I was mainly brought up in the North of the British Isles in a close knit mining community with my Grandparents, both of whom started work at very young ages. My Grandma went into service at 14 years in London (which lasted a month given her fiery nature) and my Grandfather started work on a farm at 13,5 and at 14 he worked down in the mines until he was 65. This was the general life for people at that time and in that community. Militant socialist ideology was the rule, the only way out was the army or education.
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What prompted you to play theremin?
I loved the idea of playing with out touching, it just seems such a great way to play an electronic instrument very new & modern,it was looking to the future.
What were your first feelings when you heard the sounds of theremin and where did it happen?
I first heard the Theremin on 1950’s B movies but it wasn’t until I started researching electronic music that I came across an image of the Theremin & it’s strange beauty that I wanted one I was 19 years old, it was 20 years later that I got one
What is your musical philosophy and what place it occupies a theremin?
I still think that the Theremin is in the shadow of effects & cover versions of ‘The Swan’
It can have it’s own Voice! & has unique expression possibilities but you won’t find them in a book or listening to the multitude of cover songs. I started recording music using up to 9 Theremins & I found so many textural/colour possibilities while still making a decent melody.
The Theremin is still waiting for understanding that it’s not just a ‘cello/violin/creepy effect’ It’d waiting for a Debussy to understand it’s possibilities!
Prospects for theremin and its place in modern music space – how you see them? For what qualities you value this tool?
It has a hypnotic quality which is it’s ‘domain’, & a keyboard it not the best controller for electronics,the Theremin is! When playing the Theremin no matter how good you are much of the Thermins quality is it’s ability to connect directly to the subconsciousness of the mind. The best Theremin music is when the Theremin ‘plays you’ look for that when practicing.
Which manufacturer of theremin do you prefer?
My own custom Theremin, but of course the Moog is good.
What you can recommend for beginners thereminists, or those who are just going to start their way of thereminist?
Learn everything then forget it! Listen to yourself through the sounds of the Theremin.