Some projects just need to be done because they’re cool.
There are some projects that have compelled us for years — projects that we work on whenever we can find the time or the money, for no other reason than that they capture our imagination because they offer the possibility of creating new human experiences that weren’t possible before.
Lumatone is one of those projects.
Cortex first learned about the microtonalist community back when we were a one man band. For decades, this group of experimental musicians had dreamed of a piano keyboard that can accommodate alternate tunings, allowing them to change tunings on the fly and play all the notes in between the traditional black and white keys. They just lacked the tools to do it.
In the years since, this has been the definition of a passion project.
Each successive iteration has brought us closer to our vision of expanding the sonic palette to offer new possibilities for how music can be composed and arranged.
The Lumatone, our latest design, satisfied the microtonalists — trust us, no easy task. Then we got it into the hands of the wider community of musicians, DJs, producers, engineers, even lighting technicians, and we realized something else: a fully programmable, 275-key isomorphic keyboard isn’t a niche instrument — not if it has the same fidelity of expression as a traditional keyboard.
We saw how fast people picked up the Lumatone, even if they’ve never played an isomorphic keyboard before. We heard the music they were able to make off the bat, and our hearts started racing. We still don’t know where it’s going to end up, but one thing became clear:
This thing has the potential to completely change the way that people interact with music.
No matter what happens, we love it.