Monday, 13 February 2017

Lovely Lirika


My name's Marion and I live in Kigali, Rwanda.

My mum and dad have always had pianos in their houses, so I guess I feel a house is a home when it has one.

Unfortunately, pianos are extremely hard to find here in Central Africa. 

The word 'piano' is usually synonymous with 'electric keyboard' - that's what people think you mean when you ask if there are any pianos for sale.

In December 2016 an Egyptian gentleman called Salem was moving back home and put his piano up for sale on a local forum. I went to take a look, not really knowing what I was looking at. A few keys didn't work, but otherwise she looked in fairly good condition. I paid what was, for me, a large sum of money - close to £1,000 - for an instrument you could probably get for around £250 in the UK. People even give them away for free on Craigslist. But I knew that if I didn't buy her, I probably wouldn't see another one.

So, I became the proud owner of a 1968 USSR Lirika upright.

I have absolutely no idea how she came to be in Rwanda. If anyone knows the story, I'd love to hear it. 

Once she arrived, I opened her up and gave her a good clean.

As it was almost Christmas, it was a nice surprise to find a festive cocktail stick inside.

The only problem was, as hard as it is finding a piano, it's just as hard finding someone who can fix one. Having spent so much on her, I decided to make her my project and have a go myself. With guidance from Howard Piano Industries in the US, who do some excellent video tutorials on YouTube, and a copy of Pianos Inside Out by Mario Igrec, I set to work.

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