The Dewanatron Hymnotron Demo, With Leon Dewan

In this video, Leon Dewan demonstrates the Dewanatron Hymnotron at Big City Music.

The Hymnotron is an interesting boutique keyboard that explores ideas ignored by most manufactures, including just intonation, unique approaches to sound generation and alternate keyboard layouts.

2 thoughts on “The Dewanatron Hymnotron Demo, With Leon Dewan

  1. Does it only play major triads and suspensions thereof? Interesting design limitation focusing performance interest on consonance, which of course has been ignored since Bach took us on our 300 year journey to complete postmodern wackiness – sort of implicit in the 12-tone system. Maybe the Hymnotron presages the coming post-materalist age when stasis may be appreciated as possessing positive value.
    Plato wrote of the deep connection between culture and music. Partch rebelled against the West’s abstraction of music and sought to re-concretize it through other intonations in order to effect physical and spiritual change on the listener. I think his success was limited by the dissonance of his music, producing mainly unsettling effect, but that was his work’s goals.
    Intonation, and the worlds of poetic and physical meaning within it is definitely territory for visionary exploration. Music where intonation functions in a more concrete fashion as opposed to the notion (rather modernistically interchangeable) of Bach’s equal temperment – arts such as choral polyphony of Georgia, Persian Dasgah, Indian Raga, and even Trey Spruance’s multi-tempermental exoticism take us away from the musical world the West has elaborated along with its success in the material world – arguably now in its end phase of cultural development.
    The Hymnotron reminds me of Hesse’s Glass Bead Game – an intellectual world where qualities of events are contemplated and the relations between them invest components of culture with interest missed in cruder and more heroic epoch.

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