IWAI Toshio
photo: KIOKU Keizo

"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 16x16 (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 http://www.yamaha.co.jp/tenori-on/
IWAI Toshio Profile

IWAI Toshio started producing experimental animation in university in the early 1980s. He has since presented works inspired by historical pre-cinematic visual devices such as the phenekistiscope and zoetrope, as well as his body of interactive work linking sound and image. His wide range of creative activity also includes game software production and visual device production for the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. In recent years he has branched into non-computer creations, such as handmade toys, and picture books for children.

Past Exhibition / Event
Keyword: Musical

Many electronic musical instruments today inherited their interfaces from existing musical instruments, such as the synthesizer took its interface from the clavier. New interfaces have been developed since, notably the Theremin, which the player does not even touch. These innovative musical instruments such as Thermin and "TENORI-ON" have the aspect of future musical instruments, which have the potentials for creating new types of music with newly invented interface.