Tenori-On is Shipping in US; Tenori-On Meets Kyma Synth

Tenori-on Meets Kyma from Nomad Cinema on Vimeo. US distributor Keyfax NewMedia reports that it has Yamaha’s Tenori-On in stock and shipping out now. (Pre-orders began at the beginning of May, but this is apparently the first the US unit has made it to our shows — unless you happened to win one from createdigitalmusic.com, that is, in April, in which case you know who you are.) Every time I mention Tenori-On, despite the awe and lust it inspires in some musicians, someone raises the point of its somewhat retro-styled, simple sound bank. Fair enough: the minimal sounds are fantastic …

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Tenori-On US Presale On

As the May 1 sale date approaches, US distributor Keyfax is taking pre-orders of the Yamaha Tenori-On. The only way to order it will be (oddly) via the Tenori-On tour site: http://tenori-on.keyfax.com/ Keyfax explains: So that everyone has an equal purchasing opportunity, pre-sale orders are being taken via Tenori-on Registration on a first-come first-served basis. As shipments arrive, KEYFAX NewMedia will personally contact those registered; your order will be processed, and your unit shipped. I’m not entirely convinced Keyfax and/or Yamaha understand Web communities. Aside from a clunky website design, they’re asking for people to manually send them MP3 links …

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Tenori-On in America: US$1200, May 1, Limited Run

In the unlikely event of a water landing, use the Tenori-On to triangulate the mysterious radio broadcast coming from the French woman on the desert island. Erm, sorry — yeah, I finally got DVDs to watch Lost. Random Mode in the Tenori-On manual; image (C)2007 Yamaha Corporation. Here’s the good news: the Tenori-On is really going on sale here in America. It’s about the same price as in the UK, as expected. (GBP600 = about US$1200.) The bad news? If you want to buy one, good luck. Yamaha says initially only about 100 units a month will be available. (We …

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Tenori-On Launch Notes from Montreal; Launch Tonight in New York

Creator Toshio Iwai strikes a "mad scientist" pose for photographer watchlooksee in London. Peter Dines, known for his work with Reaktor (don’t miss his fantastic Reaktor Tutorial Project blog) got a first-hand look at the Yamaha Tenori-On’s first North American stop on its launch tour. He brings us some impressions of the launch, and introduces the phrase "switchboard acrobatics" to the lexicon, which I think will have to find a home in these discussions from now on. I’ll be at the Brooklyn event tonight, so if you’re there, do say hi! We’ll have coverage of the artists and event soon. …

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Free Samples: Lo-Fi Drum Machines, Fisher Price Music Box Record Player

Free, odd soundware keeps on coming — hot on the heels of faux bent instruments and a tape-recorded Roland 606 and 808, here are more sounds to satisfy your need for unusual sounds. Stephen Haunts was inspired by the cassette-recorded 808, and writes to tell us he’s decided to give something back. He’s uploaded 22 kits from a Korg ElecTribe ER-1, a kit from a Yamaha DD-10 (pictured amusing the awkward fellow at right from the manual), and a Yamaha PSS-80. The Yamahas steal the show: they’re little toy keyboards with a decidedly lo-fi sound. I always admired the Japanese …

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Tenori-On Worldwide Launch Dates Announced for April

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:

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Essential Keyboard Technique: Sun Ra

Keyboard Magazine, I have a challenge for you: I think this solo desperately wants a Keyboard transcription. You know, “Play like Sun Ra.” It may require a larger insert, but maybe it could be sponsored by Yamaha or something. Okay, granted, Earthlings might argue that this sounds chaotic, but on Sun Ra’s native planet Jupiter, this actually borders on the pedestrian. It’s pretty conventional 83-fingered hyperlocramixydixylycradidian mode, transposed here to what is apparently a Yamaha YC-30. Sun Ra even makes a nod to the fact that the Jupiterians’ torso typically rotates at increasing speed during live performances, as an especially …

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Keytar Komeback: You Don’t Love It Until It’s Gone, An Open Letter to Roland

Find a friendly leprechaun, and you might get a deal on a Roland AX-7 keytar like this, which is apparently now ridiculously hot. Just don’t go to your Guitar Center, because Roland thought you didn’t them any more. Photo: Bombardier, via Flickr. I love you, Roland. I really do. But it has to be said: You’re completely clueless when it comes to the coolest things you’ve ever made. And if an ordinary keyboard with a silly guitar-style body and shoulder strap can be cool, I’m not sure I can even blame you. You just have to listen to the people. …

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All-Kaossilator Album Makes Korg King, Plus Not-Quite-All Monome Albums

All Kaoss, All the Time: In a world of endless choices, what happens to the creative power of limitations? Back in November, we saw Norman Fairbanks make an album entirely on Tenori-On, Yamaha’s interactive blinking-lights button pad. “Ah,” you said. “But that sounds suspiciously like the music of Toshio Iwai, the Tenori-On’s composer-inventor. And it costs a lot of dough. And I have to live in the UK to buy it.” Enter our friend Gary Kibler. He’s also a huge fan of the Tenori-On — he did cover the UK launch event for us, and then lauded its innovative design. …

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Tenori-On: Hands-on, Chat with Yamaha’s Yu Nishibori, on CNET

Donald Bell, aka electronic musician Chachi Jones, nabs what I believe is the first hands-on time with the LED-and-button-laden Tenori-On digital instrument on American shores. Yamaha’s Yu Nishibori stopped by the music tech boutique Robotspeak in San Francisco for a chat; I got to play Robotspeak in January and it’s a brilliant place. Donald recorded the conversation for CNET. Hands-on with Tenori-On [Crave] Not convinced? Here’s a very different Tenori-On demo on Music thing. Tenori-On Stands Alone, and Praising Limitations Donald shared some of his personal (non-official CNET) take on the Tenori-On. It sounds like seeing it in person changed …

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