Arthur Harrison ( USA)

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What prompted you to play theremin?
My fascination with theremin began more with a desire to build them than to play them. But after I began building theremins, the obvious method for design evaluation was by playing, and I did so much playing that eventually I began to notice an improvement. I’m always trying to refine my abilities, and the theremin is an excellent challenge.
What were your first feelings when you heard the sounds of thereminand where did it happen?

I believe my first impressions of a true theremin must have been during my university days, when my room mate brought one to the dormitory. I was immediately enamored with the instrument. Prior to that, I may have been exposed to the sounds of the the “electro-theremin” played by Paul Tanner in popular television programs. For a while, I thought that ideal theremins should sound like exactly Paul Tanner’s instrument, but I no longer hold that opinion.
What is your musical philosophy and what place it occupies atheremin?

My philosophy of music is that it should please the listener, and whatever form it may take to do that is fine. I don’t think theremins fit well with every classical musical dialect, but there are many places where it works marvelously. I think the best use of the theremin is for creating repeatable melodies, and in many instances the lead melodic voice. I also like the avant-garde use of theremin in which free-form tone patterns predominate and strict scoring is not used.
Prospects for theremin and its place in modern music space – howyou see them? For what qualities you value this tool?

I do not see the theremin as a specific candidate for all modern music, but I find it welcome in many places where it is used. Due to the difficulty in playing the theremin accurately in concert, it is perhaps better suited to the recording studio with multi-track capabilities. Such a studio environment makes the theremin more accessible to a larger number of players.
Which manufacturer of theremin do you prefer?

Since I have a company that manufactures theremins, and I design those instruments exactly to my preferences, I prefer them over others presently available.