Rudess and…the iPhone?

Yesterday’s post about the continuum was really to just give a little background. I bought Black Clouds and Silver Linings, Dream Theater‘s newest album earlier, and it’s probably my favorite album of the year. There’s one solo, however, in “A Rite of Passage” that I just couldn’t figure out. It’s distinctly a Rudess solo because it’s just out there, but it wasn’t a regular keyboard solo or the continuum. So yesterday I had stumbled upon Rudess plugging Bebot for the iPhone. It’s an app much like the continuum in that you can slide around and play notes. Then, I found this video of the Rite of Passage solo section. Blew my mind.

Rudess and the Continuum

I really really wish I had seen Dream Theater when they came around my area. All of the members are simply the best at what they do. In school, one of my lab partners turned me on to them. At first, I just brushed them off, but on a whim, I downloaded Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From a Memory and my mind was blown. At the time of this post I’ve scrobbled over 3,800 Dream Theater plays on

The picture above is of Jordan Rudess, Dream Theater’s keyboardist. It’s a blurry pic, but it was taken with my cell phone as it was on the door of Lippold Haken, a professor at U of I. Haken created the continuum fingerboard, a midi controller with a smooth surface on which you can slide your fingers. The instrument tracks your x (the key, or in between keys), y (front and back), and z (pressure) and you map that to the midi output. It’s a fantastic instrument, and you can see it in action in the YouTube clip below.