With the launch of Tenori-on I’ve been thinking more about more about what makes a handheld instrument. Part of this is thinking about how you would play live with handhelds and portable devices.
I was interested / encouraged by the Electroplankton quartet and I'm sure we might see Tenori-on groups appearing over the next months, but with ordinary handhelds I'm not sure it is as easy, although I could be wrong.
With the Tenori-on there is something inherently visual to the device that makes it watchable and a performance instrument. PDAs or handhelds don't have that ability, they lack any kind of performance dimension to them, which is a shame.
So what kind of interface would make a generic PDA into a performance instrument? I've been thinking about that question for a while now, and I don't have a definitive answer, but I think that there must be a way to give the lowly generic PDA an interface for performance and collaboration. Something really startling.
I'm sure someone will dream it up one day. I just hope that someone out there makes it work.