new theremin composition at Hear Now Music Festival 2014

Posted: 4/28/2014 12:29:28 AM
randy george

From: Los Angeles, California

Joined: 2/5/2006

At the Hear Now Music Festival 2014,  Joanne Pearce Martin will be performing a piece written for Theremin, Piano, and Electronics by Composer Gernot Wolfgang.  [and just to clarify, the thereminist AND pianist is Joanne Pearce Martin.] Here is a copy of the details from Gernot's mailing list message:

 Gernot Wolfgang writes:

Dear friends and colleagues,

Joanne Pearce Martin, Keyboardist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will perform my composition, Theremin's Journey for piano, Theremin and electronica during the opening concert of the 4th Annual HEAR NOW FESTIVAL of New Music by Contemporary Los Angeles Composers:

Friday, May 2, 8:00 pm

Miles Memorial Playhouse

1130 Lincoln Blvd.

Santa Monica, CA 90403


In collaboration with People Inside Electronics (PIE).


Electro-acoustic works by :

Scott Cazan, Ian Dicke, Vicki Ray, Barry Schrader/Wadada Leo Smith, David Werfelmann and Gernot Wolfgang.

With performances by :

Joanne Pierce Martin, Yuri Inoo, Wadada Leo Smith, Shalini Vijayan, Aron Kallay and Rafael Liebich.


Listen to Theremin's Journey: [excerpts from Gernot Wolfgang's Album, "Short Stories" on Albany Records]

excerpt 1

excerpt 2


Program notes:

Theremin’s Journey for piano, Theremin and electronica was commissioned by Joanne Pearce Martin, the Keyboardist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and generously underwritten by Rich and Luci Janssen of Santa Barbara, CA. 

The Theremin and the piano are performed live, while the electronica parts are prerecorded. The inspiration for the title came from 2 sources. Theremin’s Journey is the name of the sample patch (from a virtual instrument called Atmosphere) which I used while composing the piece. But the layout of the piece itself also suggests a journey the Theremin undertakes.

One of the great things about traveling is that (ideally) we undergo a transformation of sorts. By seeing new places, and by meeting people from cultures and backgrounds other than our own, our perspective changes. When we come home we see the world somehow differently, and the big picture seems to be a little bit more apparent.

This is what the Theremin is experiencing in this piece. It starts out with the main theme, accompanied by an ambient electronica track having its roots in Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew” period from the early 1970s. The Theremin returns to this musical environment two more times, but in between these sections life happens in the form of the piano part.

The piano covers a wide range of emotions and mindsets here - from contemplative to frantic, from tentative to rock solid and uncompromising, from agreeable to contrarian. Its two extensive sections each start out with unaccompanied solo passages, which then slowly evolve into groove-oriented climaxes. From here on the piano slowly eases its way back to sonic environments familiar to the Theremin. Now the Theremin gets to reflect on what it has seen and heard. While the main theme is still recognizable, it is now varied. The surrounding ambient tracks have also changed ever so slightly. 

A new perspective has been found.


Please find more information, including a detailed festival program and ticket information here.

I hope to see you there!





The HEAR NOW Festival is made possible with the support of The Colburn Foundation and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

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