Seho Chang (aka seho303) from TAIWAN
So please, if you have anything that you would like to say publicly about Clara Rockmore, her creativity, – please write.
Clara Rockmore is an inspiration and the first ever theremin player that I have known. She had successfully established herself as an influential thereminist with achievements that are unprecedented and highly appreciated. As a thereminist, my respect for her have grown along with my experiences.
What prompted you to play theremin?
Theremin is a creative instrument that requires great depth of musical control and exploration .
I am a MIDI arranger of pop music in Taiwan and have always been attracted to unique sounds that Analog Modular Synth could create. Likewise, my interest in theremin have developed as it also creates sounds that are organic, simple and pure.
What were your first feelings when you heard the sounds of theremin and where did it happen?
I cannot fully recall my first impression of the sounds of theremin however, it happened roughly in the 90’s. In contrast to the terrible sound that I first heard, I was impressed by the way it was played by Clara Rockmore which made it unforgettable.
What is your musical philosophy and what place it occupies a theremin?
I play Taiwanese folk songs that was originated and inspired by our hundred years of living and culture. Soft, beautiful and plaintive. Unfortunately no one had played it with the theremin before.
Prospects for theremin and its place in modern music space – how you see them? For what qualities you value this musical instrument?
It is interesting that the theremin remains as attractive after a hundred of years, as though it had just been invented yesterday. It possess great potentials of musical expression that cannot be replaced by other instruments and it is absolutely possible to extend the sounds with other applications. For instance, electronic modifications and computer technology could be used to develop the sounds, to help it adapt and establish its own value in modern music.
Which manufacturer of theremin do you prefer?
Currently, there aren’t many manufacturers that produces the theremin. I play with Moog Etherwave Plus and recently bought a Subscope theremin that has some special features, such as volume velocity and built-in noise oscillator.
What you can recommend for beginners thereminists, or those who are just going to start their way of thereminist?
*Listen and watch videos of other theremin players, they are all your teachers and inspirations.
*Find a text book. I recommend Carolina Eyck.
*Find the most comfortable posture to your playing: sit or stand.
*Explore a form of aerial fingering to play at ease.
*Adjust comfortable tones to your ears.
*Relax your fingers, arms, body and mind. Avoid overexertion to refrain from getting hurt by an untouchable instrument.
*Practice with music, to check that the pitch is correct.
*Never stop exploring the sounds it can create, the playing techniques and the possibilities of the theremin.