sighting on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Posted: 8/30/2005 1:34:58 AM

Joined: 7/20/2005

there is what looks like a Moog Etherwave Pro in the basement of the house the extreme makeover crew did for the deaf parents of a blind and autistic boy. kind of cool i think. i wonder how hard it would be to play music on a theremin when you can't see it...
Posted: 8/30/2005 3:06:49 AM

From: Portland, OR, USA, Terra, Sol, Milkyway

Joined: 3/1/2005

I am visually impaired myself, but not totally blind. I have had my theremin since the end of last March and can play a few simple songs on it. I have a totally blind friend who is currently shopping around for a theremin, but hasen't had any luck in finding one. He has had a few chances fo play mine and is starting to play recognizable songs. I will find out how well totally blind people can play theremin after he gets his axe and has been practicing for a while. I suspect that there will not be any difference in the musicianship between a sight challenged thereminist and a sighted thereminist considering that playing a thermin is a very audio oriented activity.

Are there any other blind/visually impaired thereminists out there?
Posted: 8/30/2005 10:42:08 AM

From: Winston-Salem, NC

Joined: 6/30/2005

Well, I'm not completely blind, but I really need my glasses!

I frequently find myself closing my eyes as I work on a piece. Once you've established your position, muscle memory takes over.
Posted: 8/30/2005 2:51:23 PM

Joined: 7/20/2005

i could understand playing the guitar or piano or any other instrument while being visually impaired because it's mostly by feel, i often close my eyes while playing the guitar. but i guess, unless i were to go blind (which could happen, i can barley see 3 feet in front of my face without my glasses) i won't understand how it's possible to play a touchless instrument like the theremin and... well... umm... the el cheapo theremins with no volume controll. but i might go deaf before blind, my workplace is deafining and so are my musical listening habbits.
Posted: 8/30/2005 3:13:32 PM

From: new haven ct.

Joined: 7/8/2005

well since there is nothing to touch, you shouldn't have anything to look at. I think the hardest part would be staying in line with the pitch antenna, but other than that it's all muscle control and feel
Posted: 9/18/2005 8:24:23 AM

From: SG

Joined: 8/20/2005

I've tried closing my eyes when I play and one problem, for me, is that with my eyes closed, I sometimes get a little "lost" in my balance and that sways my stance, which moves my body, which takes the control of holding a steady pitch! :-P

Posted: 2/23/2006 9:30:34 PM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

ONce I was playing in the garage and Mrs Diggy decided it was time for me to come in so she turned off the lights (after telling me several times that dinner was on the table getting cold).

I had a blast playing in total darkness.

Posted: 3/14/2006 2:50:43 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Above link is to a newspaper article from 1957, telling the story of a blind boy who in Dr Samuel Hoffman's estimation was an expert player.

Posted: 3/14/2006 6:40:42 AM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

Thanks for digging that up. I hadn't read it before. I'd love to find out if that guy is still playing the theremin.
Posted: 3/14/2006 7:40:08 AM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

>>" I suspect that there will not be any difference in the musicianship... "

I'm sure of it.
There is such a long and great history of visually impaired musicians, the blind organists of the French organ academy are just one such lineage, that I'd not expect it to be any different with the theremin.

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