We all know about Roli’s Seaboard Rise keyboard controller by now. The new kind of MIDI instrument is a work of art in itself. Its centerpiece, the soft and spongy silicone touch keyboard, offers up “multi-dimensional” expression: Strike, Press, Glide, Slide, and Lift make up Roli’s 5D Touch technology.
Today, when it was finally time for me to try the Seaboard Rise 25 for myself, I absolutely loved the feel of the silicone surface, but it also struck me that playing it, at least at first, felt quite different from the standard keyboard action that I’m used to on a MIDI controller.
So looking around for a little inspiration, I found quite a few good examples of people taking advantage of the Seaboard Rise’s expressive interface to create performances that would be difficult or impossible with standard keyboard action. Watching these helped make it clear that becoming accustomed to the Seaboard Rise’s silicone keyboard will be more than worth the time.
In this first clip, composer M.D.X. shows off his compositional chops while using the Seaboard Rise for woodwind and string leads.
Fire Rises - Score Making with the Seaboard Rise
Here Marco Parisi plays the Seaboard Rise atop Jimi Hendrix to create a very convincing guitar accompaniment to “Little Wing.”
Marco Parisi plays Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” on the Seaboard Rise at Musikmesse 2016
Perhaps appropriately for the show, the Game of Thrones theme has been done to death. So if you’re gonna do it, do it your way. In this clip, Mahesh Raghvan goes Bollywood with the iconic TV intro.
Game of Thrones Theme - Indian Classical Version
The inimitable Jordan Rudess uses the Seaboard Rise as a stand-in for a Hungarian viola.
Jordan Rudess plays the Roli Seaboard Rise
Jazz keyboardist Bill Laurance performs with many instruments. Here he supplements an acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes, Nord Stage and Korg Minilologue with a Seaboard Rise. He rips off some blistering solos on the Rise, saying about it, “my whole approach to melodic ideas is revolutionized by the fact that I know I can slide between the notes in a way that I couldn’t before. Having the ribbon on the bottom and top allows me to really explore this very lyrical melody that I improvise on top of holding chords on another keyboard.”
Bill Laurance: Where the Magic Is - Live from Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London
In this under-circulated clip, Gopi Krishnan uses the Seaboard Rise to playback a large number of instrument types in this electronic genre mish-mash performance.
KMMC + Roli Seaboard Rise: “Brain Waves” by Gopi Krishnan