On the second day of our mini-break to Auckland, Luke wanted to take me to Waiheke Island, where he and his family lived for 6 years. So we jumped on a ferry from Devonport and cruised our way there. We were fortunate enough to have the most glorious weather.
There were so many nice beaches. I can see why the locals are very proud to call Waiheke home.
Luke also wanted to take me to Whittakers Music Museum. This is run by an elderly couple who have a passion for restoring historic musical instruments, particularly pianos. The really incredible thing is that they allow you to play them. Some of these pianos are very old and really show the progression of music technology. The craftmanship is really something to behold.
From memory this was a missionary organ - nice and compact to travel with.
I had no idea that you could change the sound of older pianos before electricity, like you can with modern organs and keyboards.
We were fortunate enough to have Lloyd play a few bars for us on several of the instruments. The only thing I know off by heart is Canon in D, and let's face it, no one wants to hear that.
This one was an organ for the opera. It was nice and small to fit in the orchestra pits, and with the push of abutton you can transpose keys to different octaves. Lloyd played a couple of bars of the Phantom of the Opera theme and my heart leapt for joy.
Check this out! You're looking at the orginal iPod. The Mikiphone Pocket Gramophone.
They just don't make pianos like this anymore.
Now this one was fascinating. It's an orchestral piano and actually has an orchestra inside! Well, not quite, but it does have a triangle, xylophone and bongos (as well as the piano itself, of course). In addition, it was a player piano, so it could play music automatically from punched paper rolls.
So if you're a music lover and you're ever around Auckland, I highly recommend going here.
Until next time :)