Yamaha's groundbreaking Tenori-on. For those who aren't, the Tenori-on is a digital instrument from which entire songs can be created in real time in a simple, intuitive and visually dazzling way. Using a pad of 256 led lights, a Tenori-on player can quickly edit any aspect of song or sound, as well as control multiple loops and samples.
If this sounds confusing that's because the Tenori-on is the sort of thing that needs to be seen to be believed - a video might be the best way to introduce it.
More specific details, including more videos and interviews with artists who use the Tenori-On, please visit the official Tenori-on site.
While there is a lot to say about the Tenori-on, there has been even more to say over the past few weeks, with notable performances, recognitions from the art world, and an exciting announcement for aspiring owners all hitting the news wires.
Keep reading for the full scoop on the Tenori-on.
First, the Tenori-on has recently been selected for inclusion in the collection of the Architecture and Design Department of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). With this recognition of the Tenori-on's revolutionary design, it joins some other Yamaha products (the WX7 wind MIDI controller, YST-SD90 speakers) in the museum as examples of musical tools whose forms are as intriguing as their functions. This development is especially exciting to us at Yamaha Music Interactive, since MoMA is only about two blocks away from our office!
There have also been a number of high profile uses of the Tenori-on recently. Most notably, Marc01's Tenori-on Orchestra performance of a digital altered Beethoven's Fifth, which opened this year's BT Visit London Awards ceremony. On a completely different note, Britain's Little Boots has also continued to use the Tenori-on in her live performances as she tours the world. The creator of one of the most viewed Tenori-on performances, a cover of Hot Chip's "Ready for the Floor", Little Boots has also recently granted Yamaha an interview discussing her use of and fondness for the Tenori-on as well.
Unfortunately for many musicians desirous of creating such performances with Tenori-on, it's also been hard to get a hold of. Limited regional releases account for part of this of this difficulty, but part of the reason has also been the relatively high price tag. That's why the biggest news is that with the impending release of the Tenori-on Orange model, some of the concerns that kept this fascinating instrument out of the hands of eager musicians may quickly be a thing of the past.
The Tenori-on Orange, which will be released in Europe before the end of 2009 and in North America sometime in early 2010, maintains all the main features of the original Tenori-on, while managing to cut the cost down to a level most musicians should be able to afford. Though details are still forthcoming, more information about the Tenori-on Orange is available here.
If I'm lucky, maybe you'll be hearing some first hand comments from me about the new Tenori-on Orange sometime next year...