Monday, 12 November 2007

Tenori-on Toshio Iwai + Yamaha-designed audio interface

Yesterday my tenori-on digital visual display musical instrument arrived (i.e. by courier on Sunday!).

Yamaha Global (general)

Yamaha Global site (hardware)

Youtube demo by Toshio Iwai - inventor

Toshio Iwai, the Tenori-on's inventor in conjunction with Yamaha, is a world renowned Japanese designer (who has also designed the Electro-plankton innovative interactive music game with Nintendo). The tenori-on device embodies visualisation of music, auditory and visual display and an intuitive interface for layering and performing sounds. Its basic operation can be substantially augmented by someone with audio experience by loading banks of your own samples and sound card, thereby enriching its auditory scope to a potentially limitless and individual set. Removable, additional memory allows you store and record creations for later performance. As my research looks at digital means to augment conventional music devices and hyper instruments, aesthetic digital display, as well as the bimodality of auditory and visual display, this device encompasses all of those concerns. I am interested to use it, to study its usability and investigate the interaction of the visual and auditory output. It also ties into the 'gestural interaction with sound' theme of my ARC research.

Here's a simple little demo just in 'play' mode looping. Next to discover - changing mode, instrument, register, octave, transposition, samples, blocks on the fly during improvisation ... this is day one fresh out the box!

... from the Yamaha web site blurb ...

Concept: Media artist Toshio Iwai and Yamaha have collaborated to design a new digital sonic interface for the 21st century, TENORI-ON.
A 16x16 matrix of LED switches allows users to play music intuitively, creating a "visible music" interface. The TENORI-ON is a unique 16 x 16 LED button matrix interactive sound device with a stunning matrix visual display.

Operation: It is simultaneously a performance input controller and display. By operating and interacting with the LED buttons and the light they produce you gain access to the TENORI-ON's operation modes. These include Score Mode, Random Mode, Draw Mode, Bounce Mode, Push Mode and Solo Mode.

TENORI-ON layers can be thought of as “performance parts” or “recording tracks.” The TENORI-ON has a total of 16 layers. Separate notes and voices can be assigned to each layer, and all layers can be played together in synchronization.
The 16 layers are divided into six performance mode groups as shown in the illustration below. The six modes have different note entry methods and operation. Up to 16 layers created using different modes can be combined for rich, complex musical expression.
A completed set of 16 layers is called a “block.”

The TENORI-ON can store up to 16 programmed blocks (16-layer groups) in memory, and you can switch from block to block instantly during performance.

You could, for example, create a musical composition in one block, then copy that composition to another block and edit it to create a variation of the original composition. Or you can load a number of previously-created compositions into separate blocks from an SD Memory Card and switch between them to create variation during playback.

The Lemur from Cycling 74 for use with Max/MSP is a related multi-touch sound controller developed from the touchscreen paradigm.