updated 03:05 pm EDT, Tue April 8, 2008
Yamaha says it is bringing a formerly Japanese-only digital instrument, the Tenori-on, to the United States. The instrument consists mainly of 256 LED buttons, which can be touched and swiped to create different patterns, in turn affecting how loaded sound samples are looped. By adding or deleting various layers of sound, a musician can theoretically play multiple parts of a song by himself, improvising on the fly.
The instrument is eventually expected to go on sale to the public, but in the meantime is being taken on a tour of the US, with demonstrations in New York City on April 16th and San Francisco on April 18th. These will be followed by concerts from famous experimental musicians, such as Pole, Sutekh and Safety Scissors.