Producer/remixer/composer/DJ Brian “BT” Transeau revealed in an interview with music instrument Sweetwater that he owns the Fairlight keyboard used on the original Tron movie. The film’s soundtrack composed by Wendy Carlos was released in 1982.
The Fairlight CMI, a digital synthesizer, sampler and digital audio workstation, was introduced in 1979 and was one of the earliest music workstations. The Fairlight was played on ’80s albums by Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder, Todd Rundgren and Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran.
Speaking from his well-adorned home studio with Sweetwater’s Mitch Gallagher, BT, who was promoting the release of iZotope’s Stutter Edit during the brand’s GearFest 2020, explained, “I got the system and it arrived in the mail completely and totally trashed, actually. It came from Australia. The keyboard was the actual keyboard used on the original film Tron. When I got it, it had stickers on it that said ‘light cycle burn,’ ‘laser disc’ and all these kinds of things.”
BT went on to detail how he completely refurbished the unit “literally to the metal,” a process that took a couple of years.
“There’s not another Fairlight in the world like that thing … It’s one of the most glorious instruments I have ever played in my entire life.”
In related news, BT recently dropped a pair of singles, “The War” featuring Iraina Mancini and 1AM in Paris featuring Matt Fax.
BT told Sweetwater he’s currently working on a new film project and is planning to release more music shortly.
In this Facebook video from 2018, BT gives an overview of the Fairlight. Warning: the audio and video quality is poor.