Lights! Sounds! Fingers!
April 10, 2008 8:48 PM   Subscribe

Yamaha's tenorion gets unveiled in Montreal this week. Going head-to-head with the Beamz music-maker linked here earlier, this baby has lights!
posted by binturong (13 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a piano player. I could offer useful input on this as valuable as one who has driven a horse-drawn carriage for fifty years weighing in on the latest gas-powered contraptions. No snark, just a little old guy's perspective to the effect that a lot of hands-on machine-oriented music-makers are being choked by the dust of progress. Academics can write books defending the old ways, and newcomers can wax un-nostalgic about today's new wonders (which are beyond my consumerist behavior paradigms know, the morgtage, the kids' education...), but I would personally love to try to play the blues on this thing.

I'd bet that most musicians would love to fuck around with something like this, but ain't nobody gonna pawn their guitar to express their soul on the Tenorion. Before the world ends, let's all raise a glass to tradition. We go back a long way, you know, and although I am excited about our communal culural/genetic aesthetic accomplishments; quantum leaps in all the disciplines, whether or not I can understand or assimilate these changes into my musical performances will remain open to a lot of interesting cultural shifts...
posted by kozad at 9:37 PM on April 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

The tenorion seems like the most uninspiring thing you could do with a tactile music interface. It's just like any piano roll in a modern tracker/sequencer, isn't it? Except with mushy buttons in a big square with lights under it? Not exciting.

That reactable thing is pretty awesome though. I would love that. Doesn't really have that, uh, "live performance" possibility that apparently some people think the tenorion has, but ... that's really okay. I am going to have to try and dig up some videos of people attempting to perform with a tenorion, though I imagine I will only get the japanese girls.
posted by blacklite at 9:59 PM on April 10, 2008

Well, after watching the video, I take it back.

You can't play the blues on this toy.

On the other hand, the King of France put an organ into his church on this date in 756. Organ music: church music. Huge techno revolution.

And you could play the blues on that thing, notwithstanding the fact that the blues weren't around then, and if they were, the priest would start an exorcism on ya pronto were you to get down on the organ back a matter of fact, I have received nasty stares from priests when playing secular music on their hallowed organs over the years...
posted by kozad at 10:03 PM on April 10, 2008

I like what the Tenori-on is aiming for, but it's just a small step towards a truly interesting all digital musical instrument/interface. I mean it's really not much more than an nice interface to a step sequencer, and a simple mechanism to switch between sound banks.

Here's something I find a bit more impressive: (c/o
posted by C.Batt at 10:04 PM on April 10, 2008

Here's something I find a bit more impressive:

That's not a new invention, near as I can tell. Ableton Live has been around for a number of years, as well as Ms. Pinky, for that matter.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:44 PM on April 10, 2008

See also.
posted by jon4009 at 4:06 AM on April 11, 2008

More on the Tenuri-On at Music Thing......

I look forward to the day when instruments like this turn some concerts into Discovery-era Daft Punk videos.
posted by TheWaves at 5:11 AM on April 11, 2008

Jonathan Coulton performs Code Monkey with Tenori-On and guitar.
posted by penguinliz at 6:20 AM on April 11, 2008

This has been out in the UK for some time now. The general consensus among bloggers has been that it's a fun toy, but expensive and pretty weak next to something like the monome. Not the next big thing, just a cool thing.
posted by Foosnark at 6:22 AM on April 11, 2008

Yeah, they've been knocking about for yonks.

They're certainly fun little toys, and really very addictive. I'd happily pay, say, £50 for one, but £600 is just ridiculous for something with such limitations and such crappy build quality. (I'm not alone, either - folk I know who stock them in their record shops say that practically everyone who comes in will have a little play around with the demo model, love it, then piss themselves laughing when they find out the price. I know of one shop that's sold precisely one unit in the year or so they've been on sale.)
posted by jack_mo at 7:24 AM on April 11, 2008

Well, thanks for the heads-up, the release is tonight, and I was just looking for something to do. I'll be back with an update on what it looks like played live.
posted by rssaddict at 8:21 AM on April 11, 2008

this is by far the best tenori-on video.
posted by spish at 9:56 AM on April 11, 2008

I'll be back with an update on what it looks like played live.

Terrific rssaddict. That's MetaFilter for you -- field reporters in every part of the globe.
posted by binturong at 11:48 AM on April 11, 2008

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