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Autographed Fairlight CMI sold for a cool US$100,000

test 19 December 2006

WORLD: Stevie Wonder, Kate Bush and Brian Eno were among 44 celebrated musicians that signed an iconic Fairlight CMI keyboard, auctioned off on ebay recently to benefit human rights charity WITNESS, writes David Davies.

The designated asking price of US$100,000 was ultimately met by an unnamed Japanese buyer. The conclusion of the auction on December 11th coincided with the annual WITNESS benefit in New York, which featured a performance by Paul Simon and was co-hosted by another of the CMI signatories, Peter Gabriel.

The sale marked the culmination of a two-year period in which Fairlight, WITNESS and PR outfit Griffin Public Relations & Marketing sought to obtain the participation of those artists they deemed to be most closely identified with the keyboard. The keys were sent out individually for signing, then returned to Fairlight in Sydney, where the keyboard was reassembled ahead of its journey to New York.

"Bringing together the artists and the instrument that turned music on its head back in the ’80s is a fascinating exercise in the history of music, but to do it with WITNESS to support peace and human rights around the world is especially gratifying," said Fairlight chief executive John Lancken.

"We believe that this project, the culmination of two years of hard work, is only the beginning of a long and productive relationship between Fairlight and WITNESS as we bring to bear our digital media expertise and our user base of studios and broadcasters around the globe to help advance the great cause that WITNESS fights every day."

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