Recently earning PC Magazine's 25 Most Innovative Products Award at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Tenori-on literally means "sound in the palm of your hand" and is a twenty-first century digital musical instrument that is part art-piece, part must-have music gadget for the iPhone generation. The brainchild of Japanese Media Artist Toshio Iwai, Tenori-on emanates from his experiments with light shows and musical boxes, resulting in a hand-held, burnished magnesium-encased matrix of 256 LED buttons that glow as you access different sounds and textures ('Layers') over an infinitely repeating sequence of notes.
Sound images are literally drawn with Tenori-on using a host of internal sounds as well as samples loaded from external sources. With an interface where sight and touch are every bit as integral as sound, the Tenori-on music making possibilities are as endless as they are addictive.
Iwai has teamed with Yamaha, the world's largest and longest-established musical instrument company, forming an unusual partnership of old and new, art and music, light and sound, to bring Tenori-on to market. This first generation Tenori-on product will be selectively marketed as an introduction to this cutting edge technology as more products are planned over time. This will be welcome news to the nearly one million curious consumers that have viewed Yamaha's demo of the product on YouTube.
"The beauty of Tenori-on is that it offers a fresh approach to music creation no matter what your musical background and experience are," said Athan Billias of Yamaha. "It's exciting that Yamaha , a company known mostly for making traditional musical instruments is investing in cutting-edge technologies that will expand the market for music making."
Launch events for the media and the public will take place in New York (Southpaw in Brooklyn on April 16th) and San Francisco (1015 Folsom on April 18th). The events will not only feature Toshio Iwai himself, explaining this new musical paradigm, but also a host of edgy new electronic artists such as Sutekh, Safety Scissors, Pole, and I Am Robot And Proud, who have already incorporated Tenori-on into their stage shows. The events are free to enter and will feature Demo Stations for an interactive experience.
Public registration for a launch event is free at http://www.tenori-on-tour.com.
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