OMG! On Google right now, Clara Rockmore playing the theremin! How totally cool. Check it out!
Wanna know more about the theremin? Go to my previous post and read all about it.
The Theremin! The who?
Yup, the theremin. The theremin was invented by Russian scientist Léon Theremin, in 1920. It is the world’s very first electronic instrument—what is unique about the theremin is that it’s an instrument you play without touching it; it remains the first and only non-contact instrument.
Here’s a clip of one of my students and me playing a free improvisation for piano and theremin:
Here’s a pic of the theremin I have, the Etherwave model made by Moog, that you can make from a kit:
Today there are virtuoso thereminists, but not too many. (Students! if you learn to play the theremin like Clara, you’ll always have work … but don’t give up the piano!)
Here’s a video of arguably the best virtuoso thereminist who ever lived, Clara Rockmore, playing The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns. She was Léon’s protégée.
*Cool fact: Léon was snatched up by the KGB from New York City, where he lived, in 1938. The filmmaker of the documentary went to Russia to find him and bring him back to NYC, where he was reunited with Clara Rockmore, after more than 50 years, in 1991.
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