Tenori-On Orange $699 for “Home Use” – Minus Battery, Lights on Back

The Tenori-On, the grid-based musical instrument with whimsical sequenced lights created by Toshio Iwai, has been gradually becoming more affordable. The original model, complete with its rounded metal case, has already been cut to US$999 here in North America. Now, Yamaha announces that it is making an “Orange” version which also slices costs. A plastic case stands in for the metal one, the lights are orange instead of white, and lights appear only on one side. Yamaha says this is for “home use” — that is, you don’t need the device lighting up on the other side if no one’s …

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I Want My Moog TV: Vimeo Channel, Moog Meets Tenori-On

Studies for two TENORI-ON(s) by Smith from Franck Smith on Vimeo. A chap named Nick Ciontea has created a channel on Vimeo collecting odd videos folks have made with or regarding Moog products. I know about this, because two of my videos made it in. It’s a grab bag, but a lovely tribute to how much people love this gear. My favorite selection is the video here, because it’s not what you’d expect sound-wise from either Yamaha’s Tenori-On or Moog filters. Artist “Smith” says: This first test is a prepartory work to a series of solo pieces inspired by John …

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Tenori-On is Shipping in US; Tenori-On Meets Kyma Synth

Tenori-on Meets Kyma from Nomad Cinema on Vimeo. US distributor Keyfax NewMedia reports that it has Yamaha’s Tenori-On in stock and shipping out now. (Pre-orders began at the beginning of May, but this is apparently the first the US unit has made it to our shows — unless you happened to win one from createdigitalmusic.com, that is, in April, in which case you know who you are.) Every time I mention Tenori-On, despite the awe and lust it inspires in some musicians, someone raises the point of its somewhat retro-styled, simple sound bank. Fair enough: the minimal sounds are fantastic …

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Tenori-On US Presale On

As the May 1 sale date approaches, US distributor Keyfax is taking pre-orders of the Yamaha Tenori-On. The only way to order it will be (oddly) via the Tenori-On tour site: http://tenori-on.keyfax.com/ Keyfax explains: So that everyone has an equal purchasing opportunity, pre-sale orders are being taken via Tenori-on Registration on a first-come first-served basis. As shipments arrive, KEYFAX NewMedia will personally contact those registered; your order will be processed, and your unit shipped. I’m not entirely convinced Keyfax and/or Yamaha understand Web communities. Aside from a clunky website design, they’re asking for people to manually send them MP3 links …

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Tenori-On in America: US$1200, May 1, Limited Run

In the unlikely event of a water landing, use the Tenori-On to triangulate the mysterious radio broadcast coming from the French woman on the desert island. Erm, sorry — yeah, I finally got DVDs to watch Lost. Random Mode in the Tenori-On manual; image (C)2007 Yamaha Corporation. Here’s the good news: the Tenori-On is really going on sale here in America. It’s about the same price as in the UK, as expected. (GBP600 = about US$1200.) The bad news? If you want to buy one, good luck. Yamaha says initially only about 100 units a month will be available. (We …

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Tenori-On Launch Notes from Montreal; Launch Tonight in New York

Creator Toshio Iwai strikes a "mad scientist" pose for photographer watchlooksee in London. Peter Dines, known for his work with Reaktor (don’t miss his fantastic Reaktor Tutorial Project blog) got a first-hand look at the Yamaha Tenori-On’s first North American stop on its launch tour. He brings us some impressions of the launch, and introduces the phrase "switchboard acrobatics" to the lexicon, which I think will have to find a home in these discussions from now on. I’ll be at the Brooklyn event tonight, so if you’re there, do say hi! We’ll have coverage of the artists and event soon. …

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Free Samples: Lo-Fi Drum Machines, Fisher Price Music Box Record Player

Free, odd soundware keeps on coming — hot on the heels of faux bent instruments and a tape-recorded Roland 606 and 808, here are more sounds to satisfy your need for unusual sounds. Stephen Haunts was inspired by the cassette-recorded 808, and writes to tell us he’s decided to give something back. He’s uploaded 22 kits from a Korg ElecTribe ER-1, a kit from a Yamaha DD-10 (pictured amusing the awkward fellow at right from the manual), and a Yamaha PSS-80. The Yamahas steal the show: they’re little toy keyboards with a decidedly lo-fi sound. I always admired the Japanese …

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Tenori-On Worldwide Launch Dates Announced for April

Photo: Gary Kibler for CDM. At long last, the Yamaha Tenori-On, the unusual sampling/sequencing instrument bestrewn in light-up buttons, is getting its worldwide release. And it’s going to be an amazing party. Launch cities: Frankfurt and Berlin, Germany Paris, France Montreal, Quebec New York, NY San Francisco, CA (most appropriately) Tokyo, Japan The tour kicks of in Frankfurt first on March 12, then hits the other towns April 8 – 25, finishing where the Tenori-On was born: Tokyo. Launch artists:

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Essential Keyboard Technique: Sun Ra

Keyboard Magazine, I have a challenge for you: I think this solo desperately wants a Keyboard transcription. You know, “Play like Sun Ra.” It may require a larger insert, but maybe it could be sponsored by Yamaha or something. Okay, granted, Earthlings might argue that this sounds chaotic, but on Sun Ra’s native planet Jupiter, this actually borders on the pedestrian. It’s pretty conventional 83-fingered hyperlocramixydixylycradidian mode, transposed here to what is apparently a Yamaha YC-30. Sun Ra even makes a nod to the fact that the Jupiterians’ torso typically rotates at increasing speed during live performances, as an especially …

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Keytar Komeback: You Don’t Love It Until It’s Gone, An Open Letter to Roland

Find a friendly leprechaun, and you might get a deal on a Roland AX-7 keytar like this, which is apparently now ridiculously hot. Just don’t go to your Guitar Center, because Roland thought you didn’t them any more. Photo: Bombardier, via Flickr. I love you, Roland. I really do. But it has to be said: You’re completely clueless when it comes to the coolest things you’ve ever made. And if an ordinary keyboard with a silly guitar-style body and shoulder strap can be cool, I’m not sure I can even blame you. You just have to listen to the people. …

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