MERIDI, Future of Music
In 1992 I had a dream. The dream was about the future. The future of music. I saw a most amazing dream of a musician on a stage of a top show on TV, being broadcast playing a new musical instrument. This instrument was like nothing in existence in 1992, and still 30 years later in 2022, there is nothing like it, yet.
I applied for a US Patent and got it 2.5 years later. We went into production with several prototypes and settled on a software based prototype that use off-the shelf electronic musical MIDI keyboards in a stack of four which we dubbed the Chordboard STAC. It worked, and it was exciting. Here is the journal entry shortly after having that early morning dream in 1992:
In 1992 I had a vivid dream and remembered it when I woke up. I was at a music production studio, actually a sound stage for a TV show and a famous future musician was on stage playing his music and he was using a surface instrument that was colorful and graphical, the concepts which have been depicted on Star Trek TV shows, however this was different. It was a musical instrument. And it was fantastic. The musician said, "OK, we're going to make the song sound sadder now," and he pressed some colorful geometric shapes that were on the screen of the instrument, and now when he played it, it sounded truly sad and the whole emotion of the song changed. It was at that precise moment that I woke up
In the picture below, in our office studio, we had several prototypes set up and hooked up to various computer systems. It was a fantastic musical studio where are creative ideas were born. In this setting we actually refined the software and ended up making a lot of very new sounding music, even SYMPHONIC music.
What was so cool about this invention was it made it easy to play very complex chords, even movie music, even symphonic music. What an accompaniment you could make with it, and driving complex and awesome MIDI notes to a high quality professional sounds keyboard such as the Yamaha Motif XS8 in this scenario. Great sounds. Great rhythms. With a Clavinova CVP 809 digital piano, even more fantastic.
Here is a video from a decade ago on how this prototype, sold to professional musicians, actually worked.