it's not a toy...

Posted: 10/29/2006 1:32:24 AM

From: Kansas City MO

Joined: 10/24/2006

After I got done working on the car in my garage tonight I got back on youtube and kept digging into the world of the theremin.

Let me put my flame suit on…

I have to say I dislike it when people use it to make sound effects and nothing more.

If you have a single antenna machine, then sure, do the crazy live on stage thing.

But if you have a duel antenna theremin that was made to make music, don’t just treat it like a toy, except for Halloween.

Ok, rant over.
Posted: 10/29/2006 3:50:06 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Well, no disagreement from me, but perhaps a different perspective.

Yes, there are some truly abysmal theremin vids on youTube. People doing the wild thing. Sound effects - mostly the "trying to tune a radio" effect. Yeuch. But don't write off non-melodic playing because of it - it's the people, not the instrument.

Truth is; atonal, or avant-garde, or art-music, or whatever you want to call it, is not a soft option. It takes just as much practice and dedication as conventional, melodic, "proper" playing if it's going to sound anything other than dreadful.

(And, when it comes to producing non-musical sound effects, you do a lot better with a two stick - one of the first things I worked on was a wolf-whistle - with a one-stick you can't make the break between the rising and the falling note. More recently I perfected a longer effect that I shall refer to as "enjoying some Gentleman's time" because this is a family friendly forum and it is Stag Party material -it's as much a visual as an audio thing, as the movement of the pitch arm matches the effect. I have demonstrated it to a couple of student types who found it hilarious.)
Posted: 10/29/2006 1:26:23 PM

From: Kansas City MO

Joined: 10/24/2006

I think I’ll make an appointment with a doctor for psychological profiling on Monday. Cause I had a dream about theremins last light.

And I came to the conclusion of… [b]I’m too uptight[/b], I’m into conventional music.
My mind is closed off to anything else. Who am I to say what is or isn't [i]music[/i].

I apologize to anyone that felt insulted by my comment from last night.
Beauty, visual or audible, is in the eye/ear of the beholder.

Posted: 10/29/2006 2:23:52 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Been there, agonised long and hard over what is and is not music.

Conclusion - if I can make sounds I enjoy listening to, that's good enough for me.

If other people happen to like it too, that's a bonus.

Posted: 10/30/2006 8:42:48 AM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005


I can see where you are coming from even though I have an appreciation for noise as well as music.

I really love to hear someone play music on the theremin but I have come to appreciate the noisy stuff too with one caveat: I like it when it has some kind of intent.

Complete randomness can be acheived wiht no effort at all but well-intentioned noise can be evocative and haunting.

When I first got my theremin I did some noise gigs with two of the people in one of my current bands. We had a Moog, Casio SK-1, two theremins, guitars, bass, assorted percussion, didgeree-do, kids toys and a gas can.

Much of it was run through tons of effects and it was primal waves of crashing sound- sometimes quiet, someitmes loud and dissonent.

Even though the three of us knew how to play our instruments we went for feeling as opposed to form.

I agreed to do these gigs more as an experiment to see how long it would take us to get booed off the stage but that never happened.

People actually paid attention as if we were playing a symphonic work and they clapped and cheered when it was done.

After wards they came up to us and told us how much they enjoyed it, etc. One girl (who was young enough to be my younger sister) even gave me her phone number and another one played with my theremin a little.

I felt like the audience was the butt of a huge joke perpetrated on them by the three of us.

Buddy, you can put away the asbestos underwear.

This forum is unlike any other I have been in.

I would be surprised to see a flame war erupt here.

I do hope that all these noise makers are at lest attempting to learn to play melodically.

We need more of that.

Posted: 10/30/2006 10:52:46 AM

From: Undisclosed location without Dick Cheney

Joined: 2/21/2005

I was thinking about something Peter Pringle was saying, about how the Theremin is the only instrument where you can play wildly off key and the audience will still applaud enthusiastically.

A week or so ago I went to a Cyndi Lauper concert. She was [i]great[/i]. The music was great. But, at the end of the concert there was a bit where each member of the band got to do a little solo bit, and when it got to the pianist he sorta thrashed at the piano and played horribly off key. (He'd been okay the rest of the night, so this stood out.) My friend who was with me is a concert pianist, he looked like he was going to cry and said "that poor piano!" I was tempted to put my fingers in my ears. The rest of the audience... screamed with joy.

Get the crowd enthused enough or drunk enough, and they'll enjoy anything. (I think that crowd at the Cyndi Lauper concert was both. I could smell the alcohol.)

But I think if we do have a flamewar here, it will either be over whether or not a pitch preview is "cheating", or over whether or not a single antenna unit is a "real Theremin".
Posted: 10/30/2006 11:13:22 PM

From: Kansas City MO

Joined: 10/24/2006

thanks Mr. F.
i'll try to avoid those subjects.

i'm about half way in to "Spellbound radio 10/15/06 hr 2" and i like most of it. and some of it was a little over the top for me.

maybe i'm broading my mind...

Posted: 10/30/2006 11:47:21 PM

From: Kansas City MO

Joined: 10/24/2006

right on!
the last song of the night was Kevin's "the last leaf of atum"

way to represent KC
Posted: 10/31/2006 1:23:46 AM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005


Thank you for your compliments on "Last Leaf of Autumn":

The work continues to be one that I enjoy playing -- in fact, I have designed my original compositions to be playable in a live setting with the accompianment tracks.

That this work continues to be heard and enjoyed is very rewarding and I am grateful for the support I have received from the community.

[i]-- Kevin[/i]
Posted: 10/31/2006 1:26:28 AM

From: Kansas City MO

Joined: 10/24/2006

sorry about the typo. The Last Leaf of Autumn

i was in the garage on the laptop and the battery bar was blinking at me.

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