It was 1989, I was 8, and my father brought home from Toys R Us a Yamaha Portasound PSS-680 as a keyboard for the family. I loved it. It had 100 different sounds, 100 rhythms, drum pads, and coolest of all, a little synthesizer that allowed you to build and modify your own sounds.
After a few years of heavy interest in the keyboard I was wooed by the traditional piano and its 88 fully-weighted keys. The Portasound sat until college when I picked it up again. (picture).
It wasn't until I moved to NYC and joined the great absurdist comedy band The Renaldo The Ensemble that I fully appreciated the Portasound's potential. For 5 years I carried my axe on the subway and played its crystal clear tones for late night crowds at the Living Room on the Lower East Side.
I love just about everything about the Portasound, it's mini-synthesizer, perfect portamento, the light feel of the keys, 5 octave range, aero-dynamic design, fully printed list of songs and styles on the case itself, MIDI outputs, and of course the demo–whoever composed this endless journey of a song should have been given a Grammy.
When baby Walter was born, I stepped down from Renaldo The. While I lost the regular gig, I gained some time at home to really explore all of its wonderful features.
Another thing that I've gotten a chance to more fully explore is the book of Proverbs. I love just about everything about this book as well. It's pithy comments, rants on wisdom, outlandish metaphors, timeless advice.
Thus was born Portasound Proverbs, an album of new songs that explore two wonderful things in my life, the book of Proverbs and the Yamaha Portasound. This concept album will feature sound and percussion entirely played from the Yamaha Portasound PSS-680 and lyrics entirely comprised from the book of Proverbs.
No estimate on when this album will be done, but enjoy a few previews from the work in progress: