Optical Theremin Toilet, Operatic Daisies, and More of the Weirdest Instruments Ever

The beauty of musical instruments lies partly in their strangeness: odd objects that have mysterious sound-making powers. So really, why not a toilet? Toilet, Pooh, Pikachu: Cementimental’s “Optical Theremin Loo” packs an optical theremin (with a photoresistor, in other words) into a plastic toy toilet. (Tom at Music Thing should like this as it’s white, […]

Happy Birthday, Leon Theremin!

Leon Theremin would have been 109 today; Theremin World observes the date with a virtual birthday card signing. How will you spend the holiday? I’m thinking a screening of the brilliant Theremin documentary is in order here at CDM HQ. Or I could set off the building fire alarm with 109 candles.

Leading Divas of Theremin: Singapore’s Xenovibes

Theremin playing is a growing global phenomenon; more proof comes to us from Singapore. I’ve already done a brief roundup of leading women of the Theremin; Shueh-li Ong writes us to say that she’s known as “Singapore’s only diva of the Theremin.” You don’t have to be in Singapore to hear her, either; she’s touring […]

Wanted: Ether Music 2005 Theremin Festival Reports

Any of you lucky enough to be in North Carolina this weekend for the huge Ether Music Festival, entirely devoted to Theremin music, please drop me a line. (See previous report.) I’d love to post photos and show reports here, even casual show impressions. Music Thing has a quick initial report from Jason from Theremin […]

PDA Music: Theremin Apps for Palm, PocketPC

Cris (aka atariboy) sends us Theremin emulators for your PDA — it’s theremin to go. Cris writes: Pete Moss ThereMini (US$10): This guy has a Theremin emulator with MIDI out, no less! For PalmOS on his Palm software page. Got a PocketPC? check out Clanger. (Free) You can even change the tremelo rate and decay […]

Thereminist Pamelia Kurstin on MacMusic

MacMusic.org has a great interview with “rollerskating” Thereminist Pamelia Kurstin. Hear Pamelia’s insights on how she’s become a Theremin virtuoso. And if you can make it to North Carolina in August, you won’t want to miss Ether Music 2005, where she’ll be playing with other greats of Theremin music from around the world. I’m not […]

Thereminy Game Scores: Destroy All Humans!

Composer Gary Schyman has a rich, tongue-in-cheek score for the Xbox/PS2 game Destroy All Monsters; his homage to classic scores like The Day The Earth Stood Still earns him an interview on NPR: Schyman on Weekend Edition Plenty of tracks to download; via Theremin World, where you can find reviews, more links, and more sounds […]

Jamie Lidell Interview: Trancing on Theremin, Rocking MPC and PC

Singer and electronic one-man band Jamie Lidell has a great interview from Belgium’s Domino Festival. Jamie speaks from the back seat of a Volvo station wagon to a phantom interviewer. He reflects on performance, trance states (people tell him he does weird things with his eyes onstage), and getting “deeper” live. There’s also some great […]

Theremin Roundup! Battles and Festival, Game Soundtrack, Award

The Renaissance of the Theremin continues: this 1917 instrument, born out of radio tube experiments (ironically, the accidental discovery that human proximity interfered with the tubes), is still going strong. Here’s the latest: Theremin Battle: An all-fun contest is underway Sunday night in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, reports Theremin World: show up, play 10 minutes, […]

Theremin Divas: Leading Ladies of Music of the Air [Updated]

While we’re on the subject, it’s worth noting that a wide range of exquisitely talented women have taken up the Theremin as a serious instrument, continuing the legacy of Clara Rockmore and the instrument’s inventor, Leon Theremin: The Classical great: Lydia Kavina has led the charge, tutoring students in mastering the instrument using techniques developed […]