Monday, May 1, 2017

Sanity Sunday- Three on a Theremin

by Nomad

The year 1928 produced a lot of technological marvels. British inventor John Logie Baird broadcasted a transatlantic television signal from London to New York.
Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger on June 18th of that year.
And the first machine sliced, machine- wrapped loaves of bread were sold in Chillicothe, Missouri.

It was also in that year that Russian inventor, Léon Theremin (Термéн), patented the electronic musical instrument known as thereminophone or termenvox/thereminvox and later shortened to simply the Theremin.

Unlike all other musical instruments, the Theremin produces its unearthly sounds without any direct contact between the device and the player.
For the overly curious, here's a description of how the Theremin produces music:
The instrument's controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas that sense the relative position of the thereminist's hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.
It takes a great deal of skill to produce what can be called a recognizable melody from a Theremin. Amateurs are much more likely to drive unfortunate housecats irretrievably insane. 
Yet, in skilled hands, the theremin's unique sounds- something between a violin and a human voice- are extraordinarily moving.

For this week's Sanity Sunday, I have chosen three accomplished thereminists. Tell me what you think. 
First up, the young and talent French artist, Grégoire Blanc, plays Clare de Lune (Light of the Moon) by Claude Debussy.

Next, we have a song composed by Ennio Morricone and is called "The Ecstasy of Gold." The artist is German-born Carolina Eyck.

Finally, we have Peter Pringle playing Harold Arlen 1939 classic "Over the Rainbow."

Have a great Sunday.