Saturday, September 7, 2013

Rockin' the Casio

Sometimes, when you're away from home but still need the feel of some synth keys under your fingers, you just gotta go with whatever available locally.

The Classic Casio SA-76.
So I'm attending a conference in Boston.  I'm staying at a friend's house.  I didn't bring any of my synths (I mean, really, traveling to a non-music conference with one's synth would be a little silly).  The chaos of the traveling and of the schmoozing and meetings has made me uptight.  I need to chill-out, I need to relax.  But I got nothing with keys, no musical instruments of any kind.  What to do?

Well, being a Renaissance Man (and his lady being a Renaissance Lady), my friends are raising their very young children delightfully, with full engagement with language and nature and arts and music.   So, while their young ones might still be a bit small for a proper Moog, they are not too small for the timeless power of an all-in-one Casio.  As can been seen, their particular Casio SA-76 is clearly Hello Kitty approved.

Looking at this synth, you might not be impressed.  Sure, the keys on this smokin' axe might be miniature, but my joy in having something -- anything -- to calm my traveler's nerves was anything but miniature.  Each one of its 26 little ivories and 18 little ebonies was a tender salve to my travel pains.

The Key to Casio Appeal...the Backing Beats.
We all know that the draw of a classic Casio is the depth of its pre-programmed beats.  And I was not disappointed.  Oh, "POPS", who knew that if you dropped the Casio's Tempo down to "4", your kicks would thump and your hi-hats would snap in such Hip-Hop-Horray that my stresses would be forgotten.

Then, by incrementing the pattern (#5, yes #5!), speeding the beat a bit, dialing in a tasty organ, who knew that the Casio would become a magical teleportation device delivering me to my musical happy place. And who knew that, on that day at least, my musical happy place would be Rockin' the Casio!

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