Brian Crabtree (who performs under the name tehn) and his partner Kelli Cain are collectively known as monome. They design what they call adaptable, minimalist interfaces. The musical instrument industry calls them alternate controllers. There are currently three models that interface with a computer. There is no hard-wired functionality; interaction between the keys and lights is determined by the application (such as Max/MSP) running on the computer. Basically the monome units can do whatever you program them to do and serve as alternate controllers for not just music but games, lights, video etc. Monome is fantastically successful. I found their story inspiring and exciting -- they represent a new breed of creative entrepreneurs who are environmentally and socially conscious.
Kim Cascone has worked as a synth tech, edited music for David Lynch films, founded San Francisco's first ambient electronic music label, and helped design new systems of audio for video games. In this conversation with Ben Nevile, Cascone discusses his electronic history, his interest in genetic algorithms, and a fresh compositional direction that he calls "New Density".