Seaboard Ensemble At Abbey Road Studios

This video, via ROLI, captures a synth jam by a Seaboard multi-touch instrument ensemble at Abbey Road Studios.

On May 22nd, ROLI showcased a Seaboard ensemble at Abbey Road Studios, featuring Jordan Rudess, Marco Parisi and Heen-Wah Wai on Seaboard Grand keyboards, and Ray Hearne at the drums.

The cinematic composition, Dalston Rising, was written by Rudess at ROLI headquarters in Dalston, London.

The Seaboard is a new musical instrument that reimagines the piano keyboard as a soft, continuous surface that lets you ‘dig into’ notes, allowing polyphonic pitch bend, vibrato and per-note dynamic changes.

More information on the Seaboard is available at the ROLI site.

4 thoughts on “Seaboard Ensemble At Abbey Road Studios

  1. looks really pretty… but: I played the seaboard at MM 2014: You have to press the keys extremely (!) hard. So it is not possible to play it fast with a hard attack. And I cannot find any advantage to normal controller keyboard with aftertouch… but it looks cooler..

    1. That’s good to know… I was wondering why the lead keyboard player’s fingers were bent back like that! Seems like it could get pretty tiring playing like that all the time.

    2. You may be missing the point.

      I tried the Seaboard and the Continuum out at NAMM this year, and came away thinking that both keyboards successfully moved the keyboard beyond the paradigm of percussion instruments.

      These instruments are something that you have to spend some time with to appreciate. I came away with the realization that traditional keyboards are extremely limiting for synthesists. The fact that they are still the de facto way to control synths is due more to economics and lack of imagination than because of any superiority as a controller.

      Traditional piano style keyboards will probably remain the one of the best options for playing percussive type sounds, but they’re very limiting, compared to the Seaboard, the Continuum and some other new instruments, when it comes to playing other types of sounds.

  2. If you can’t play staccato with it, its a hampered oddity more than a fully capable instrument. To be really viable, an alternate controller should advance what you already know, not cramp its existing range. I can also do without musicians making The Guitar Face while playing. If its a moment of honest exertion, it looks a certain way, but if a guitarist opens and closes his mouth like a gasping goldfish during the wah-wah solo, someone should shoot a hot dog into it at the right moment.

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