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20 January 2011

Pressing philosophical question of the day. Why haven't they made a documentary about Casio (musical instruments) yet?
I am trying to think of someone who would, and why. That's kind of like making a documentary on WonderBread.
posted by Ardiril 20 January | 04:39
Ardiril, the fact that you process "Casio" as such a thoroughly unremarkable concept is a testament to how embedded it's become in our popular consciousness.

As a musician, I find it fascinating how even the earliest and crappiest of Casio's instruments have been turned into tools for new music-making even today - particularly within the circuit-bending community, but also within sample-based music.

I can't even remember precisely when I got my first Casio - I was very, very young - but it seems to me that the earliest musical discoveries of an entire generation of now-adult musicians were led by those ubiquitous little toy synthesizers. I think the story of how that happened is a fascinating one.

My cynical adult brain has seen just about every preposterous, kitschy thing turned into a fetish object by Trendsetters. But when I let my guard down, I think it's delightful that I can be completely teleported into my eight-year-old self just by hearing this stupid little song again.

I suppose, in one sense, it's the musical equivalent of Helvetica, an equally "pointless" documentary. But I would actually watch a film on Wonder Bread, personally - talk about American iconography!
posted by mykescipark 20 January | 04:56
That's different. I thought you meant a doc on the company/business itself. A simple setup like a Casio run through a cheap Zoom multi-FX pedal can produce some quite complex tones.
posted by Ardiril 20 January | 06:38
This was my first musical instrument. A Magnus Chord Organ, it blew air over plastic reeds. The white buttons were chords.
≡ Click to see image ≡
posted by Ardiril 20 January | 06:43
It's a good idea, but it would need to be undertaken with someone who has the understanding and passion. So the question might be

Why haven't they you made a documentary about Casio (musical instruments) yet?
posted by Miko 20 January | 10:32
That's kind of like making a documentary on WonderBread.

Dude. I would totally watch that documentary.
posted by Elsa 20 January | 14:37
Ardiril, I had the exact same Magnus. I had to sell it when I moved from Boston to L.A., but I still have a smaller version. Great little organ, and perfect for those of us who can't find/afford an old-school harmonium :-)
posted by mykescipark 20 January | 14:43
Miko: I'm a radio producer, so I could definitely do a public radio series on Casio, but film is a little beyond my scope (and budget!). I bet it'll get made one of these days, though.
posted by mykescipark 20 January | 14:45
A few weeks ago, I was wistfully thinking that having that organ again would be fun.
posted by Ardiril 20 January | 17:50
3-point midweek update || The Economist