Sunday November 13, 2016 at 2:00pm
Ringling House Bed & Breakfast
201 8th St
Baraboo, WI 53913
Join us for our first Music in the Parlor Session this season at the Ringling House Bed & Breakfast. Come check out our house concerts, intimate historic setting, and dessert reception afterward. There will be beer and wine available for purchase during the performance. We ask that you consider a $5-$10.00 donation to help cover the cost of the performer!
Chad Canfield of Kenebula Records and Productions will take us on a journey through space and time! The theremin has had a great influence on cinematic horror and science-fiction history. Learn about how it became an important tool for creating the spooky ambiance and eerie background voice in many of the films we have come to love.
What is a Theremin?
The theremin is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist (performer). It is named after the Westernized name of its Russian inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928.
Since the release of the film Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey in 1994, the instrument has enjoyed a resurgence in interest and has become more widely used by contemporary musicians. Even though many theremin sounds can be approximated on many modern synthesizers, some musicians continue to appreciate the expressiveness, novelty, and uniqueness of using an actual theremin. The film itself has garnered excellent reviews.
The theremin is distinguished among musical instruments in that it is played without physical contact. The thereminist stands in front of the instrument and moves his or her hands in the proximity of two metal antennas. The distance from one antenna determines frequency (pitch), and the distance from the other controls amplitude (volume). Higher notes are played by moving the hand closer to the pitch antenna. Louder notes are played by moving the hand away from the volume antenna. Most frequently, the right hand controls the pitch and the left controls the volume.
Where can I hear a theremin?
Film & TV scores incorporated the theremin for eerie or other worldly themes. Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich was one of the first to incorporate parts for the theremin in orchestral pieces, including a use in his score for the film Odna. While the theremin was not widely used in classical music performances, the instrument found great success in many motion pictures, notably, Spellbound, The Red House, The Lost Weekend (all three of which were written by Miklós Rózsa, the composer who pioneered the use of the instrument in Hollywood scores), The Spiral Staircase, Rocketship X-M, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Thing (From Another World), and The Ten Commandments (the 1956 DeMille film). More recent film scores include Monster House, Ed Wood and The Machinist (both featuring Lydia Kavina). The Alexander Courage theme music composed for and employed on the original Star Trek was performed by a mixture of instruments with vocals to get “unearthly” theremin-like sound theme. On the 2011 episode of The Big Bang Theory titled “The Bus Pants Utilization”, Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) plays a theremin to annoy his friends and disrupt their work on a phone application. Later he uses it to console himself when they kick him out of their apartment.
Don’t miss your chance to see & hear this unique instrument up close and personal!
For more information on the theremin, including references from this document, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theremin