Moog Theremini Theremin

Dear theremin Veterans: What do you want to see in the near future?

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Posted: 11/20/2012 3:21:22 PM
From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England
Joined: 12/17/2010

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As it seems that more and more people are taking up the theremin and some are coming out of the wood work, I wanted to ask to the “theremin Veterans” what would they like to see from the new theremin recruits do with the instrument. Or what would you like to see in the next 5-10 years from them? I understand this question is highly hypothetic since we might all implode on 12-21-12. :P

At least I would have performed at Joe’s Pub before the end of the world. It’s all good J


Posted: 11/20/2012 4:41:31 PM
From: Sammamish, Washington
Joined: 2/13/2005

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Call me crazy, but I'd like to see more people truly explore effects and use them in ways that elevate the theremin.  The recent interest in the Talking Machine is a good example of how the theremin + effects can sometimes be greater than the sum of the parts.

For starters though, I'd like to see people really work hard at mastering pitch and phrasing. Without the foundation, layering with effects might not matter much.

Posted: 11/20/2012 4:46:43 PM
Thomas Grillo
From: Jackson Mississippi
Joined: 8/13/2006

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Hmmm, now let me see if I've got this right...

World ends next month...

What would I like to see from theremin newcomers in 5 to 10 years?...

Yeh, that's a bit of a toughy. Isn't it?

I think the Myans simply ran out of stone to write the calender on, or people to keep making the calender, or they just got tired of doing that for next to nothing. So, I'm guessing we'll all be here in 2013 to keep paying those taxes, and bills, and contemplating the theremin for decades to come.  LOL :)

It is my desire to see new thereminists expressing their musical abilities in ways that captivate, motivate, and inspire not just generations to come, but those who have come before, and are still here to learn new ways of presenting the theremin craft.

Posted: 11/20/2012 5:09:19 PM
From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England
Joined: 12/17/2010

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I agree that Pitch and phrasing is a must in your theremin journey. I am hoping that in the next 5 years, i'll be really on top of my "theremin" game and have released a full CD featuring the Theremin, voice and lush soundscapes.

So weird.... I just recalled this event which happened almost 20 years ago: We were in a group and we all went to this "fortune teller" just for kicks. She looks at me straight in the eyes and told me that my death (yikes) will bring a loud uproar and sadness within a certain community. Her words left me a little worried back then! Hopefully, I'll die REALLY late ( as I am only 42!) and that Ii'll leave some sort of positive imprint within the theremin community...

Posted: 11/21/2012 2:04:07 AM
Jeff S
From: N.E. Ohio
Joined: 2/14/2005

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Could we please stick to the topic(s) at hand and save the off topic conjecture for the Off Topic area?  I thought I was coming to Theremin World.  Thanks.

Posted: 11/21/2012 9:55:49 AM
From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K.
Joined: 12/7/2007

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The question was "What do you want to see in the near future".. It is quite difficult to go "off topic" with a question like that, particularly when the opening posting postulates the possibilty that some BS prophesy is worth keeping in mind.. That the world is predicted to end this year..

I have deleted my contribution to the "deviation" of this thread from strict adherence to "theremin only" dogma, just as a matter of courtesy to you -

But IMO, If a discussion starts with questions about our future, and superstitious nonsence is mentioned, Then I feel I have as much right as anyone else to mention the REAL threats that face us, and to debunk the nonsence - It is Our selfish stupid exploitation of this planet, and the concequential threat to human survival, which is the real threat - Not the ancient "prophesies".

I think the reason for your intervention is probably more because you dislike what I was saying, than because you pedantically want to stay on-topic.


Posted: 11/21/2012 12:42:42 PM
From: Canada
Joined: 8/1/2008

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If the world survives the Mayan doomsday, I would like to see some genuine musicianship brought to the art of playing the theremin. As it is, most of the interest seems to be from adolescent and post adolescent 'noise boys' with little or no sense of music or pitch. 

The whole question of FX is a slippery slope. Most of the time they are used to mask a lack of skill rather than to enhance the music, but they are widely appreciated because they are relatively cheap to buy and they give the user the feeling that he or she is actually doing something. This is particularly true of loopers. 

What the theremin world really needs are some genuinely engaging, original, melodic, short, simple compositions. Pieces people LIKE to hear, WANT to play, and CAN play. The aleatoric pieces that are regularly posted to YT and elsewhere by thereminists are unrepeatable one-shot deals, and cannot be performed a second time by anyone (not even by the composer). 

There has been a recent spate of "serious" compositions for theremin but it is unlikely that they will survive their premieres or, in the case of CD recordings, that they will be picked up and "covered" by other theremin players. They are too esoteric and there are very few thereminists who could play them even if they wanted to. I am thinking here of compositions like the recent theremin concerto by Finnish composer Kalevi Aho, the UNIVERSE SYMPHONY #3 by Fazil Say, the recorded works of Barbara Buchholz, Dalit Warshaw, and others. As brilliant as these works may be, they are unlikely to set the world on fire - not even the Theremin World.

Fred, you're right. People tend to get upset about off-topic remarks because they disagree with whatever was said, not because whatever was said was off-topic.

Posted: 11/21/2012 2:48:26 PM
From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England
Joined: 12/17/2010

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I hope that by now, most people (or at least frequent posters on TW) on here know that I am a bit

sarcastic.  So the “BS” open statement was sort of a “joke”. Prophecy or not, I was just making fun of the whole hoopla this 12/21/12 is.



I am recording new material (that is vaguely Ambient/electronica) so I doubt that people would love to play or replicate what

I do... Maybe in yeeeeeeeears from now? J


And please Fred, I would appreciate if you could stop writing, editing, erasing and the re-posting your posts. It makes it hard for people to follow.  Off topic or not J Just keep them as is J


Posted: 11/21/2012 7:19:20 PM
From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K.
Joined: 12/7/2007

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"And please Fred, I would appreciate if you could stop writing, editing, erasing and the re-posting your posts. It makes it hard for people to follow.  Off topic or not" - Amey

Sorry Amey :-(

I am an impulsive person at times - I should really just type my replies into word and sit on them for a while before deciding to post or not to post.. But if I did that, not a lot would get posted! (did I hear a cheer from anyone? ;-) LOL.

And yes - I knew you were being your usual semi-sarcastic jokey self with your original comment .. I should learn not to take the bait - but hey, I just cant help myself! ;-)

Trouble is when I take the bait I go OTT and swallow the hook, line and sinker - Editing / deleting is sometimes called for - I dont want to cause offence, and try to remedy the situation if I do, but it seems that even this aint working! - With this partiular thread, nothing I said had been of any importance with regard to the topic, so deletion seemed straightforward - People had either read what I said, or hadnt - nothing which followed related to what I had said.

Fred h

Posted: 11/22/2012 8:09:26 AM
From: Small town Missouri on Rt 66
Joined: 2/27/2011

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I was not going to comment on this because even though I've owned a theremin for close to 20 years, my playing sucks. A lot.

But as a musician that has had some original music on the radio (no where near Peters level though) I do want to second some of the opinions I've read.

Learn your instrument. Master it. Nail the pitch and phrasing. This is solid advice no matter what you play.

Effects also are an open invitation to create new sounds. I use effects a lot with my guitars, and they can add significantly to the character of the music, but can also get very old, very fast. I remember when phase shifters first appeared. Before long almost every popular song had one. The same for wah pedals. BORING!

That's why my stomp boxes have an off button.

Mix it up. Try everything. Create.

I'd also like to see a lot more of what I'm seeing now. A new generation of gifted musicians playing our beloved theremin in public, and playing it well. Giving it credit as a serious, if limited instrument and not just a sound effect.

Yes Amey, I mean you.

On the other hand, it is great for spooky woo woos :)

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