Friday, March 13, 2009

Continuum Fingerboard

The soundtrack of 'Delhi 6' had a track 'Rehnu Tu', in which composer A.R.Rahman used a new instrument called 'Continuum Fingerboard' in the postlude of the song. The sound of the tune played in the piece appeared very 'wind'-y indeed, but what surprised me were the meends felt in that. intriguing. A small google search revealed that the instrument was invented recently and its picture was peculiar, because the instrument did not have keys. Here is a snapshot about the instrument: Continuum Fingerboard.

While a cursory reading about the instrument paints a vague picture about it, a demonstration actually showcases what it actually is. This instrument seems to be having everything in it, to become the next most sought instrument in classical & fusion music circles of India. The wide range of possibilities that this instrument can open up is surely a shot in the arm of people who jam with traditional keyboards and synthesizers. More, it crosses the limitations of keyboards such as gamakas and meends and also offers newer explorative/experimental options in vertical movements, filtered pitch variations.

Kudos to the inventor. And pretty often, some people do argue about the global outlook of A.R.Rahman. While the subject is a matter of discussion in another post, his selection of this obscure instrument (obscure for now atleast, within the realm if Indian Film Music) for playing a medley of Carnatic raagas in the tail-end piece of a Hindi film-song ballad which has traces of 80s Enlgish pop - well, thats global outlook indeed.

For now, I am just imagining the range of possibilities this instrument offers, particularly in the hands of maverick keyboard artists. Louis Banks, Loy Mendonsa, Adnan Sami, Viji Manuel, Brian Silas etc. Are you listening?


Musically Me said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. I thoroughly loved the demonstration...especially the progressive rock bit..

Emjay said...

Wonderful piece of information.

metascrawl said...

another video featuring continuum fingerboard:

babaman said...

now apple ipod touch and ipad has scores of apps which can replicate what this 5000$ machine can.. infact Rahman has bought 8 ipads (4 for himself and son) on his current US tour, the multi touch on the ipad offers immense sonic possibilities.. I have tried it myself (ibot app) and some settings have uncanny resemblance to vocals for replicating alaaps and glides..

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