Exploring a Musical Matrix

Morpheus: I know *exactly* what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?

Neo: The Matrix.

I’ve played various musical instrument as long as I can remember, focusing my younger years on piano, trumpet and guitar.  As a lifelong software developer, I instinctively put information in matrices,  and have always felt the desire to play an instrument whose notes were arranged in that manner.  This led me to play instruments such as the Chapman Stick, and to create a mobile tablet-based instrument that I named ZenGuitar3D:

Along the way, I was intrigued with the instruments that colleague and occasional NullPointers bandmate/frontman Geert Bevin (second from the left in this video thumbnail) …

… played, such as the Eigenharp and most recently the LinnStrument:


Like Neo in The Matrix, I recognized that this brainchild of Roger Linn was a manifestation of what I’d  been longing for:  An instrument whose notes are arranged in a grid pattern, and enable musical expression found in keyboard as well as stringed instruments, demonstrated by this video in which I play Paul McCartney’s Blackbird.  The left side of the video contains the accompaniment, and the right side contains the melody played while listening to the accompaniment recorded a few minutes earlier.

In upcoming posts I plan to explore facets of LinnStrument that help you get up to speed on playing it, should you decide to take the red pill like I did 🙂

James Weaver
Twitter: @JavaFXpert