My Instruments

The first musical instrument which I laid my hands on was a piano, at about six years of age. My father, unfortunately, chose an old-fashioned, mediocre piano teacher, who also taught music theory, and who succeeded in just a few short days to make me hate the piano, and music in general. 

I couldn’t stand the sight of her — with her shoulder-length grey hair and her small eyeglasses. Her manner of speaking was such that it annoyed my ears. The worst thing of all was that, every time I hit a wrong note she would slap the ‘guilty’ hand!

I hated her so much that, one day, knowing she was about to arrive for a lesson, I hid myself in a closet and decided to come out only when the old woman had left. She was visibly offended by my absence and told my parents that I had no hope whatsoever for music.

My desire to play the piano returned around thirteen years old, and already after about a year of playing, I was able to improvise some interesting things on the instrument. Later, when I got to sixteen years old I began to learn to read and write music. I was attracted to Pop/Rock music in those days, but I considered it very important to get a good classical music background. My musical idol Keith Emerson was an educated musician. He was creating a kind of Rock music that was of high quality, incorporated modern technology which was both alternative and a bit intellectual, so I was inspired to follow in his footsteps.

Although I was fascinated by the two ARP 2600 synthesizers that my father owned, I was satisfied with, and actually excited, when he brought home an electronic organ and a synthesizer just for me. It was an Eko Tiger organ and a Welson synthesizer, which had a series of preset buttons on the bottom but also a fully programmable analog control section with VCF, VCO, ADSR etc. This was the instrument on which I first learned analog synthesis programming and how to make my own sounds. I Placed the Welson on top of my Eko Tiger organ and soon I began to feel like a little “Keith Emerson”.

With these two basic and simple instruments, along with my broken-down vertical piano, I began to practice tirelessly to become a good keyboard player. Although I already had began to experiment, one more crucial element was needed to launch me full-on into the world of Electronic Music: The Moog Synthesizer!

I became enchanted by the recordings of Walter Carlos (later to become Wendy Carlos), especially the reinterpretations of Bach where the sounds were produced entirely by Moog synthesizers.

Keith Emerson also used Moog synths, so when I finally was able to buy my first Minimoog, inspired by finally having the same instrument as my hero, I remember, that same night I placed it on my bed beside me and slept with it in my arms. Soon after, I bought a used Hammond L-100 with a Leslie speaker cabinet, a Wurlitzer electric piano and an odd polyphonic keyboard (of which I can’t remember the name) that had presets such as strings, harpsichord and other sounds. At that point I finally felt like I had a real professional keyboard kit! I then began to form various Rock/Fusion bands, almost always with myself on keyboards, a drummer and a bassist.

When I decided to produce commercial music, around 1980, the instruments which I used in the recording studio were the Minimoog, Oberheim polyphonic synths and drum machines made by Korg, Linn and the Oberheim DMX. With these instruments, along with acoustic pianos, I created all my hit records in the 1980’s, such as “Dolce Vita“, “I Like Chopin” etc.
For the WEB project, produced between 1999 and 2003, I switched to virtual synthesizers such as the Roland JP-8000, Korg M2000, Supernova and Virus.
I’ve always loved the pure sound of true analog synthesisers but for my future projects, I will produce records utilising plug-ins and digital recording systems.