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One of the best things about trudging the halls at MusikMesse is the sense of not knowing quite what you're going to come across next (collapsible carbon-fibre alpenhorns, for ex ;-) and a perfect example of such an unexpected treat was found on a tiny stand lurking at the back of Hall 5.1...
Adam Place was displaying his brand new prototype AlphaShpere - quite literally, it was finished just before the show - and a very unusual instrument it is too, comprising 48 various sized pressure-sensitive rubber discs arranged to form a spherical controller.
Together with the custom-designed software interface, it can trigger and play samples, sounds and other parameters in a very intuitive and tactile way... and it looks great, too!