17 year old Gregoire White plays Faure pavanne for 3 theremins

Posted: 11/25/2013 12:54:14 AM
RSchwim

From: Brooklyn

Joined: 8/15/2009

Posted: 11/25/2013 7:12:32 AM
Jason

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

Wow!  An excellent performance, and the camera trickery worked well too.  Bravo!

Posted: 11/26/2013 1:24:44 AM
Jason

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

I found some more performances by Gregoire Blanc on SoundCloud under the name GregWhite:

http://soundcloud.com/gregwhitetheremin

Seems there was a recent Levnet discussion about his playing and whether he used auto-tuning.  I can't hear it on the few clips I sampled, but I haven't taken time to listen to them all yet.  From this video and from my quick listen, he sounds like a great musician and someone we should be paying attention to in the theremin community.

Personally, I would like to see him work on his posture a bit, but so far that's the only criticism I have of this young musician.

 

Posted: 11/26/2013 1:44:05 AM
FredM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as WaveCrafter.com . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007

"he sounds like a great musician and someone we should be paying attention to in the theremin community." - Jason

I agree. The only thing that bothers me (a tiny bit) is what I percieve as perhaps a lack of "passion" .. He looks almost bored and joyless IMO.

I wonder if his choice of music is his own, or whether, if he was free, he might be playing something else...

Fred.

Posted: 11/26/2013 1:53:06 PM
coalport

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

Greg is a wonderfully talented, natural musician. His performance of the PAVANE is marvelous and terrific fun. No, he does not use any sort of pitch correction device on any of his recordings. He doesn't need one. 

 

As Fred points out, and I have discussed this with Greg, his playing lacks fire and passion. They are not lacking in Greg himself, but he has not yet found how to communicate these elements through his playing. This can only come with time and the development of vibrato technique (the mastery of rate and depth) and a sense of phrasing and 'rubato'.  

 

The boy is only 17 (although he looks a lot younger than that) and as Clara Rockmore said of theremin playing, ".......it takes years and years and years of the study of music."

 

And as Frank Sinatra said, "When I was 17, it was a very good year."

Posted: 11/26/2013 2:55:32 PM
Amethyste

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

Joined: 12/17/2010

I think the most important lessons in music come from simply living. He is still young and kind of green...

Posted: 11/26/2013 4:03:07 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Super nice video! 

Every time I see Thereminists play I'm struck by how overly sensitive most Theremins seem to be.

If our left hand was allowed to touch the instrument we could do this on a single Theremin.

Posted: 11/27/2013 11:30:04 AM
FredM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as WaveCrafter.com . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007

"If our left hand was allowed to touch the instrument we could do this on a single Theremin." - Dewster

I think you may be wrong about that..

Yes, with some multiphonic control interface, say a chording selector or buttons or keyboard, operated by the left hand, you could play polyphony..

But if one only has one pitch antenna, then whatever one plays with the pitch  hand will be mirrored exactly on any linked voices..

And thats not what we hear when 3 independent theremins are played or multi-layered as in the video - each is different, chromatically slightly out from the other even if only by a tiny amount even if playing the same note -

And I dont think this could ever be achieved on any instrument sharing a common master pitch controller.. Imagine one had a keyboard you could play chords on, and another which just transposed those chords - Or, for that matter, one was highly skilled and could play the pitch bend wheel with precision...

None of those could do what 3 theremins  (or for that matter, what any 3 monophonic instruments) played together (unlinked) can do.

Fred.

Actually, even if playing the same notes, I think this is true - Back in the early 80's I briefly worked in a London recording studio, and a musician was laying tracks down onto the 8 track Studer, then mixing them to a single track - He was playing the same riff over and over, adjusting the synth on each take ..He then did the same for another riff.. He was playing an early MIDI keyboard, and I suggested that he could record the riff on the MIDI sequencer and just replay the sequence synced to SMPTE..

He gave me a kindly look, and explained in great detail that the music "lost its soul" if one did that - That it "needed his fingers" to impart the magic.. I thought he was a big-headed je*k, but he was right - and he went on to become extremely famous and rich, unlike me - LOL ;-)

Posted: 11/27/2013 3:09:09 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"I think you may be wrong about that.." - FredM

Uncle!  I had a feeling someone would call me on that! ;-)  And I agree that it wouldn't be the same thing, the separate performances in the video really do add something.

Left hand chording and right hand global Theremin pitch is pretty much like chording on a keyboard with a pitchbend wheel, something I've never been all that sonically or procedurally enamored with as a general purpose method of pitch bend.

But if the left hand could bend the individual notes of the intervals that it is selecting, then one (not me because I don't play well at all!) could better approximate what is going on in that video.

Posted: 11/28/2013 8:10:29 AM
FredM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as WaveCrafter.com . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007

"But if the left hand could bend the individual notes of the intervals that it is selecting, then one (not me because I don't play well at all!) could better approximate what is going on in that video." - Dewster

IMO, the "not me" isnt the issue - I think its a "not anyone" - regardless of how profficient they are..

Even with independent 'benders', those 'benders' could not be played in the normal way - because, as the master pitch control changed, the player would need to compute the new position for the polyphonic notes with reference to the master pitch - to play even two different parts so that they werent tracking each other, but were following their own intended 'sequence' - can it be done ? I highly doubt it!

Its one of these lovely ideas - And for some kinds of music I think it would "work" - But not for anything like the piece in this video, IMO.

Fred.

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