Winning them over

Posted: 9/29/2005 6:23:22 PM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

I was at a friend's birthday party over the weekend and there were several acoustic guitars there.

I brought my guitar too (and the theremin as an afterthought).

Some of the guests started playing some standards and folk songs etc. I just knew it wasn't a theremin crowd so I left the Etherwave in the trunk until my friend wanted to see it.

He finally convinced me to set it up and I could see the faces of the guitar players. They did not look happy about the prospect of wierd electronic noise. One of them even started talking about Jimmy Page so I know what his theremin experiences were like.

During a break in the music I demo'd the etherwave and got some good repsonses from the other guests. Several of them tried their hand at the instrument.

Well, I did a few tunes on my guitar and then someone started playing "Angel From Montgomery" and everyone was singing along.

It was too much for me (and I know the song pretty well from much exposure to it at various festivals I have played) so I got up and played during what would have been a lead break (and winced at two slightly off notes).

When I was done, the Jimmy Page guy said "take another one!" to me so I went another few bars (and did better with zero wrong notes (with the help of some vibrato and slides).

They LOVED it. Applause broke out and I played on a few more tunes that night.

Now, I am not a great player by any means. I can do some melodies and stay on key most of the time. I also know when not to play (which is more important.)

I am, however, the only person I have ever met in person who actually uses the theremin for more than just spooky sounds and effects.

Long story short. I made a few converts and exposed some people to a glimpse of what this wonderful instrument can do.

Posted: 9/29/2005 8:57:44 PM

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

World Thereminization marches on!

Great post Diggy! And thank you for helping the theremin gain respect as a musical instrument. Every convert helps. Now, if we could just do something about that "Good Vibrations" myth :)
Posted: 9/30/2005 11:43:30 AM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

The trouble with the Good Vibrations thing is that is such an easy way to let someone know wht the instrument sounds like.

What we need is a top-40 hit song that uses the theremin.

Posted: 9/30/2005 11:53:22 AM

From: Madrid, Spain

Joined: 2/19/2005

Well... I had a beautiful chance to get some other people interested about theremins...

I played for the opening of a friend's wedding. They all seemed to love it, in spite of not playing perfect... so I had to play other tune after the wedding, as requested by some people there. :)

I like to play jazz standards on the theremin. It is the way to get the most respect: it dings-a-bell on not-too-jazzy-people, so they enjoy the tunes and also I get a lot of respect for the instrument itself.

And now with my brand new EPro arrived just yesterday... I can sound very similar to Nat King Cole :P

Posted: 9/30/2005 2:39:19 PM

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

Yeah... too bad "The Swan" never broke out on the Billboard chart.

I agree Oscar - I also like to play jazz songs on the theremin. There's just something about the freedom of the music and the freedom the theremin gives you that makes them work well together.

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