Keyboards of the World! Vol. 2

Time to post the latest keyboard pics from my recent travels!

It has taken much longer than usual to get these from meatspace to cyberspace, due to the untimely demise of my trusty digital camera. I bought it in 2003, so I suppose I shouldn’t be too sad; it had a good, long life, as electronic gadgets go. It made a dramatic exit though: on the night my Theremin Concerto was premiΓ¨red, McDoc gave me a lovely bouquet of pink and white tulips, and I wanted to capture them for posterity. When I saw the image below on the little display, I knew something was amiss:


I think it’s cool, in a modern-art kinda way, but it didn’t have the documentary value I was after.

I wanted to find out if there was any cure for the camera’s condition, so I consulted the experts, a.k.a. virtual friends who, like me, spend too much time online. The diagnosis:

Most likely, your CCD has failed. In other words, the electronic detector that substitutes for film in your digital camera, is taking a dirt nap. Pitch the camera and buy a new one unless it is wicked expensive; which is the only way it would be cost-effective.

Very sad. However, I wasn’t alone in finding the sick camera’s output attractive:

I don’t care if it’s broken — if you can take images like that, until it totally craps out, hie thee to a printshop and sell those as modern art. Very soothing, except to the camera-owner. Lemonade from lemons, etc.

I think that’s a great idea, don’t you? πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I had to resort to a disposable digital camera for the rest of the trip, and it took awhile to use it all up and get it processed. Good news is, the pictures turned out pretty well. The bad news is, I still need to replace my digital camera. πŸ™

Donations to the Miss Music Nerd Digital Camera Replacement Fund will be gratefully accepted!

Meanwhile, let’s get started with the ‘board pics!

McDoc has relatives in San Diego, who graciously put us up while we were there. And their neighbors graciously let me play and photograph their piano:

usflag.gif San Diego, CA

Click Mr. Readmore for pianos and organs and harpsichords, oh my!

Each time the San Diego Chamber Orchestra performs, they present the same program 3 times in one week, in 3 different venues around San Diego County. Nice to know that the orchestra will come to your neighborhood, isn’t it? πŸ™‚ The 3rd performance of my Theremin Concerto took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral, located across the street from beautiful Balboa Park, not far from downtown San Diego. The place has keyboards everywhere you look! During intermission, while I got my picture took and signed autographs (no really, I got a few requests! πŸ˜€ ), McDoc went on a keyboard scavenger hunt.

Here’s the organ, which is a big’un, as you might expect for the seat of an Episcopal Diocese:

usflag.gif San Diego, CA

I know that as an honorably discharged Lt. Cpl. Church Organist (Ret.), I ought to be able to tell you the make of the organ, how many ranks it has, and whether it’s voiced in the German, French or English tradition. Well, er, um, I dunno, I dunno, and… I’m gonna say English. Please pray for me, for I am a Bad Person. πŸ˜›

Here’s a closeup of the maker’s plaque. If anyone has the sort of high-level government-agent technology to have this photo enhanced, lemme know!

What I can tell you is that those trumpets that you see mounted horizontally in front of the pipes…

…sound really cool. πŸ™‚

Moving on to the pianos…

This one needs a little dental work!

usflag.gif San Diego, CA

This one is a bit better!

usflag.gif San Diego, CA

Note that the pianos have their blankies on. Pianos may look like big, indestructible pieces of furniture, but a lot of sensitive mechanisms live under all that shiny wood, buddy! The folks at Steve’s Piano Service in Tennessee do a good job of explaining the rationale for covering your piano:

Close your cover after striking! A piano cover will keep the dust from spoiling action freedom, and it will keep a grand piano sound board looking fresh. A cover will help stabilize humidity. It will also discourage your brain challenged uncle from flopping down on the bench and playing Like Young for an hour.

He said it, not me! πŸ˜›

BTW, The Like Young is a hip indie-rock duo, at least one of whose songs features the kind of piano licks everyone wants to learn to play (Like the first track here). I learned something here today! I sure hope I’m not the only one… πŸ˜›

Finally, the modern stuff: Harpsichord!

usflag.gif San Diego, CA

Huh? Yes, I said modern, because this baby is digital. Harpsichordists everywhere are pursuing new hobbies and interests they never had time for before, now that they can go digital and turn their tuning hammers into paperweights!

I’ll be back soon with keyboards from even more exotic places — stay tuned! πŸ™‚


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