UK Thereminisation! (Brits - do you fancy a get-together?)

Posted: 6/25/2006 11:02:58 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Confirmed. 3:30.
Posted: 6/25/2006 2:04:04 PM

From: bristol, England

Joined: 3/18/2006

whats the date?
Posted: 6/25/2006 3:52:03 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Saturday the 29th of July.
Posted: 6/26/2006 8:06:14 AM

From: Perth, UK

Joined: 5/17/2005

Not terribly happy...

I've just heard that the monthly visit I make to London will not be able to fit in with the Ninki V gig in July, and due to holidays etc. around that time it can't be moved either. So unless something unexpected happens I won't be able to make it. Maybe next time.
Posted: 6/26/2006 8:21:22 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Permit me to cheer you up. My social networking exercise on mySpace is proving very successful indeed. Of my 177 friends, 160 are bands from the UK. These include 12 bands that I know for certain use two antenna theremins, (and among those 6 bands that have had airplay on Spellbound.) It is quite likely that a good proportion of other artists among the 160 are also serious theremin players, in the sense that they have two antenna theremins, but I have not enquired. (I realise that this is a slightly crude discriminator, but it suffices to give an impression of the level of interest they have in their instrument.) I have a further 60 bands, all of unknown interest level, who have yet to respond. As I started requesting friendship of bands 6 days ago, and made my last request yesterday I consider this to be a good response rate. Adding in those who are not on mySpace but have shown an interest on this thread I estimate that an event with between 30 and 40 attendees is quite feasible.

I would like to review all the bands music to determine which might be considered serious thereminists, for three reasons. Firstly with the intent of contacting them to introduce the idea of an event, and to find their level of potential involvement. Secondly to highlight the best of UK theremin playing on my mySpace site. Thirdly so that we can recommend them to David Vesel and assist him in his search for thereminists to feature on the Spellbound radio show/podcast.

I do not have the time to do this at the moment. If you would like to spend an evening listening to music of variable quality to assist in this, please email me at gordonc at theremin . org . uk and let me know who many links I should send you. (This is to avoid duplication of effort - if everyone just pitches in some bands will be reviewed more than once, and some not at all.) Please do entertain my request - it is a way to help.

Those friends of mine from abroad who currently adorn my site to showcase good theremin playing in general I shall politely invite to move to my personal site, as I do not wish to lose contact with them now that it has been established. I shall also be recommending them to a new presence on mySpace, the New York (allegedly) based "Etherwave" who has the slogan "World Thereminisation" and appears to be using his site to showcase serious thereminists.

I have also made encouraging contact with two UK theremin manufacturers, Tony Bassett of No1derland, and Jake Rothman of, both of whom have experience in presenting talks about the theremin.

I am told that our third and best manufacturer, Tony Henk, is retired and living in the top of Scotland, about as far away from our hoped venue as one can get. Additionally I hear that Celia Sheen, probably the UK's premier classical thereminist is said not to be inclined to do public performances. But there exists the possibility of live video links to both of these well respected people and to others overseas. After all, we have the technology!

This idea I must note is not my own, but comes from another contact I have made, with a gentleman formerly involved in arranging theremin related events and a serious cinematographer. He is currently cleaning up his extensive and impressive collection of televised theremin appearances and uploading them to youTube under the moniker 42Hz, and they are well work looking at. (Unfortunately the £500 licence required to put Pathe News footage on a website means they will not include footage of Musaire, but it is well worth visiting the pathe news website at and searching on "musaire", "theremin" and "theramin" - this yields a handful of worthwhile downloads for personal viewing.) Other than this, 42Hz is involved in other projects, but has expressed a willingness to act as cinematographer for an event.

For most of these contacts and some others still in progress I have to thank Miss Hypnotique, who has n
Posted: 6/27/2006 12:34:41 PM

From: UK

Joined: 5/16/2006

I think that's where I come in...(being the magician ;-) ).

I've sent a few emails out, one of which to Celia Sheen (speaking as a hypno-tist, many thanks to Ms. Hypno-tique again!). Nothing back yet, but I'm ever hopeful.

One thing I have noticed is that a lot of the gigs seem to be 'da'an saath' - anyone from 'up North' (or is it 'oop nowth'?) who has any gigs, please post to, or contact me, and will post! I know that there is someone close to me (Liverpool - Kevin is it?), and there are a few others showing on the Frappr map.

Yes - I'll do some magic at a meet, Gordon :-D (although, if I start playing, given the lack of current practise, I may make the audience disappear!).

Now, think of a number...
Posted: 6/27/2006 2:09:09 PM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

Apparently one of my mother's friends is a really good friend of Celia's. I'll see what I can do too!

Gordon - thanks for the link to the Musaire videos. They're great aren't they! I actually have a tailsuit that's more or less identical to his. Perhaps I'll record myself in black and white playing the theremin whilst wearing it. Hahaha.
Posted: 6/27/2006 4:11:56 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Excellent news Charlie. Thank you. Those pathe clips are fun, aren't they. My favourite is the one without any theremin whatsoever. That violin dance at the end - I'm not sure if the right question is "how do they do that?" or "why?"

Mark, yup there's a really strong alternative music scene in The Smoke ( I expect there's a strong scene in Manchester too - go dig - don't just stick to the frappr map - Theremin World, tip of the iceberg.

JD, here's a consolation prize I found whilst digging. "You Are Hear" broadcasts live sessions from alternative London. You can find sessions from Ninki V and Man From Uranus on their blog (, or here's the RSS feed to paste into iTunes: feed://

Which reminds me - whilst on the schmooze I was pointed to a big chunk of streaming Pamelia (ha, ha - David Vesel is having trouble catching hold of her over on Spellbound-L - it's those darned roller-skates, I tell you.) I'm just off to the noob's question ( to post about it because it relates to delay units - she does a 20 minute live improv on air, just her and a couple of echo boxes. You gotta hear it.
Posted: 6/28/2006 6:44:03 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

A few more thoughts...

First of all I repeat my request for assistance in reviewing the UK bands listed as friends of Beat Frequency on mySpace. Email me at gordonc at theremin dot org dot uk and tell me how many you would like to listen to. Even a few would make my life easier!


The event should be in the summer, and at least a month away from the likely date of Ethermusic 2007, so June or early July. This means we have one year or less, and the clock is ticking.

It should be announced at least four months in advance, so we need to have strong agreements from involved parties by then.

I want to put out a preliminary notice of intent on mySpace and in one month's time to more accurately determine potential attendance numbers.


We have tentative agreement or positive interest from Miss Hypnotique, Ninki V and Chris Conway, and are actively pursuing other well known thereminists, both classical and modern. I am willing to make a fool of myself in public if needs be.

In the area of theremin manufacturers we have similar levels of interest from both No1nderland and Unless someone better steps forward I can make my Kees Enkelaar theremin available for demo purposes. I would like to have Moog theremins represented too. I have seen their UK demonstrator play and he is good. Charlie, who is best to talk to about this?

We have sound recording expertise and likely involvement with a videographer for documenting the event.


We have a possible venue in the Musical Museum, but I would like more options at this stage. Any suggestions? Once we have this firmed up we could also approach local pubs or clubs to see if they might host a gig for one or more of our performing artists.


I suggest we have Gujarati (Indian) wedding caterers provide lunchtime food for the event. Maya (Mrs Charlton) and have I used one particular company on several occasions including our wedding, which had about 400 guests (quite small by Indian standards) and birthday parties with 20 guests - the food is excellent, the service reliable and the cost minimal - something like a fiver a head for a slap-up meal.


My guess is that, once we are more certain of numbers, a deal could be cut with a local hotel for say 40 pounds per head per night, attendees to pay the hotel directly. Lunchtime catering as mentioned, a ballpark figure of a fiver each. I have no idea whatsoever what a suitable venue would cost to hire for two days. Does anyone have experience of this? I would like to keep the total cost, including lunchtime meals and accommodation, below 200 pounds, and if possible below 150 pounds per head.


My usually fertile imagination has stopped dead at "Theremin UK 2007." Better suggestions, please.

Posted: 6/28/2006 8:25:05 AM

From: Perth, UK

Joined: 5/17/2005

[b]Timing[/b] - good. Advance notice will help avoid clashes with family holidays, too.

[b]Activities[/b] - performances are essential - good that we have interest from recognised names. Demos from Moog - mooger foogers as well as theremins, perhaps. I'd like to see workshops, maybe on composition for theremin, live performance techniques, use of loops and FX, etc. Keynote speech by you, Gordon? Also possible presence of manufacturers/retailers with stall of goodies (gig bags, pitch preview amps, stands, polish, etc.)

[b]Venue[/b] - how about music (or music tech) colleges or university departments? They would also have performance space as well as potentially additional attendees.

[b]Catering[/b] - sounds tasty.

[b]Cost[/b] - 150-ish sounds reasonable and cheap enough to not scare anyone off. I wonder if we could get any other funding - arts council, local council, lottery grant or sponsorship?

[b]Name[/b] - simple is best - I'm happy with your suggestion. Alternatives? "LevFest 2007", "Hands Off 2007", "Heterodynamica 2007"?

One other category I'd suggest for the plan:-

[b]Promotion[/b] - As well as the thereminist websites you mentioned, we should also be targeting music colleges etc. (as above), music and electronics magazines, local press, radio ( at very least). Also posters for retailers like Turnkey & Soundcontrol who sell theremins, and flyers outside any electronica-type gigs in the months before.

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