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The current incarnation of the Samchillian uses a modified PC computer keyboard, made by KinesisT and painted by legendary graffiti artist Lonnie Heller

 Leon onstage with Vernon Reid

Samchillian Tip Tip Tip Cheeepeeeee

Invented and patented by Leon Gruenbaum, this is not your ordinary MIDI controller.

Each key on the keyboard does not denote a fixed pitch, as it would on a normal keyboard, but rather a change of pitch. For example a key might be the "+1" key, which when pressed would sound the note one higher than the last note played; another might be "-2", and so on.

By playing these two keys in rapid succession, for example, one can play a pattern that spirals down the keyboard.

Also the user is able to select from a number of scales, including microtonal scales and key signatures.

A pattern, or "harmonic contour", once learned, can then be played in any key or scale without needing to relearn fingering.

Click here to a sample of the Samchillian Tip Tip Tip Cheeepeeeee. Since it is a MIDI controller, there is no distinct sonic character to the instrument.

The sound sample reveals a bit about the instruments character, and the unusual patterns and phrases it creates.

Visit Leon's website to learn more about the instrument, Leon's band Math Camp and his other projects at:


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