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Mystery Keyboard on MTV2 - help?


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I posted something about this a while back in Keyboard Corner, but haven't gotten an answer yet. There is an MTV2 promo spot that runs occasionally, where a guy is playing a vaguely spanish sounding piece on a keyboard instrument. There are numerous light bulbs of differing shapes and colors which light in conjunction with the keys. Then he spins a bicycle wheel (no, I'm not kidding) which produces an LFO-like modulation. The instrument sounds really cool, and looks cooler. I tried emailing MTV to find out who the artist is, but no reply (I'm not surprised). Does anyone know anything about the artist or keyboard?
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My guess is the thing is not a real keyboard at all, but a prop. And the "artist" is really an actor. It would make sense for MTV2 not to identify themselves with any one actual artist by putting that person in a promo spot.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Senior Editor, Music Player Network

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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Felix, I've got the scoop... His name is Ken Butler... He's the same guy that plays that two-string fretless shovel thang on another promo spot... Not a prop...not an actor... He builds 'em and plays 'em... I couldn't find a website for him, but there's alot to be found here... http://www.experimentalmusicalinstruments.com Do a search for Ken Butler... EMI's Bart Hopkin also has a great book/CD out... "Gravikords, Whirlies & Pyrophones" It features many artists/instruments including Ken Butler's keyboard that you asked about... "...the KBoard, in which [guitar] picks mounted around the circumference of a rotating bicycle wheel continually pluck a single string. The string runs under a keyboard, and when the keys are pressed, tangents on the undersides of the keys press against the string to vary its vibrating length and thus its pitch..." Ken also has a CD called... "Voices of Anxious Objects" Available at various online dealers... It's all good... ;)

Bob Phillips

20to20soundesign

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So cool, So cool! Thanks! I knew it wasn't a prop or an actor - anyone who has seen it would agree. Which gives me another chance to say that MTV2 is pretty damn cool - if you haven't seen it, don't hate it based on what the original MTV has become - it's all music, all the time, and a much wider and cooler selection than MTV. Both of these promo spots are way cool, along with nearly all of the other MTV2 promo spots, including the "interviews" with people talking about music, the performances by naked musicians, etc. But Ken Butler's keyboard is the coolest of all! Thanks again!
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[quote]Originally posted by felix: [QB]So cool, So cool! Thanks! MTV2 is pretty damn cool - if you haven't seen it, don't hate it based on what the original MTV has become - it's all music, all the time, and a much wider and cooler selection than MTV. QB][/quote] Ditto for MTVX and VH1 Classic
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Wow... very cool stuff. I'm happy to stand corrected. :)

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Senior Editor, Music Player Network

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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