The system is built around the LUMI Keys 1 hardware – a keyboard whose keys light up in vibrant colours to steer players as to which note they need to play. This keyboard connects with a software platform and music library wich guides players through different songs, lessons and exercises.
Designed to provide a route into music-making away from the complexity of traditional musical notation, the system instead uses light, colour and a digital interface to visualise musical scores.
Lumi was initially launched on Kickstarter a year ago, with the studio having used the past year to further develop the device based on user feedback. Roli has improved the durability of the keyboard; grown the Lumi music library to more than 400 songs and 100 lessons; and expanded the number of ways in which the system can represent musical notation.
“We set out to make Lumi the world's first fully integrated hardware, software, and content platform for music learning,” says Roland Lamb, Roli's founder and CEO. “Its growth and evolution over the past year truly make Lumi the easiest and most fun way to get started learning the piano.”
Lumi is the latest project from Roli, a studio which built its name on developing new forms of musical instruments that challenge some of the design dogmas of the field. Disegno has previously covered the company's debut instrument, the Seaboard.
The new device, however, pushes Roli into new territory. While the Seaboard was a complex instrument that picked up a devoted following amongst professional musicians, Lumi is intended to open up music making to audiences with little to no experience.
The launch of the device comes during renewed lockdown restrictions in the UK as fears of a second wave of Covid-19 mount. In this sense, the platform's emphasis on remote learning is timely. “Meeting a need that’s more important than ever before, LUMI empowers people who love music to teach themselves an instrument entirely from home,” says Lamb.