All my ex-keyfriends, part one
Over the last 32 years, I’ve had musical instruments of varying quality, in accordance to my always somewhat limited financial means. Though my priorities concerning music equipment were changing significantly over the time, for many years a keyboard was my primary creative center. Most of the times, I’ve had various arranger workstations due to their all-in-one concept. Every keyboard I’ve had so far also represents a certain step in my own musical development, so I remember all of the former ones here with a degree of nostalgia.
1986: Bontempi Mickey’s Magical Music Machine
This was one of my first musical instruments and the first “keyboard” I’ve ever had. I was six at the time and during the summer holidays on an island of Vis, I’ve said to my mother that I would like to have a keyboard such as the ones I’ve seen on a TV. A month later, our family friends from Germany had brought me Mickey’s Magical Music Machine by Italian company Bontempi. It was just a plastic toy, but it included a colored booklet with “musical notation” of many popular children songs. My first musical steps consisted of learning to play every one of those. When I’ve went to school the next year, I’ve still had the Bontempi. (You can imagine how popular I was at my class). :))
1988: Casio SA-10
I’ve gotten this one after my parents have realized that I’m still very much interested in music. CA-10 was a big step up from the Bontempi as it had both white and black keys as well as many different sounds, accompaniment patterns and rhythms. This had allowed me to delve deeper into music theory. At the time, I was also expanding my musical knowledge by learning to play numerous popular melodies I’ve heard by listening to my family’s record and cassette collection.
1991: Casio CA-100
This was my first “big” keyboard. That year, I was in a fifth grade of primary school and was absolutely fascinated by the keyboard my music teacher at school had. It was Technics KN-800, a professional arranger workstation, probably quite expensive at the time. The teacher used to bring it to school occasionally and to play for us during the class. From then on, I’ve didn’t stop nagging my parents to buy me a “keyboard for grown-ups”. As a result, I’ve gotten the CA-100. It had happened one Thursday; I was so happy that I’ve decided to declare Thursday as my lucky day from then on!
Since CA-100 had “standard sized keys” I became more and more interested in learning the piano. Unfortunately, we didn’t had one at our home, but my godmother had a piano at her apartment, and every time we went to see her and her family, I’ve used to sit at the piano for a couple of hours and play.
1993: Yamaha PSR 210
This keyboard had brought me a lot of joy at the time. Not only because it was far more advanced and better sounding comparing to everything I’ve had until then, but also because I’ve got it at the end of war in Croatia. The war, as you can imagine, was a very difficult time for me and as a child I’ve spent most of it with my parents and younger sister in our home town which was struck very badly. However, the music had remained my biggest joy so I’ve continued to improve further. Back then, I’ve became more and more interested in jazz and improvisation.
1995: Yamaha V50
This was my first professional-grade keyboard. I’ve bought it second hand from a local PE teacher who was also dealing in used music equipment. This was also my first serious financial investment. The V50 I’ve bought was in mint shape, though this model was already quite dated at the time. Still, it had the features I’ve could only dream of before then and during the short period I’ve had it, I’ve learned to use only about 30% of its possibilities. This was also a time when I’ve discovered the music of Vangelis, Mike Oldfield and Kitaro. Their music had inspired me since and fueled my determination to make music my life’s calling.