Choice of pieces for the Theremin...

Posted: 6/9/2011 10:28:56 AM
Amethyste

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010


I noticed that I gravitate toward melancholic, dramatic pieces... I love how the Theremin sounds on these, I guess that it allows me to emphasize on the expression of a piece...

What determines for you which piece(s) you want to play on the Theremin?
Posted: 6/9/2011 8:22:41 PM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

Amethyste wrote in another post...

"Would you think that most pieces that one is able to sing would be ok to play on the theremin?"

"What do you consider a hard piece on a theremin? I assume jumps, fast runs are probably really challenging to do correctly on a theremin..."

I think anything that is sufficiently melodic and not dependant on the lyrics for proper expression is fair game. Of course, some pieces are better suited than others, but there are enough to offer a wide variety of experiences.

A "hard" piece is any that is beyond your abilities no matter what the reason. That will vary from person to person. Many people have attempted such pieces with varying degrees of success.

The question is....why would you feel the need to attempt a piece that's beyond your ability or is unsuited to the instrument?
Posted: 6/12/2011 10:34:59 AM
omhoge

From: New York, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

>>The question is....why would you feel the need to attempt a piece that's beyond your ability or is unsuited to the instrument?

Because that is how we grow.

I absolutely love when I hear something done well on the theremin that I never thought was possible. Most of us would never have expected much out of a pitch only theremin till we heard Mable the Maytromin ensemble. Or considered as appropriate theremin stuff that members here like Kip, Peter, Jon, and Randy have pulled off. And if you fail, well good you learned a lot and did the work! The quote of the week from a dancer friend "Why be afraid of falling? The floor is not that far away."

As you get know know yourself as a theremin player, how to do the work and make your music happen, you just know what has/will work or what you feel compelled to play. At the very start, just beginning, yes, look at the advice thats been posted, it will help. Amethyste, you've worked past that point and the question may be how are you finding new pieces to play, new things to inspire you to work on them without it feeling like work? I love playing early and Baroque music, German Operetta, and heavy metal, some say it's not appropriate for theremin or any instrument or voice.

Ultimately, really?... doesn't it boil down to something you want to play so bad you *Play It*.
Thinking ahead about appropriateness, approval, anything other than making it happen is death to your creative endeavor.
Posted: 6/12/2011 11:30:35 AM
Amethyste

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

Dear Omhoge -

You speak volume when you say that trying challenging pieces is the way to grow... I totally "ditto" that statement! I am still working on Pie Jesu, but I'm telling you that it is 1000% better than what it was 1 1/2 month ago! And I expect it to get better with time, even when I 'think' I have done all I could do with it. Your experience will make you do a passage a certain way than you did 2 weeks prior. I love the fact that the Theremin is a very personal and moody instrument, it is a direct reflection of what the person behind it is feeling at that very moment...

I am amazed by the instrument still, and I don't think it will ever stop. I think this is true love :)
Posted: 6/12/2011 5:24:19 PM
omhoge

From: New York, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

Absolutely! A long term relationship with your repertory pays off, you'll keep finding more in it and playing it differently as you grow and change. After all the learning process work, nothing is really set into you, or changes more (ironically) till you perform it somehow. Being "under fire" with it, focuses the moment, and you see it differently. Some of my rep. has been a part of my life for 40 years now and I'm grateful for it.

KEEP ON PLAYING!
Posted: 6/13/2011 5:02:04 AM
AlKhwarizmi

From: A Coruña, Spain

Joined: 9/26/2010

[i]The question is....why would you feel the need to attempt a piece that's beyond your ability or is unsuited to the instrument?[/i]

Because it's fun! The other day I was playing the Russian folk song "Korobeiniki", and I knew that I wasn't going to be able to play the faster parts decently, and that it is probably not suited to the instrument at all... I sounded quite awful but it was so much fun that I couldn't stop playing it for a long while :)

I'm also sure that it made me learn things that I can apply in other, more suitable pieces.

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