Halloween resources...

Posted: 9/17/2006 3:47:27 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Halloween is coming, and I am wondering what can I play at my Halloween gig, and I'm guessing I'm not alone in this. So here's a thread to drop a few ideas into.

As it happens I'm playing for a young children's party, but there are all sorts of possibilities - maybe people are playing to Goths, or classical aficionados. Or perhaps they want to drop a few suitable theremin tracks into their party mix. So... your Halloween suggestions here.

Here's three ideas to get you started...

Nursery rhymes... Ring-a-roses. (Used to very creepy effect in the programme Sapphire and Steel. Playing it on the theremin gives me the wiggins.)

Party mix tracks. The Witch's Tale by Hypnotique.

For trick or treating - obviously a tad inconvenient to take your ePro out with you, even with a very long extension cable, but you can find a little one-stick with built in speaker made by a proper theremin manufacturer here (http://theremin.co.uk/). Just right for concealing under your white sheet with holes cut out for your eyes.

Posted: 9/17/2006 6:29:03 PM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

Gordon, The Ring Around the Roses thing can be quite spooky.

I do a piece I call "Nah-Nah-Nah-Nah-Nah!", which is the first few notes of the aforementioned nursery rhyme in the style of kids teasing someone.

I run the theremin through my digital dealy and keep adding layers until it sounds like a crowd of demonic children.

I usually start off with some very low moaning growls that get looped and then bribg ib the melody part.

After w hile I improvise over the top of the droning "children" and then wrap it up.
Posted: 9/17/2006 7:03:11 PM

From: new haven ct.

Joined: 7/8/2005

of course ring around the rosie's creepy, it's about the plague

Posted: 9/17/2006 7:27:54 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Snopes.com (an urban legend reference site) disagree.


I don't know. Doesn't really matter much - it's a creepy song either way.

Let's not get too distracted from the intent of this thread, please.

Got any good Halloween ideas? (Diggy - I love the na na thing! Thanks.)
Posted: 9/17/2006 9:39:32 PM

From: Colorado

Joined: 7/5/2005

The children you're playing for probably know some creepy-fun songs. You may remember them from your own youth if you grew up in the same area, or if you know one of the kids, you can ask them what creepy songs they know, learn them, and play them at the party.

I have no idea of how regional this sort of thing is, but growing up in California we had the following song loosely based on the famous part of Chopin's dirge:

Where will we all be 100 years from now?
Pushing up the daisies! Pushing up the daisies!

Where will we all be 200 years from now?
Pushing up the daisies! ...(and so on, to 500,
1000, 10000 years and on to numbers that are
an interesting challenge to children to

Or, do you know the one with these words?

Did you ever think when the hearse goes by,
That you may be the next one to die?
They'll cover you up in a big wood box,
And cover you over with dirt, and rocks?
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
the worms play pinochle on your snout,
...and more words I can't remember.

Maybe you can get the children to sing along to their favorite local hallowe'en songs, fun! That might be a fun way to open it, anyway.

It might be nice if you could collaborate with someone who would tell some ghost stories. You could provide some effects.

Posted: 9/18/2006 5:09:30 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

That's wonderful Ann. I've seen snippets of that song in William Burroughs novels, but didn't know there was more. Apparently it's called The Hearse Song, and there's a good page about it, with an mp3 for the tune, here (http://www.mamalisa.com/blog/?cat=125).

And you reminded me of a couple of other worm related songs...

I first heard The Worm Song on a punk/oi (oi was a UK sub-genre of punk - specialising in football chants - you may have heard of Sham 69 - "If the kids are united, they will never be defeated") single in 1977 by The Boys, in their Christmas single alter-ego, The Yobs.)

Slowly, to the tune of Polly Wolly Doodle...

Nobody likes me,
Everybody hates me,
Just because I eat worms.
Long, tall, skinny ones,
Short, fat, hairy ones,
See how the little ones squirm.
Bite all their heads off,
Suck all the juice out,
Throw the empty skins away.
Nobody likes me,
Everybody hates me,
So I eat worms all day.

(I was banned from teaching the little ones that song at parent and toddler group! My kids loved it for the ickiness factor, and it didn't inspire them to eat worms.)

And I think after those two it might be a good idea to do a nice worm song, lest I leave the kiddies permanently scarred...



Two and two is four,
four and four is eight,
eight and eight is sixteen,
sixteen and sixteen is thirty two.


Inchworm, inchworm,
measuring the marigolds.
Why can't you just stop and see,
how beautiful they are.

Inchworm, inchworm,
measuring the marigolds.
With all of your arithmetic,
I'm sure you'll go far.

I think I heard that first on Sesame Street, with the chorus in counterpoint under the verses. Really pretty.

Posted: 9/18/2006 7:08:59 AM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

Children might not get the reference, but I've always loved the theme from "Dark Shadows".

It was originally done on the Electro-Theremin, but it can be done reasonably well on the standard theremin.

The theremin part is rather short. Perhaps you could use your imagination to expand on the theme a bit.
Posted: 9/18/2006 9:07:42 AM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

Usually on Halloween I set up the PA in the garage and some spooky decorations and a fog machine in the bushes out front.

I have a microphone and an effects processor to make me sound like satan himself. I also run some scary sound effects CD's through the PA.

Of course the best part is the theremin. I usually just pkay scary sounding minor runs and a few wooo-woooo's.

Last year some of the little ones refused to come up to the door so Mrs Diggy had to go out to the street.

As far as repertiore, "Monster Mash" is a fun song but I am not sure how it would go off as a theremin solo.

Classical pieces often work very well, especially on theremin.

What about Scooby Doo? Beside the main theme they have some good incidental music that is very recogizable. Not to scary but the kids will probably dig it.
Posted: 10/31/2006 12:17:36 PM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

Cold Genius from King Arthur is one of the most spooky of all the works by England's greatest composer, Purcell. It's a real blast to play and not that hard.
Posted: 10/31/2006 12:57:17 PM

From: Kansas City MO

Joined: 10/24/2006

Well I don’t have a theremin but I do enjoy Halloween.
I put a strobe light outside with a red filter.

Then I put a plasma ball next to my front window next to the door (on the inside of the house) with a back-lit sign saying TOUCH ME with an arrow pointing down at the ball.
Even with the 1/4 thick window glass between the kids finger and the ball, it still reacts very well.

A Jacobs ladder about 15” tall in another window (of course inside the house, 40,000 volts and children don’t go together even at low amps)

I have every room in my house is wired with mono speakers, I turn them all on and crank the amp way up, an play mostly the old classic horror movies, and don’t forget the Toccata and Fugue!

Happy Halloween everyone.

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