Roll Call! - 2008 - Part 2

Posted: 5/8/2008 11:19:39 AM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

Hey Gang,

Our membership has been growing like wild fire this year. With recent space limitations we ran out in the first part of Roll Call! - 2008.

So here's a continuation to get you all to say "Howdy" and tell us a little about yourselves and your connection with the Theremin.

Posted: 5/8/2008 12:11:10 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Hi to nephros (end of the original Roll Call 2008 thread (

Here's a link just for you. :-)

clicky (
Posted: 5/21/2008 8:27:30 PM

From: UK

Joined: 4/15/2008

What Ho Everyone!

I've been visiting this wonderful site and reading the forums for some time, and I'm very appreciative of the resource of information available here. However, I've held back posting anything myself, as joining a well established forum always feels rather like being the last to arrive at a party where everyone knows everyone else, and the conversation is buzzing along very nicely without you thank you very much!

I got my first theremin at the end of February 2008. Initially, believing that buying the best possible instrument would be the wisest start, I spent a fruitless couple of months trying to locate an Etherwave Pro ... but eventually decided to buy an Etherwave Standard and get learning, even though I'm still hoping for a miracle; (if you hear of an E-Pro available anywhere I'm certainly interested).

So, I'm now about two-and-a-half months into learning to play there theremin; (self taught, as I'm not aware of any tuition readily available in easy reach of where I live here in the UK, and I suspect self-tuition suits me best anyway). I'm enjoying the experience enormously ... but my other reason for not immediately participating here, is that I've only recently started to feel like a thereminist, as oppose to someone impersonating an alien soprano space-cat being strangled at the bottom of a well. However, I now feel that I'm starting to see the result of my several hours practice per day, (although I realise I still have a looooong way to go), and, in fact, recently overheard someone describe something I'd played as "quite nice" ... although, of course, they immediately retracted this the instant I confronted them!
Posted: 5/22/2008 2:35:32 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Chin chin, old bean!

Where in England?

Posted: 5/22/2008 4:11:47 AM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

Yes, where abouts in England are you?
Posted: 5/22/2008 7:17:01 AM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

Welcome, welcome, Thereminstrel!
Folks get to know each other pretty quick around here, have no worries. There are players, builders and enthusiasts of all levels having various lengths of time with the Theremin so don't feel shy any more!

Yes, there is a ton of info here from over the years - try the search some gems may come up -
and lots of helpful folks - don't be shy with your questions when you get stuck.
And hearing people's discoveries with this crazy instrument is always helpful and encouraging. And as you see above, TW helps us meet other each other and has been the start of many theremin-friendships. Hearing from and occasionaly being around other players is a great help.

Enjoy the adventure, and let us know what you discover on the way.
Posted: 5/22/2008 7:53:46 AM

From: UK

Joined: 4/15/2008

Thanks for the welcome!

I'm in Lancashire. As I've been lurking at the forum for a little while now, I'd already spotted some UK thereminists, including GordonC, CharlieD and a few others; those I HAD spotted signs of on the web, (CharlieD's MySpace page for example) all seemed to indicate players further south.

My discovery of the theremin was through YouTube, where I "accidentally" happened upon a video of Clara Rockmore playing "The Swan". I'd played this piece on both the piano and cello, (although not at the same time), so was instantly captivated by her performance ... and by the amazing instrument too.

It struck me at once that the theremin was ideally suited to me, as I've always “felt” music internally in terms of spatial positioning of notes; hard to explain clearly, and I'm not sure if anyone else experiences this too ... but I often dream music, but never actually hear anything in the dreams ... rather, I get an clear internal "sense" of where the notes are spatially and the gaps between them, and know what this silent music is from those gaps alone. Finding the theremin was rather like finding the reality of those dreams! (I hope that doesn't make me sound like a complete nutcase!) Anyway, I think being a pianist for aeons, and having memories of bowing and phrasing notes for the cello, (many moons ago), has also helped a lot.

Discovering the theremin at YouTube has meant that I've spent a lot of time watching a huge variety of players there, both professional and amateur ... and I've corresponded with Thomas Grillo, (who has been incredibly helpful; I rather feel like a "long-distance" student of his!)
Posted: 5/22/2008 8:19:43 AM
Brian R

From: Somerville, MA

Joined: 10/7/2005

[i] oppose(d) to someone impersonating an alien soprano space-cat being strangled at the bottom of a well.[/i]

I feel strongly that I must take exception to your words, "as opposed to."

Come to think of it, I must take exception to your word, "impersonating." In your mind, you must [i]become[/i] the alien soprano space-cat.

As Theremina Buddhism teaches us, all suffering among thereminists emanates from the desire to sound like Clara, from the struggle against the alien soprano space-cat being strangled within us.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I must return to the bottom of my well.


Posted: 5/22/2008 10:30:15 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Haha. Nice one Brian.

It's not just thin blooded southerners, you know. (I'm Yorkshire born and Yorkshire bred.) Here's three myspace sites for fellow thereminists in Liverpool, Manchester and Rochdale respectively.

Nice avatar, btw.
Posted: 5/22/2008 1:19:05 PM

From: UK

Joined: 4/15/2008

BrianR>> Although in jest, I think your words have an underlying truth or two for thereminists: 1) Avoid taking things too seriously, and 2) Embrace the thermin for what it is. I think realising the latter some weeks ago was a breakthrough for me, as I'd felt I had to make it sound like a cello or violin, whereas I've now come to appreciate its unique voice and qualities, and that a theremin impersonating a violin makes little more sense than a violin trying to sound like a theremin!
I seem to remember seeing some of your videos recently on Youtube, amongst the gazillion others I've watched trying to analyse various techniques.

GordonC>> Thanks for the links. I'd already found the Rochdale-based thereminist's page, but not the other two.
I've never had a MySpace page; I simply don't understand them. I get websites like this that have useful info - and I get blogs kept like online diaries ... but MySpace pages seem to be little more than a list of people with similar interests, who all have similar pages with almost identical lists or people. I'm probably missing something.
I'm pretty sure I've watched your YouTube videos too. Is one "Housefly's Lament"? It sticks in my mind as I recently got a Gaken Mini Theremin ... but as my Japanese reading skills aren't up to snuff, I haven't assembled it yet.

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