Tenori-on Joins Björk’s Band

Yamaha’s Tenori-On is getting a prominent introduction with Björk’s latest tour.

The new controller/synthesizer is part of the rig of Damian Taylor, above, who uses the Tenori-On on the track Who Is It?.

“Björk felt it would be cool to feature the gear,” says Taylor, “ to make it part of the stage set rather than using abstract pre-recorded visuals and projections.”

“We thought it would be fun to try it live,” he continues. “Who Is It? has lots of spiky and intricate vocal parts on the multitrack which weren’t yet represented in the existing brass arrangement, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the Tenori-on’s sample playback capabilities.”

“I grabbed a whole bunch of “doops” “boops” “Oooos” and random vocal sounds off the multitrack and loaded them in. The sonic characteristics of the sampled vocals sat perfectly around the warm, heavy brass arrangement and Björk’s lead vocal, and then just jamming with the on-board sequencer gave us musical progression and dynamics – plus a really nice bunch of imagery for our video guy, Anthony Cairns, to use on screen.”

Taylor’s Take On The Tenori-On

“Björk had a good play with it when we first tried it out and she really likes it,” says Damian. “She’s into the fact that it makes the brain work in a different way, breaks routines and habits.”

“You can definitely see the crowd reacting to these new things – when I fire up the Tenori-on, for example, they kind of go ‘wooh, what’s that?’. I wind up with a bunch of emails after each gig from people who have tracked me down online, demanding an explanation.”

“Using the Tenori-on and the other gear is really exciting and fresh for me after all those years in the studio too. I got so used to always using a computer, a mouse, some faders and knobs. Now it’s playing music with all these different interfaces, graphics, feedback, tactility – plus thousands of people responding to it.”

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