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“TENORI-ON” [2007]

IWAI Toshio



“TENORI-ON” (literally “sound resting in one’s hand”) is an electronic music instrument with which you can graphically compose and play music. The interface is a grid of 16×16 (256) luminous LED buttons on which you can indicate points and draws lines. This “graphical and mechanical musical scale system” enables you to visually and intuitively read and write music scores without formal musical knowledge.

IWAI Toshio has long explored the synaesthetic borders of image and sound, producing numerous important audio+visual art works. One inspiration for the descriptive method used in such works is the music box—a system for making visual music. “TENORI-ON” took 6 years from concept to realization, developed in collaboration with the YAMAHA Corporation. It is a combination of practical musical instrument functions, developing upon ideas from his earlier art works. Put another way, “TENORI-ON” is an attempt to take IWAI’s artistic work, and popularize it alongside familiar musical instruments such as the piano or violin.

Cooperation: YAMAHA Corporation



List of Works