I first heard of this interesting instrument on wintery snow-storm kind of night in Chicago, December 2016. It was minus 20 degrees Celsius and we were snuggled up in a glowing Champagne bar (see what I did there). The bass player from the jazz trio introduced this 'magical' instrument to me. Astonished, it was hard for me to believe it actually existed...
Fast forward three months, I actually stumble upon the opportunity to learn it during my studies in Sound Lab at UNSW. This series of posts will aim to reflect on my interactions with the Theremin, evaluate and identify areas for improvement.
The theremin was first invented by Lev Termin (aka. Léon Theremin) around 1919.
Here you can hear him playing it.
Apparently string players can have a natural talent for this. What do you think? Here is an amazing performance by Clara Rockmore (one of the best IMO):
It is the only musical instrument you can play without touching. Note that Clara is not singing but the sound is produced from the movement between her and the instrument. What an amazing sound!
As this project is largely self-directed, here are some things I found interesting about playing the theremin for the first time:
Things to work on next time/consider:
Feel free to follow my "Theremin Obsession" playlist on YouTube.
P.S. Have you ever heard of the Musical Saw? Thanks GH for introducing me to this during a break at the Meter Symposium @ the Sydney Con last weekend.