Keys, Hammers and Strings

By Adam Morrison

During a recent recording project for Hevreh Ensemble's new CD at The Bunker recording studio in Brooklyn, I had the opportunity to play several vintage keyboards. This was in addition to the stunning Steinway B grand piano that resides at the studio. The truth is that I was skeptical that these vintage keyboards would be at all useful.

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I have owned and loved many of them over the years, but they are finicky and when one encounters them these days they are usually in various states of disrepair, out of tune, and hard to make music on.

I silently and stupidly decided that these instruments would likely not be useful and that I would bring my own keyboard. I could not have been more wrong.

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The Fender-Rhodes electric piano is a rare 54-key version and it sings! The “Wurly” (Wurlitzer electric piano) was equally sweet. The biggest surprise was a one of a kind electric modified celesta that ended up occupying an important place in one of Jeff's compositions.

I am reminded once again how well new and old technologies can work together. On a personal note, it seems I need to learn this lesson many times, to stay open to the possibilities that are in each new situation instead of deciding ahead of time what will and what won't work.

Judith Dansker