electro-music.com   Dedicated to experimental electro-acoustic
and electronic music
 
    Front Page  |  Articles  |  Radio
 |  Media  |  Forum  |  Wiki  |  Links  |  Store
Forum with support of Syndicator RSS
 FAQFAQ   CalendarCalendar   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   LinksLinks
 RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in  Chat RoomChat Room 
Live streaming at radio.electro-music.com

  host / artist show at your time
  Jez Adventures in Sound
Please visit the chat
 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Theremin
control freaks and theremins
Post new topic   Reply to topic
Page 1 of 1 [8 Posts]
View unread posts
View new posts in the last week
Mark the topic unread :: View previous topic :: View next topic
Author Message
seraph
Editor
Editor


Joined: Jun 21, 2003
Posts: 12099
Location: Firenze, Italy
Audio files: 33
G2 patch files: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:27 am    Post subject:  control freaks and theremins Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dear thereminists
I was wondering why your instrument sounds always awkward to my ears and I was thinking about it while listening to electro-music 2007 and finally I realized why:
I have been trained as a piano player so I am used to a very different user inteface where you hit a key and hear a sound (always the same one unless you change tuning Cool )
I'm a control freak so I tend to prefer discrete user interfaces where a pitch is assigned to a key, a button, a pedal, whatever Exclamation
So, keep using theremins and don't bother with control freaks like me Very Happy
Thanks for your attention Shocked

_________________
homepage - blog - forum - youtube

Quote:
Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex - Frank Zappa
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
kkissinger



Joined: Mar 28, 2006
Posts: 1221
Location: Kansas City, Mo USA
Audio files: 29

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes but Seraph, The theremin is the ultimate multi-temperament microtonal instrument. I think you should take up the Theremin. Very Happy

Seriously, one of the strange aspects about the Theremin is how it changes one's sense of difficult vs. easy. A passage that one could play with one's had tied behind one's back on a keyboard may require hours of practice to manage on a theremin. Just about EVERYTHING is challenging on a theremin and a thereminist (or a composer for theremin) is forced to make the most of perhaps little more than a few notes.

I'm not ready to give up keyboard playing, however the focus that goes into Theremin-playing has transferred to my keyboard playing and I feel that, in some ways, I have learned to "do more with less" when I am playing a keyboard.

Another irony is that to perform on a Theremin requires one to be quite a "control freak". Again, to render an accurate in-tune performance requires one to put every aspect in one's favor. The monitor placement and balances are critical for a great Theremin performance.

_________________
-- Kevin
http://kevinkissinger.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
seraph
Editor
Editor


Joined: Jun 21, 2003
Posts: 12099
Location: Firenze, Italy
Audio files: 33
G2 patch files: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kevin,
thanks for your reply. I agree with everything you say. Unfortunately I missed your performance on Friday at electro-music 2007
Quote:
the focus that goes into Theremin-playing has transferred to my keyboard playing and I feel that, in some ways, I have learned to "do more with less" when I am playing a keyboard.

I feel something similar when experimenting with alternate tunings. I enter an unknown territory where I have to "watch my steps" carefully because I am not on the usual path and that reverberates, somehow, even when I get back to 12tET.

_________________
homepage - blog - forum - youtube

Quote:
Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex - Frank Zappa
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Gordon Charlton



Joined: Oct 07, 2006
Posts: 75
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: control freaks and theremins Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
I'm a control freak so I tend to prefer discrete user interfaces where a pitch is assigned to a key, a button, a pedal, whatever


Theremins don't have a user interface in the conventional sense. The player is exactly a part of the circuit. The player's hands are capacitor plates that complete the half-capacitors called the "antennas." There are no buttons or pedals or whatever to come between you and the generation of sound - nothing to put you at a remove. You and the theremin are electrically integrated - a cybernetic organism if you want to put a sci-fi spin on it.

It appeals to me as a control freak because instead of thinking about controlling some device or other the focus is on controlling my own hands to synthesize sounds; my volume hand shaping the envelope while the waves of my pitch hand modulate the frequency.

"Some thoughts have a certain sound, that being the equivalent to a form."
Paul Atreides in David Lynch's adaptation of Dune, describing the use of the Weirding Module.



It is possible that a lot of theremin "sounds always awkward to my ears" because it is not uncommon for thereminists to play a little flat. (Not Kevin, of course!) I am told that if your sense of pitch is particularly finely tuned to, say, 12TET it can be quite off-putting.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
seraph
Editor
Editor


Joined: Jun 21, 2003
Posts: 12099
Location: Firenze, Italy
Audio files: 33
G2 patch files: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:05 pm    Post subject: Re: control freaks and theremins Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Gordon Charlton wrote:
You and the theremin are electrically integrated - a cybernetic organism if you want to put a sci-fi spin on it.

WOW! I had never thought about that Exclamation It sounds like an excellent definition.
My preference goes to a compositional device like a keyboard and not toward a performance device like the theremin, though.
I prefer to sound awkward for my compositions than for my performance Cool

_________________
homepage - blog - forum - youtube

Quote:
Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex - Frank Zappa
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Gordon Charlton



Joined: Oct 07, 2006
Posts: 75
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:25 am    Post subject: Re: control freaks and theremins Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:

My preference goes to a compositional device like a keyboard and not toward a performance device like the theremin, though.


Then what you need it this:

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
a Free Music Machine.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
seraph
Editor
Editor


Joined: Jun 21, 2003
Posts: 12099
Location: Firenze, Italy
Audio files: 33
G2 patch files: 2

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

thanks for the link, too bad it looks a tiny bit cumbersome.
_________________
homepage - blog - forum - youtube

Quote:
Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex - Frank Zappa
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Synthtech



Joined: Nov 23, 2007
Posts: 32
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

kkissinger wrote:
Yes but Seraph, The theremin is the ultimate multi-temperament microtonal instrument. I think you should take up the Theremin. Very Happy

Seriously, one of the strange aspects about the Theremin is how it changes one's sense of difficult vs. easy. A passage that one could play with one's had tied behind one's back on a keyboard may require hours of practice to manage on a theremin. Just about EVERYTHING is challenging on a theremin and a thereminist (or a composer for theremin) is forced to make the most of perhaps little more than a few notes.

I'm not ready to give up keyboard playing, however the focus that goes into Theremin-playing has transferred to my keyboard playing and I feel that, in some ways, I have learned to "do more with less" when I am playing a keyboard.

Another irony is that to perform on a Theremin requires one to be quite a "control freak". Again, to render an accurate in-tune performance requires one to put every aspect in one's favor. The monitor placement and balances are critical for a great Theremin performance.


I am a piano/keyboard player, and I am looking at getting a Moog Theremin, I am a little concerned that I would have no resources and have to train myself, probably making silly mistakes as I go that others have already figured out. No Theremin technique books at the local music store...Smile

_________________
Steve.

www.synthrepairs.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic
Page 1 of 1 [8 Posts]
View unread posts
View new posts in the last week
Mark the topic unread :: View previous topic :: View next topic
 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Theremin
Jump to:  

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
e-m mkii

Please support our site. If you click through and buy from
our affiliate partners, we earn a small commission.


Forum with support of Syndicator RSS
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
Copyright © 2003 through 2009 by electro-music.com - Conditions Of Use