The Samchillian Tip Tip Tip Cheeepeeeee is a keyboard MIDI controller of my own invention based on changes of pitch, rather than fixed pitches. This concept gives the performer the ability to perform extremely quick, rhapsodical lines.
Here's how it works: a user first selects a scale and a key (e.g. F# pentatonic), and then every key that is subsequently pressed will move the user up and down a certain amount within the selected set of notes, depending on the number of positive or negative number of steps assigned to that key. Also the user is able to select from a number of scales - including microtonal scales - and key signatures. A pattern, or "melodic contour", once learned, can then be played in any key or scale without needing to relearn fingering.￼
In the current incarnation I use a modified PC computer keyboard made by Kinesis®, which plugs into a laptop running the software that generates MIDI information. This information is then sent to a sampler or synthesizer which creates the sound.
Remember that since it is a MIDI controller, there is no distinctive sonic character to the instrument. However, the instrument tends to produce unusual phrases and patterns. Everything played on the Samchillian is completely live.
I had the help of these people in the making of Samchillian: Dan Coates and Ray Haleblian for software and Joe Waltz for hardware. And thank you to Adrian Romero for his support. (Also Lee Thalblum, and Richard Smith of MVS.)
Samchillian demonstration at the class of 1985 Harvard reunion talent show.
This is a demo of my musical keyboard invention. The video goes through the various features.
Samchillian triggering Disklavier (player piano)
Duet with Tim Cramer
Here is a complete list in alphabetical order of the countries where I have played the Samchillian:
all over USA
I often give demonstrations of the keyboard at universities and conservatories - for example: Berklee, Juilliard, Harvard, Yale, MIT, Tufts University, Brown University, New England Conservatory.
Samchillian lecture/ demonstration - Russia - 2011
The Kidchillian is the Samchillian for kids - It debuted in a demonstration at the World Science Festival in Washington Square Park in NYC in May 2015.
This simplified version has been constructed to clearly illustrate the idea of relativity as it applies to playing a melodic line. The user presses a change of pitch, -4 to +4 and the resulting pitch is heard and displayed on the solfege wheel.
The KidChillian is a collaboration with Joe Waltz - the idea was to create a physical instrument which exploited the samchillian relativistic concept that allows anyone from age 2 to 82 a have a new musical experience.