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Tenori-on: revolutionising music making?

We received an invite to the launch of Tenori-on today. What exactly is it? If the press release is anything to go by, it's "an amazing new electronic musical instrument that will revolutionise the way we make music".

Tenori-on is, to use its official description, a futuristic, light based, hand-held tone module and sequencer. To the rest of us, what looks like a giant Etch-A-Sketch is actually a keyboard with 256 LED switches in a 16 x 16 grid.

Yamaha-funded weirdness

Each switch on the Tenori-on responds to your touch, emitting a glow of light and a sound. Move your hand across the switches and you can create patterns of light and a sound sequence to go with them. With the iPhone and Microsoft's Surface technology making news recently, this musical gadget fits right in to a 2007 tech landscape obsessing about 'touch'.

First shown at SIGGRAPH in 2005, the Tenori-on is the brainchild of wacky Japanese media artist Toshio Iwai . Five years later, and now in partnership with Yamaha , this oddly unique instrument is now ready for its first UK outing in September.

Watch the YouTube video here .