Posted: 10/22/2012 4:51:19 PM

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

Joined: 12/17/2010

Fred: Thank you kindly dear friend... I am blushing big time here! *redredred*

Posted: 10/22/2012 6:14:29 PM

From: Scotland

Joined: 9/27/2012

Ok Amy, although I am not qualified to pass comment on your playing, I have played your video  several times and am enjoying it immensely!
Lovely tone too!

Posted: 10/22/2012 6:17:14 PM

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

Joined: 12/17/2010

Thank you Roy for watching. I have to admit, the Wavefront classic has a lovely tone and lovely quirks too :) But I love it.

Posted: 10/22/2012 7:07:22 PM

From: A Coruña, Spain

Joined: 9/26/2010

Wow, this brings me memories. I liked this aria a lot when I was a child. I still love it, of course, and I have it in my head quite often... but I simply didn't know what it was called, so it's been a long time since I last listened to it outside of my head :) I have just rediscovered it now!

I think your playing is beautiful, I enjoyed it a lot. Have you tried this song with the TM as well? It sounds like it could be a good fit for it.

Posted: 10/22/2012 7:28:08 PM

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

Joined: 12/17/2010

"Ebben?" Is a beautiful piece... I did try it with the TM and it sounded gorgeous, but I just didn't want to overload everything that I do with it and wanted to keep it understated and let the theremin speak for itself. I chose a dramatic string like sound and thought it was appropriate for the Aria. The progression of the piece is impeccable and sends shivers down to my core. It is poignant and defies beauty.

Thank you for the kind compliment. If you'd like me to send you a recording of the piece with the TM, I can certainly do that. :)

Posted: 10/23/2012 2:42:12 AM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

Regarding "pumping", this is something which I unknowingly did in the first couple of years of playing until it was mentioned on levnet. I quickly worked to do away with as much pumping as I could, as quicly as I could. My approach, similar to Thierry's, was to treat the theremin as a pitch only, and strictly work articulation while standing near the volume loop so as to keep it at a reasonable volume, or turning the volume way down. I later found that I just "had" to get my vol hand back in position for maximum comfort. The pumping returned until I finally decided to "train' the hand and arm not to pump by resting my hand on the top of a mic stand. You hit the top of that a few times, you'll stop pumping fairly quickly.

I think the pumping habbit is a mental throwback to our keyboarding, and piano days where we make a vertical movement on the keys to get sound, and silence. It's a difficult habbit to break indeed.

Once you do break it, you'll certainly enjoy playing, and indeed listening to your self in the long run because articulation will be more crisp over time, and dynamics will be much more controlled.

Posted: 10/23/2012 4:14:42 AM

From: Small town Missouri on Rt 66

Joined: 2/27/2011

"And the sound of your theremin is beautiful! - Makes me wonder a bit why were chasing the RCA sound.. Or perhaps the truth is that the theremins sound is far less important that whos hands are playing the "invisible strings"." Fred.

A bit of both, I believe.

Amey's Wavefront has an exceptional voice (so does Amey), but like Clara's, that voice must be coaxed out by an exceptional musician.

Posted: 10/23/2012 10:40:19 AM

From: A Coruña, Spain

Joined: 9/26/2010

Amey: Yes, I would really like to listen to you playing this with the TM!

Fred: The Wavefront's sound is very good, and the player is excellent, but I think it'd be even better if she had an RCA! I personally like the timbre of the RCA (or rather, of the recordings I've heard of it) more than any other theremin's.

Posted: 10/23/2012 12:51:18 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

Amey's theremin performance of EBBEN is excellent. It is hard to comment seriously on the technique involved because the lighting in the video, as well as the camera angle, do not allow us to see much of what her hands are doing. In fact, the only thing we have a really good view of is cleavage! 


Hey....as Zero Mostel said in THE PRODUCERS, "If you've got it, flaunt it!"  LOL


As I am constantly pointing out, one of the most difficult things to do in theremin playing is to put PASSION and DRAMA into the music. There is no question Amey knows where the fire lies in this aria and she does a fine job of communicating it but she could have done an even better job if she had not attempted to articulate with her volume hand. She does not disconnect the notes entirely and play "staccato" the way serious "pumpers" do, but for me she does overuse the loop and this often gives a "wow-wow-wow-wow-wow" sound to lines that should be phrased as a long "AHHHHH". You can hear a good example of what I mean at 2:04.


There is little variation in the rate and depth of vibrato and I think if Amey were to cultivate the ability to accelerate and decelerate it, this would add even more poignancy to this type of highly dramatic, romantic opera. Wally, the heroine who sings this aria, is telling us that she is going away forever. In fact, the poor thing is about to throw herself bodily into an avalanche! I need to hear this degree of anguish in the delivery. This ain't PIE IESU!


One thing Amey does do very nicely is maintain her vibrato when lightly glissing from a higher to a lower note. This is a very operatic device and perfect for an aria of this kind. She demonstrates this nicely in the drop from G to Bb at 2:21.


"La Wally" herself is a suicidal egomaniac and this is her swan song. Much can be gleaned from listening to Callas sing this aria (and there are a few versions of her performing it on YT). Listen to how Callas weeps and moans and sighs as she sings. Try to weave these devices into your theremin performance, if and where they are appropriate. They will add much to the impact of what you are doing.


The pitch in Amey's performance is excellent but that is as it should be. Pitch should be taken for granted. Amey has been singing for years, she has a very good ear, and her use of the audio pitch preview has given her an advantage over those who play the theremin without it. 


It's hard to judge the sound of the theremin itself because it is miked with the built-in electret in the videocam, which has to pick up the accompaniment as well (which I presume is a CD playing on the stereo).


On the whole, this performance is excellent and promising work. 


.....in my not-so-humble opinion.










Posted: 10/23/2012 2:06:50 PM

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

Joined: 12/17/2010


I have to say, your review of my video is very much on point... Except the cleavage flaunting, or the lack thereof. 

One thing I'd like to mention is the very finicky volume response of the Wavefront. I am not really liking it much, there isn't much "play" and at the current setting that I have it on, that is the best I can get... a drop of +/- 1 inch results in either total silence or total blast. I need to have it fixed, but to ship this beast is very nail biting inducing...  Maybe one day soon when I have more money and feel that I can send it and stand the separation anxiety, I'll do it :)


"Pumping", yup, I do it as you say it... I do it less on my subscope but, I still do it. It is something that is slowly getting better, but somewhat always come back when I try to add more dynamics in my playing, it's annoying! However, I did do vibrato variations throughout  the piece, and on the last note I did it well (I thought). I am very highly critical of what I put out there, because there are always skilled thereminists such as yourself to "tear apart" what shows up on YT. Speaking of which, I didn't think you (Coalport) tore me to shreads in your review and I thank you for the time you took to watch and comment. I truly appreciate that!

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