‘Every machine has its history. Every owner has a story’

Mirjam van Kerkwijk, born in 1979, the Netherlands. Pleased to meet you!

In short: I’m an independent writer with a great love for synths; the Fairlight in particular. It has a unique place in music history. There’s a lot of technical information available, but what about personal experiences? Stories about the love for this illustrious musical computer? I decided to go out and collect them.

I must have been about five years old when I started listening to the radio. MirjamAnd that’s were the madness began. I have vivid memories of hearing certain songs for the first time. Like Paranoimia by The Art Of Noise. Boy, did I wanted to know how they made those sounds! And Crocket’s Theme by Jan Hammer. I just loved that warm, string sound at the beginning, and the melody…  My childhood fantasy? Me, on stage, surrounded by keyboards.

The love for music machinery never left me. I took in every bit of information I could find. Mentions of using “A Fairlight C.M.I” on album sleeves intrigued me: ‘Hm… What’s so special about this… Fairlight-thing?’ Well, it took me a quite a few years of scouring the internet before I finally found out…

Mirjam, touching a very famous keyboard...
“Whooahh… I touched it!” Taken at the Synthesized-event, juni 2018, Cambridge, Centre for Computing History

This idea of collecting stories from Fairlight-users arose during a sleepless night, browsing through my favourite music. Unlike so many other ideas before, this one didn’t vanish. I just couldn’t turn it loose. So I decided: ok, let’s do this! I was thrilled with the positive responses I got, and although I had to overcome some shyness, I enjoyed every bit of the Fairlight-talks! And I still do. It’s such a great experience, speaking with all these talented and lovely people.

We are having a 40-year anniversary on our hands: in 1979, the first few Fairlights were sold to some great musicians like Stevie Wonder and Peter Gabriel. Reason enough to celebrate, by sharing these wonderful, conveying some music history.

 

Contact me!

If you’d like to share your story, or if you’d like to learn more about this project, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can reach me on Facebook Messenger or by e-mail: mirjam @ fortheloveofthefairlight .com

Social media

Instagram: @Fortheloveofthefairlight

Twitter: @CMI_Stories

 

 

Special thanks to:

Rob Puricelli and Peter Wielk for sharing their knowledge and providing me with a bunch of amazing Fairlight pics, Kees Jan Sloff a.k.a. Robotnik for designing the artwork (header/logo). Also, thanks to Ferdinand Buitenhuis, Martijn van Spijker, Sylvia Harms, Jody van Kerkwijk for their loving support.