp·E. Joined us in 2022 after a year of 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 and manages our Utrecht studio.
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.
Designer at Joris Beets Design. Since 2021, Elvire has 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.
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.
An incredible group of people provide ongoing input to the project.
For instance 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
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 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 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!