News story

Oscar success: UK cutting-edge music technology in the mix

La La Land - awarded Best Original Music Score - features a next-generation synthesizer, developed by ROLI with support from Innovate UK.

Keys on the ROLI Seaboard

The Dalston-based music company’s innovative Seaboard GRAND has gained widespread attention with La La Land, dominating the film and television awards season for its soundtrack.

ROLI has revolutionised the piano keyboard by replacing white and black keys with a continuous, touch-responsive surface. Its ’keywaves’ are sensitive to initial strike force, pressure and left–right finger placement.

The instrument is used in a seminal scene with Ryan Gosling’s character, Sebastian, joining a band fronted by musician John Legend. It marks the upturn of his career as the jazz purist comes to accept that the music he loves needs to evolve to gain a broader audience and survive.

As well as the Oscar, the film won a Golden Globe for Best Original Score and British Academy Film Award for Best Film Music.

Support from Innovate UK

Innovate UK has a long history with ROLI. We first supported the company on research and development for the technology that underpins the Seaboard. ROLI has also received grants from Innovate UK for further projects, including proof of concepts and prototyping. We continue to work with the team today.

Published 28 February 2017