The casual nature of sound postings on the Soundcloud.com service has increased intimacy between music-makers and music-listeners in a way no other service can really compare with. On Soundcloud, a musician is more than likely to post within a day of purchasing a new piece of equipment some little test recording, just a snippet of them learning their new tool or toy. In the case of Jared Smyth‘s latest purchase, it is both those things: the TNR-i, aka the iPad rendition of the great Tenori-on device, Yamaha’s next-generation music machine spearheaded by Toshio Iwai, of Elektroplankton fame. If Elektroplankton was a game-like interface for making music, the TNR-i is a music-making interface that feels like a game (see below for images). In Smyth’s hands, the grid-like system gives way to a gentle, lulling piece of music, a sketch of a burbling melody, a gesture toward a proper song.
If tradition holds that a single can serve as a teaser for an album yet to be released, then this track is a teaser for what Smyth has yet to record.