Roll call!

Posted: 10/15/2005 12:57:16 PM

From: torrance, ca

Joined: 10/2/2005

hi my name is dan. i live in the los angeles area and i've been playing the theremin for a few months now. i wouldn't consider myself a theremin player as of yet because i still haven't quite mastered it, but it is slowly becoming my favorite instrument in my repertoire. i also play guitar, bass guitar, drums, ukulele, keys, banjo, and harmonica. as of right now, i'm trying to figure out old NES songs so i can start a band under the same name of my username. we'll see how that works out.
Posted: 10/16/2005 6:22:27 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Hi, I'm 43, live in Croxley Green in Hertfordshire in merrie England with my wife, four year old daughter and 14 year old son.

By way of introducing myself with a musical emphasis, here is what is on my iPod...

A couple of podcast novels - The Pocket And The Pendant, Earthcore and Ancestor (just started that one.) Inside Mac Radio (I have some geekish tendencies,) Spellbound and Industrial Radio (good program if that's your thing - I just introduced myself there too, so some of this posting is cut'n'pasted from there.)

Björk, The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, Brian Eno, Captain Beefheart, David Bowie, David Byrne, The Doors, The Fall, Fatboy Slim, Fleetwood Mac, John Lydon, Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, Kate Bush, Lemon Jelly, Marc Almond & T-Total, Missy Elliott, Ms. Dynamite, Nena, Pere Ubu, Philip Glass, The Polyphonic Spree, The Prodigy, Public Image Limited, Talking Heads, The Tamperer Feat. Maya, Tom Tom Club, Wire.

(Yes, another Pere Ubu fan - I sat on the edge of the stage when they played Brunel University - I was in a nearby high school) - I loved the way the guy with enough switches and wires to launch spaceships could make effects sweep over the audience from front to back, and I loved that half way through they all swapped instruments and carried on playing. Also saw the Sex Pistols at Brunel - they were the best. Lydon sang half of the set hiding behind a speaker - the songs were interspersed with his opinions of the weekend wannabe punks who were spitting at him just like it said in the tabloids.

I set my musical interests aside while I was at college for want of a stereo, and continued to focus on other interests into married life as our musical tastes did not coincide (Throbbing Gristle vs. Haircut 100 was never going to work out) and I prefer to spend time with my family to listening alone.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelopathy, which retired me from work, and since then I have been a housewife. (Yes! You don't call male midwifes Midhusbands, do you! House-spouse is acceptable if you must.) This gave me both opportunity and reason to listen to music regularly again. (It helps to live my life with a soundtrack - it's more relaxing to move to a beat, and being relaxed is one of the keys to coping with ME.)

The last time I played a musical instrument other tan tapping out tunes on a child's glockenspiel was when I was eleven. Apparently my piano teacher felt I had some capacity and was surprised to learn that I did not practice a great deal - even though we had an upright grand at home (our local removal firm remembered it ten years after they previously moved it as "Oh! That damn thing!") but then we moved and my interests changed before we could find a new teacher.

So apart from an occasional interest in music why am I taking on a notoriously difficult instrument when there is a perfectly good midi keyboard in my son's bedroom (he's good, but doesn't practice as much as he ought. Hmm, sounds familiar. :-)

To explain - I am a motivated and creative person with a lot of time on my hands and very little physical or mental stamina. (There are plenty other symptoms to ME, but these are the relevant ones.) I took up digital photography as form of basket-weaving - I can noodle around with my pictures and find it very relaxing and fulfilling. But I can't do it for long - a couple of hours a day in short bursts at most before I'm all space-cadetted. Likewise my other computer related activities. I love using my iBook! - ideally I would be programming it but that does my head in completely these days - hence I am looking for more creative outlets. (My second choice would be to write stories but that is also very bad for me, so I am going for things I am less able at.)

The way I taught myself photography was by buying a camera that I had virtually no hope of taking a decent picture with and then playing
Posted: 10/17/2005 1:54:07 PM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

Great post, Gordon.

With every instrument noise-making comes first, then actual music.

The difference between a theremin and ,say, a clarinet, is that the noise itself is wonderful and enchanting so a lot of people never really get past that phase. (I have no problem with noise-making, BTW.)

The only other thing I have to say is...Wire.

I haven't listend to them in over a decade. I had a girlfriend who worked in a record stoer and hated them.

When my cassete gave up the ghost I never did get them on CD. Maybe now is the time....

Keep us updated on your progression with the instrument and how your family feel about it.

I am fortunate in that my wife and son both like the theremin.

The wife actaully made noise with it last week and she never looked hotter than she did behind the Etherwave....

Posted: 10/17/2005 1:54:14 PM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

Edited to remove a double-posting.

Sorry about that...
Posted: 10/17/2005 4:23:25 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Better watch it with the Wire - I started off just wanting to hear Kidney Bingos again and ended up spending more than I intended.

Will certainly report back on progress etc.

Hmm, hot wives. That reminds me - saw a posting somewhere around here bemoaning the alleged success guitarists have in introducing themselves to young women in comparison to thereminists. I suppose the theory goes that the guitar is all phallic and sexy, whereas the theremin... nope, can't imagine anything even slightly phallic or in other ways Freudian about the theremin.

But of course it's not about the instrument, its about what you do with it. After all, look how your typical rock god holds his axe. Hmm. Perhaps I shall explore the possibilities of moving my hands sensually, if not downright suggestively and seeing what, if anything, gives a correspondingly evocative sound.

Who knows, perhaps some forlorn and lonesome thereminist will find an evening's solace in loves young arms, having wooed her with the expressiveness of his "Mae West", or the adroitness of his single finger vibrato.



Posted: 10/19/2005 1:06:38 PM

From: Richmond Hill, Georgia

Joined: 9/18/2005

Hello. My name is Philip Neidlinger. I am 42 years old and have been playing a loaner Big Briar Etherwave for about a week and a half now. I play totally by ear.

I always knew I'd be playing a theremin if I ever got around to actually trying to learn. Well, I finally got around to it!

This just just seems to be my instrument. People have said the instrument chooses you. I have been a ham radio operator, KA4KOE, since 1979, so I am already a geek of the highest order. I also work as an electrical engineer for a consulting firm.

I am doing recognizable tunes that aren't too bad already. I guess sometime soon I should probably learn to read music. I'm doing this all totally by ear.

Posted: 10/19/2005 3:09:57 PM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

Welcome, Phillip.

Glad the theremin found you.

Gordon, I think the disparity in youg ladies between guitarists and thereminists has more to do with the type of people who typically play such instruments.

Phillip hit it on the head with his "geek" comment.

Not to disparage anyone here because (including myself) but theremin players tend to be more, well...geeky than guitarists in general (although I have known a few guitar players in my life who could give a computer programmer a run for his money in the nerd department.

I have actually had some success meeting the ladies with the theremin. There always seems to be someone at every show who is intrigued by this fascinating instrument

Disclaimor: I haven't realized the full potential of these small successes since the wife would most likely frown on anything more than idle chit-chat with any of the little vixens but there is hope for you single guys...
Posted: 10/23/2005 1:39:53 PM

From: Ypsilanti, MI, USA

Joined: 9/29/2005

Hello gentle folk,
My name is Eddie Jackson and I am a 36 year old computer tech for a suburban public school south of Ann Arbor, MI. I'm Apple certified and work with windoze more than I would like too.

I've been a performing musician off and on for 17 years and have a recording studio (DAW-24 analog inputs), in the basement of the home I rent, that I've been building (hardware-wise) for about 5 years. I'm in the process of looking for a new and bigger home to move into so I can build good acoustically sound rooms to move all the hardware into.

I've been rather eclectic in my musical tastes. I listen to a lot of 50's and 60's era Blue Note, Prestige, and Verve jazz. I love Throbbing Gristle and Frank Zappa. I own a lot of indie music and my two favorite soundtracks are The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Planet of the Apes. Most of the bands I've been in have been rock bands (punk or otherwise), although I did a midi project for a couple of years back in the early 90's and I've been in improvisational noise bands off and on, as well. They have always been more interesting than my rock bands IMHO. I plan to incorporate the theremin into my improv studio work. I figure I can make weird silly noises while I learn to actually play it. Who knows, maybe even master the bugger.

I also donate some of my time to high school/college age kids helping them avoid some of the problems I had with the music business myself. I also open up my studio to them free of charge. I find it helps keep me energized musically. It's so easy to get jaded working with people my own age all the time. ;-) The kids enthusiasm is infectious and they are sometimes less set in their ways and more open to experimentation.

On a more personal level, I have an awesome roommate, a great girlfriend, and 3 cats (one of which is my roommates).

My (semi)daily blog is at and my music site is at
Posted: 11/13/2005 4:19:52 AM

From: Theremin Motherland

Joined: 11/13/2005

Hi, I'm Ilya from Russia, motherland of Theremin.

Funny exotic resource!
In Russia the theremin is titled "thermenvox" (what means "the voice of Termen") and not widely used.
I built my first theremin when i was 15. It was a primitive heterodyning schematic, and i was disappointed on music capabilities of such instrument type. No experimenting later, excepting some attempts to build etherphones based on ultrasonic/IR sensors.

I'm an EE (measurement equipment) and sometimes is interested about theremin progress. Also I play acoustic guitar (a bit) and a barrel organ (perfectly). Maybe (on a spare time, desires and new ideas) i'll try to invent something theremin related.

Posted: 11/17/2005 11:57:40 PM

From: COWafornia

Joined: 3/23/2005

OK as you might have guessed I have mad about cow syndrome, My car looks like a cow. I have about 100 toy cows and wanted to get some kentshire cattle until I found they were between $6K and up. (and you need two).

I have two cats that I hate – only because the poo all over. But only when ppl visit or even come to the door.

I played bassoon for many years until I broke my nose – now if I play I get horrid sinus infections that are just no fun so I need to do somthing else.

I started electronic moosic in the 1970’s with an ARP 2600 synth that got killed in a flood. (I even played electric bassoon in a punk band called "The Slammers"). I have cowlected a number of older digital stuff but along the way I also became an award winning Appalachian dulcimer player but find I don’t like playing in front of ppl. (Making recordings are cool however)

I now have two Theremins a moog etherewave, and a paia that is still in parts. Well some day I will have two that work.

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