Last night when I was reading, I came across this really interesting new electronic instrument called the Artiphon Instrument 1. Its an instrument/interface that has a fretboard kind of like a keyboard and flap/levers that simulate strings. Its able to create a huge array of sounds, from guitars, basses, ukuleles, violins and cellos to pianos (with 6 octaves), drum sets and even more.
The device got going on Kickstarter and has apparently started shipping recently. The goal was to raise $75k, but they were able to bring in $1.3M. It looks like it retails for $400 and has an interface that works with iPhones and maybe Mac computers. I don’t know if an Android or PC interface exists yet. I watched a few videos of it, and it looks really impressive. A jazz guitarist in the main video even commented that he’s able to simultaneously play 2 notes on the same string in guitar mode – something that’s physically impossible with real strings. That could be really fun for players of chordal instruments.
Here are links to the Kickstarter page, the main Artiphon page and their Youtube page. I can see this taking off in some circles, especially among electronic musicians who also play real instruments.
So, I was just working on revising our Nursing reports when we lost connectivity to the datacenter in Brooklyn again. Hurricane Sandy has just left, but there’s a Nor’Easter calling. Its starting to snow outside.
Anyway, without the ability to stay connected to work, I’ve decided to take a few minutes to gush about something music-related: Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich. I watched a documentary the other night called Rostropovich – The Genius of the Cello that aired on BBC. It was mindblowing to me. I wasn’t familiar with Rostropovich (called “Slava” by many of his friends and students) before, but after seeing the documentary, I wish I had heard more about him earlier. The passion and articulation that he commands when playing the cello are awe-inspiring. Sadly, he passed in 2007.
Ho ho ho.
Christmas this year was really music-oriented, much to my surprise – and Guitar Center‘s delight. We grabbed a copy of RockSmith for the PS3 for our nephew, Christian, and his dad, Tony. Earlier this year Christian showed an interest in learning guitar, and his dad owns & plays an acoustic. Along with RockSmith, we grabbed a pickup for Tony and a Fender Squier Bullet Stratocaster for Christian. We also got a 2nd USB guitar cable so they can play together. Its not made by the RockSmith guys. Its something else that the salesperson said would work, but it also lets the user plug a guitar into a computer for recording while being simultaneously plugged into an amp. They opened it all on Christmas Eve at midnight, and then everyone passed out an hour later.
When we got back, my sister and her boyfriend (Rita & Mark) had come down to visit. They opened presents too. One of the boxes was gigantic, and no one knew who it was for. Well, everything got opened except for the mystery box, which Mark then said was for Rita. It was a cello. Its really beautiful. The case is almost as big as she is and has a device to measure humidity.