Otamatone Jumbo & Digital

Novmichi Tosa
Otamatone Jumbo & Digital

The “Otamatone” is a Japanese musical instrument that’s shaped like a musical note and sounds like a theremin, an electronic musical instrument invented in 1919. You produce sounds with the “Otamatone” by stroking or pressing the instrument’s neck, which lets you determine the sound’s pitch as well as create special effects—for instance, shaking your hand to produce a vibrato. Squeezing the “Otamatone’s” face also influences the sound. Try it out for yourself!

Novmichi Tosa has been working together since 2009 with the Maywa Denki artists collective and the CUBE Works company to develop diverse variations of this instrument, which Maywa Denki “markets” in entertaining performances in which their costumes and act are reminiscent of product presentations of electrical appliances in the 1960s and ‘70s, and that come across as satirical take-offs of commercialized pop music shows. Maywa Denki products and presentations already have multiple appearances at the Ars Electronica Center and Ars Electronica Festival to their credit.


Novmichi Tosa (JP), 2009