Photo: Gary Kibler for CDM.

At long last, the Yamaha Tenori-On, the unusual sampling/sequencing instrument bestrewn in light-up buttons, is getting its worldwide release.

And it’s going to be an amazing party.

Launch cities:

  • Frankfurt and Berlin, Germany
  • Paris, France
  • Montreal, Quebec
  • New York, NY
  • San Francisco, CA
  • (most appropriately) Tokyo, Japan

The tour kicks of in Frankfurt first on March 12, then hits the other towns April 8 – 25, finishing where the Tenori-On was born: Tokyo.

Launch artists:

  • Toshio Iwai, the man from whose brain the Tenori-On sprang
  • Jim O’Rourke, composer/improvisor/producer extraordinaire (perhaps best known for his association with Sonic Youth)
  • Atom Heart, aka Senor Coconut aka Atom Heart aka various other things
  • Pole, the DJ and electronic artist great
  • To Rococo Rot, German post-rocker trio
  • Robert Lippok, who counts “set designer” among his credits and co-founded To Rococo Rot
  • Sutekh, who spans electronica to noise collage, and mate Safety Scissors, the San Fran contingent
  • Andi Toma of Mouse on Mars fame
  • The Books, representing New York and generally All Things Awesome — I need to put them on continuous loop on Winamp just so they wind up on the top of my profile, where they belong
  • I am Robot and Proud, Toronto electronic soloist, toured with Mum and Caribou, and an all-around great computer man
  • Nathan Michel, experimental electronicist and DAT politics collaborator. Oh, and Nathan just got his PhD in music composition from Princeton last year, meaning he’s yet another person who finished his PhD before I did. Dr. Michel, congrats.

TENORI-ON Global Launch Event

I’ll be covering NYC, of course, with an awesome lineup (Toshio Iwai / Robert Lippok / Pole / Sutekh / I am Robot and Proud / Nathan Michel / Safety Scissors). But I’d love to pick up some of these other cities and do global team coverage. If you’re interested, drop a line.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I know when you’ll actually be able to buy it?


Do I know where?


Do I know how much it will cost?

No. I’m hoping less than the initial UK launch when it goes global, as that was the hope. In the UK, it costs GBP599, which, when you translate to the ridiculously weak dollar is, um, a lot.

Is this better or worse than the Monome?

They’re different. Stop trying to compare them. Get both.