â€œIt really opens your mind to new possibilities,â€� he says. â€œItâ€™s Steve Reich for the modern ageâ€¦â€� And Mark knows all about new possibilities. A decade ago he was leading the way on the drum n bass scene before turning chillout. Last yearâ€™s â€˜Album Of The Yearâ€™ Memories From A Fading Room spawned a couple of summer soundtrack classics (appearing all over the BBC and Sky TV) and heâ€™s currently gearing up for a ground-breaking audio and visual spectacular tour.
It was Tenori-onâ€™s unique way of inputting notes that excited Mark in the first place â€œAs a musician,â€� he says, â€œIâ€™m always looking for different ways to input music and from stopping my hands forming certain note or chord patterns on a keyboard. Tenori-on is the perfect alternative â€“ all of a sudden you are not looking at black or white notes and therefore thinking in a certain way. It opens up new methods of composition and thought processes and makes you think differently about music and what it actually is. Itâ€™s a great piece of equipment to put you in a very creative mood very, very quickly.â€�
â€œItâ€™s really freed up the way I think about music and what is possible in terms of multi layering and composition,â€� continues Mark, â€œso even the idea of a Tenori-on and what it can achieve is very liberating and creative because the days of a piano keyboard being the main way to enter music have gone.â€�
â€œNormally with equipment you pick up the basics from playing around with it and then consult the manual when you get stuck (always at the most frustrating times in terms of creativity). With the Tenori-on I actually spent 30 minutes with the manual at the beginning and have NEVER needed to refer back to it â€“ itâ€™s that easy and intuitive. As a synthesiser kid from the early 80s, I have a life long love affair with step sequencers anyway, but in addition to the standard score mode, I love the bouncing ball mode!â€�
Mark is preparing for a new Future Loop Foundation tour, starting in April in his home town of Sheffield at the new Sensoria Festival.
Thereâ€™s a new album out on Just Music in April called The Fading Room: Memories and Remixes, and Mark is currently also working on a follow up to 2004â€™s summer hit A Very English Summer.