HYMNE A L'AMOUR on Hoffman's RCA

Posted: 12/6/2015 4:02:03 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

I posted this to YT yesterday and thought some people here might get a kick out of it. I had recorded this back in 2006 on Julius Goldberg's RCA but that was before I discovered that particular instrument only sounds good with the TALKING MACHINE, and at that time everything on YT was compressed beyond recognition.

No FX at all on this except a bit of reverb. Hoffman's RCA theremin with the RCA radiola 106 loudspeaker (aided by the Eiffel Tower).


Posted: 12/6/2015 5:19:24 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 7/29/2014

Wow. I just love your playing. No one I've ever heard emotes on this instrument quite like you do.

And this video is kind of timely now.

Posted: 12/6/2015 7:14:08 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

Thanks rkram. 


The single most challenging element to bring to any theremin performance is FIRE and a sense of passion, emotion and drama. That is because the tools the instrument gives you consist solely of pitch and volume control. Unlike members of the family of viols, the theremin is incapable of double stopping, timbre control, articulation, and all sorts of other possibilities that we take for granted on traditional instruments. 


What the theremin has that no other instrument comes close to, is its uncannily human soul. Without this, a theremin performance is liable to fall short of what it might have been. I think that is why Clara Rockmore chose to use only one of the many timbres that Lev built into her instrument, and that was the sound that most closely resembled a human singer in the mid and high ranges.


The human ear instinctively recognizes a human voice in the instrument and for those who are sensitive to it (which not everybody is) that propels the act of listening into a strangely magical and slightly other-worldly experience. 


As Chief Dan George said in LITTLE BIG MAN, “Sometimes the magic works and sometimes it does not.”

Posted: 12/6/2015 11:27:47 PM

Joined: 10/23/2014

 “Sometimes the magic works and sometimes it does not.”

It seems to work a lot more for you than for me!  To second rkram, if I could wave a magic wand and be able to play like anyone I wanted, it would be you. (Don't let this go to your head!)


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