I never would have guessed...

Posted: 8/13/2005 10:51:55 PM
Jason

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

Tonight I threw on the headphones and hooked up my Ethervox to my laptop. I've ripped all my music to the computer, so I spent about 4 hours playing through all sorts of non-traditional theremin music. I had a great time playing along to Styx's "Come Sail Away" (the synth solo riff in there is [i]fun[/i] on theremin! Several songs by The Cars also worked quite well, especially with the square-wave tone on the Ethervox (pretty sure the 'Pro can do this too). I still like playing with the Dixie Chicks too; I almost have a "fishing pole" style pitch hand move worked out that makes a good country 'twang sound.

All of this started when I was watching some of my Ethermusic 2005 footage today and came across Jon Bernhardt's amazing "Video Killed the Radio Star" performance. I never in a million years would have thought it'd make a good theremin song, but wow was I wrong! Jon [i]rocked[/i] it!

So what other non-traditional theremin music have folks tried?
Posted: 8/14/2005 1:05:11 AM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

Well, what would you consider "non-traditional"? :-)

I like to play many of the pop tunes from the 50's and 60's that I grew up with. I've submitted most of the ones that work well on the theremin to the repertoire list. I have a long list of potential candidates (including some from the 70's-90's), but many of them just don't work as well as you think they should.

As Peter Pringle likes to point out, for some tunes the lyrics and even the accompanyment are an important part of the overall effect.

Being a ex-brass player, one of the more ambitious pieces I attempt is the fanfare to Rondeau (Mouret), also commonly known as the theme to the PBS series Masterpiece Theater.
Posted: 8/14/2005 10:12:22 PM
Jason

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

Good point :) By "non-traditional", I guess I meant songs we don't normally think about when we think of theremin music; anything beyond songs like "The Swan" and "The Day the Earth Stood Still".

I just posted a video of Jon playing "Video Killed the Radio Star" on our sounds page (sounds.asp). Please download it so you can replay it from your own computer to help us save bandwidth.

Enjoy!
Posted: 8/14/2005 11:28:27 PM
RS Theremin

From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA

Joined: 2/15/2005

Hello Everyone,

When RCA said:

"It is as easy to play as it is to whistle"

I don't think they were kidding; whistling tunes are the only tunes I can play on a theremin. I can’t read music; I'm not a musician hum. . .

Christopher
Posted: 8/15/2005 1:26:01 AM
steveburnett

From: Raleigh NC, USA

Joined: 2/19/2005

My favorite non-traditional tune with theremin usage was introduced to me when I saw a "cowpunk" (country/punk) band named Billy Joe Winghead. Billy played the lead on the theme from "Peter Gunn". It was wonderful. After the show I rushed home, found a copy of the theme song in the CD collection and played along on my Etherwave.

http://www.winghead.com/
Posted: 8/15/2005 9:06:14 AM
DiggyDog

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

I have attempted to play the Peter Gunn theme on mine as well...

I played the bass line through a loop on my Boss GT 6B processor and then went to town on the lead parts. It was kind hit or miss, though. I still need some more practice on that one/

The Smiths and P. J. Harvey can be fun to play along with.

Sometimes I just turn on the radio and play along with whatever.
Posted: 11/5/2006 3:35:46 PM
mfwpunch

From: england

Joined: 8/9/2005

Elvis! 'Love me tender', 'always on my mind', 'Are you lonely tonight? (That's because you play the theremin!)

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