The unique and mesmerizing style of World-renowned, Persian-Armenian Theremin virtuoso, Armen Ra, has already garnered admiration in the hearts and minds of fans on multiple continents. Intrigued by this strange and one-of-a-kind instrument (invented by a Russian professor/physicist in 1919, officially giving birth to Electronic Music), Armen Ra began to study the Theremin in 2001 and his debut performance came later that year when he shared the stage with Antony Hagarty and his orchestra (Antony & The Johnsons) in New York City. Soon afterward, Armen’s first solo concert at The Gershwin Hotel was covered by CNN and attended by many of NYC’s finest glitterati, artists, and promoters.
Having performed and recorded with various bands and on many projects (including a collaboration with legendary British recording artist Marc Almond, on his 2010 release, Varieté), and with Kembra Pfahler of The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, Armen Ra is considered one of the finest Thereminists in the World today. His debut solo CD, Plays The Theremin (released on Bowl & Fork Records in Summer 2010), showcases many Classical Armenian laments and folk songs, representing both Armen’s Heritage and his very first musical influence. Word got around and Armen’s career quickly grew into a wave of performances at upscale venues in both the United States and Europe: The United Nations, The New Museum (NYC), Disney Concert Hall (L. A.), Wiener Konzerthaus Mozartsaal (Vienna), and Villa Petraia (Florence, Italy). Also in Fall 2009, Downtown L. A.’s premier venue, REDCAT, hosted Armen’s performance of his critically-acclaimed multimedia piece, METAL (A Tribute to Maria Callas).
Armen currently resides in Hollywood, California where he continues to work on new material. He will be joining Nick Cave and Grinderman on their much anticipated 2010 North American Tour as the opening act.
Official : http://armenra.com/
What prompted you to play theremin?
The haunting sound and the fact that the music is being drawn from the ethers, I was captivated and still am.
What were your first feelings when you heard the sounds of theremin and where did it happen?
Ultimately I freaked out! and immediately knew it was for me, although many people said that it was too difficult and I will never be able to play it properly, and needless to say I proved them all wrong.
What is your musical philosophy and what place it occupies a theremin?
Music is the language of the divine, it is the only form of art that is not seen, the theremin is like a portal connecting the worlds of mortality and immortality.
Prospects for theremin and its place in modern music space — how you see them? For what qualities you value this tool?
Same as above
Which manufacturer of theremin do you prefer?
I don’t have much choice obviously, I play the Moog. I would like to have a custom Theremin built one day to my own design.
What you can recommend for beginners thereminists, or those who are just going to start their way of thereminist?
It requires complete devotion to play properly, like a religion. Practice practice practice.