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. …

READ MORE →

All-Kaossilator Album Makes Korg King, Plus Not-Quite-All Monome Albums

All Kaoss, All the Time: In a world of endless choices, what happens to the creative power of limitations? Back in November, we saw Norman Fairbanks make an album entirely on Tenori-On, Yamaha’s interactive blinking-lights button pad. “Ah,” you said. “But that sounds suspiciously like the music of Toshio Iwai, the Tenori-On’s composer-inventor. And it costs a lot of dough. And I have to live in the UK to buy it.” Enter our friend Gary Kibler. He’s also a huge fan of the Tenori-On — he did cover the UK launch event for us, and then lauded its innovative design. …

READ MORE →

Tenori-On: Hands-on, Chat with Yamaha’s Yu Nishibori, on CNET

Donald Bell, aka electronic musician Chachi Jones, nabs what I believe is the first hands-on time with the LED-and-button-laden Tenori-On digital instrument on American shores. Yamaha’s Yu Nishibori stopped by the music tech boutique Robotspeak in San Francisco for a chat; I got to play Robotspeak in January and it’s a brilliant place. Donald recorded the conversation for CNET. Hands-on with Tenori-On [Crave] Not convinced? Here’s a very different Tenori-On demo on Music thing. Tenori-On Stands Alone, and Praising Limitations Donald shared some of his personal (non-official CNET) take on the Tenori-On. It sounds like seeing it in person changed …

READ MORE →

Free, All Tenori-On Album: A Chat with Norman Fairbanks

A private moment with the Tenori-On, captured at the launch event by CDM’s Gary Kibler. So Tenori-On is fun to listen to when you’re playing with itself — could it produce an album that you’d want to sit and listen to? That’s what Norman Fairbanks attempts to answer with his creation. Norman Fairbanks has released the first album produced entirely on the Tenori-On, the unusual LED-bestrewn sequencing sampler instrument currently available from Yamaha in the UK. It’s a no-risk listen: the full album is available for download free from his website. The results sound like a Tenori-On album, with minimal …

READ MORE →

Tenori-On Review, Tenori-On Limitations, Tenori-On Fatigue?

As I’m located outside the UK, I’ve been unable to get a TENORI-ON for review. This may be just as well; I’ve got a custom Monome project that’s filling up a bit of my time. Nick has an extensive, detailed video review for Sonic State, since we don’t: Review page from our friends at Sonic State (Late in posting this, I know; behind as I’ve been on the road — thanks to all who sent it in.) A number of revelations emerge regarding how the design works: TENORI-ON is truly set up to work as a 16×16 beat sequencer. You …

READ MORE →

More TENORI-ON: Defunktion Toshio Iwai Interview, Podcast Performance

Olly Farshi from Defunktion.net writes to share their interview with Toshio Iwai and a performance via podcast. I’m not sure that I agree with Olly that the TENORI-ON has generated a “hurricane of hype” (maybe more like a rain shower of enthusiasm), but they’ve got a terrific interview. Mr. Iwai talks about how the relationship with Yamaha developed, his thoughts on the response from YouTube and the blogosphere, and most importantly, his vision for the device and music making: The reality right now is that many people, including professional musicians and kids and simply passive listeners, have the chance to …

READ MORE →

Hands On Tenori-On: Close Encounters of the Interactive Music Kind

Game and film composer Gary Kibler is back from Tuesday’s TENORI-ON launch event with words and images reflecting upon this new instrument. (See comments for lots more discussion, of course!) And for some reason, he’s been playing with his mashed potatoes… -Ed. See also: Yamaha TENORI-ON Launch: Photos, Videos, Interviews, Demos, Details, and a Music Box THE TENORI-ON : I know this. This means something … Literally what TENORI-ON means in Japanese is "sound in your palm" but what I came away feeling after hearing Toshio Iwai‘s story and later experiencing this innovative musical device for myself at Yamaha’s UK …

READ MORE →

Tenori-On Pricing, Behind-the-Scenes Images

A glimpse into the creation of Tenori-On, Toshio Iwai’s new musical instrument to be produced by Yamaha, from Flickr. A Last.fm group posting has revealed the pricing of the upcoming Yamaha Tenori-On, an unusual grid-based instrument and MIDI controller, as well as how the product design came together and will be produced. Found via Chris O’Shea (Pixelsumo), the posting has the following revelations: Price will be GBP 599 in the initial run. The initial run will have limited availability in UK record shops and online for the next few months. (This much we knew.) Full production and a price cut …

READ MORE →