Christiane Bornhak ( Germany)

Christiane Bornhak and theremin“CLARA ROCKMORE to me is known via lerning how to play the Theremin via DVD + Theremin (Instrument) when it finaly reacht my adress. She helped Robert Moog to develope wider pitch – expecially the deeper notes. I love the close connection of L. S. Termen as hobbychellist and C. Rockmores artistic violin cariere bevor getting in ‘touch’ with the theremin. The late Barbara Buchholz recommented to study upon Rockmores works. Clara Rockmore is my Diva of the etherwave and I’m thankfull of a nice 4-5 octave etherwave theremin by moog.”


   What prompted you to play theremin?

a Tom Waits performance of ‘Alice’ at the Thalia Theater Hamburg . I sat right three rowes behind the pitch arm of Lydia Kavina. I triered hard to figure out what of her movements made this awesom, fragile, lost in space crying voice…

What were your first feelings when you heard the sounds of theremin and where did it happen?

 …………….my soul was in neet to answer: ‘Hey – You – Are – Not – Alone’ I hav’nt heart this ‘voice’ again. It needet to be exidently – I was listening to a radiobroudcast. A new CD was about to release and there I heard ‘my lonly voice’ again! It was callt ‘Touch – Don’T Touch’ , presented by Barbara Buchholz, with became one of my theachers much later. I grapped the TV-magazin – made up the Topic and I read the first time: Theremin. The next step was serching via Wikipedia what that might be! YouTube gave me first clues and I began to lay money back – even createt a lithle Thereminmoneybox. 2 Jears later I hat more money left, then the market price of a standart moog etherwave – it arrived (together with Clara Rockmore + Lydia Kavina DVD) at 25.4.2005. From that moment on, my soul is in asking and answering dialog with ‘this unique extrteresstial howl’, whenever ‘we’ want to. This love will stay as long as I’ breathe.

What is your musical philosophy and what place it occupies a theremin?

music is not visual to me. Never was. It’s in the air. I’m so happy to have found an Instrument, whitch is able to pic the music exactly where I feel it comes from.

Prospects for theremin and its place in modern music space – how you see them? For what qualities you value this tool?

I love all 1st times of sience, I feel a sympathic naiív way of experimentation, a charme of ‘human meets technology’ technicollor movies, quite surprisingly exiting (special effects of S. Dhalí etc) Today everything is possible, more of the same sort of electronics, more technology with less human touch. The german Groop ‘Yello’ ~ 1980th I call a mixture. They created PC-music with analog aquipment – and sensitiv listeners are able to hear it. The Theremin is here in the german media quite quiet. Inspector Barnaby = Midsumer Murder. Mars attacs. Thats it. Club-music I fear more freak shows: Whooow -see what I’ve got uuuuUUUUuuu !!! Barbara Buchholz, and Carolina Eyck are the german thereminists I know. Buchholz was great in interdisziplinär kultur.She was a unique Theremin poformer artist. I would like to think, the theremin is able to be greatly mixt and presented in classik, Jazz, Pop, new music, Cross-over…. but please as a true, honest instrument of a very delicate nature. For only show and sensation I dare say: DON’T TOUCH!

Which manufacturer of theremin do you prefer?

 I still love my moog etherwave standard – but as time goes bye – I needet to know mood-differences, call it ‘personality’ of theremins. Now there is a moog etherwave plus at home, since June 2014 My DREAM of Instrument woud be to own and play >Theremin-Vox< (the Stradivari) I would love to end a Pitch into pianissimo because of unnotable highness.

What you can recommend for beginners thereminists, or those who are just going to start their way of thereminist? ) If you have music inside you, if you are perhaps even able to sing or wistle, if you have played other instruments – it will be helpfull to stay with the Theremin and lern to love the music-voice over howls. Patience. Best – love the sound that mutch – whatewer is not in the pitch you wish to play. Relax more often in the beginning. Take advices via YouTube; my 1st ‘Theacher’ was Thomas Grillo. After 3 jears practecing on my own, I thougt, a personal professional teacher my help to develop my music – I wasn’t a helpless beginner anymore and sucsess is much quicker if you try this way out. For me – I have never become dissapointed. If you whish to play the theremin, than just LOVE IT! What feeling you’ll give the instrument – it’ll give back 1:1

(Theremin Times. 2014)

Theremin today