She was just plain Celia, a would-be keyboard player. She moved in and started using my stuff. I showed her everything, from the heritage synths to the software that would have made them redundant if it weren’t for their romantic imprecision. Warmth, I called it. Old time fuzz, she said.
She started DJing locally. Changed her name to C Lea R. Started mixing her own tracks. To my ear they were unsophisticated but punchy. What I never appreciated was that Celia was the whole package. All I was was a music nerd with a roomful of gear. Celia was the sound, the look, the attitude. She was the front to plonk a disc in front of anyone who’d listen and wait, all big eyes and techno-feral innocence, until they played it.
Her break came; the remix compilation of a pop hit called With You No More. After a month secretly working on it she played it to me. I was shocked. When I’d shown her my old 4-track she’d used it all around the house. One night it had been recording when we argued. Now that argument was the refrain for her mix.
She left to play a show, returning the next afternoon. She stepped from a flash car wearing a new outfit, motioning to the driver to wait.