After another great workshop last weekend, and a year including three Theremin Day workshops and a number of related performances, I am putting Theremin Day on the back-burner until 2011.
Before I do here are a couple of nice things to look at and listen to from the last couple of Theremin Days. Firstly, an interview with me on The Gene Pool. It’s a great interview and it offers a good insight into Theremin Day and my practice more broadly.
Secondly, there are a couple of nice shots of my Optical Theremins from my performance of Reich’s Pendulum Music at Supersonic in the “Supersonic in 90 seconds” video:
Finally, some nutter called Mike, who was on my last workshop, has built one of my Optical Theremins into a ukulele…and a bloody Flying-V ukeulele at that! haha!
Theremin Day has proved a VERY popular format and I look forward to more of the same soon. I plan to release some small noise boxes for purchase in due course and Theremin Day will be back sometime next year…BUT for now, it’s time for a rest!
Building on the success of the First Theremin Day I will be doing two further Theremin Days in the coming couple of months.
These will both include workshops to build noisy boxes. The first will be as part of Supersonic Festival in October, featuring an updated version of the original Optical Theremin. We’ve kept it simple (but noisy) due to the likely hangover situation. It will also include a performance element. More details to follow. The second is as part of the autumn season at The Digital Media Centre in Bracknell, Berkshire. This will feature a super-duper 6 oscillator noise box, including a new drone section. More details here.
If you are interested in booking for either of these, get in touch and I’ll point you in the right direction.
Things are shaping up rather nicely. Watch this space!
Supersonic Noise Box – design to be slightly updated
Yes! We did it, the first Theremin Day took place on the 24th of April 2010, at The Edge in Birmingham, and it was nothing short of a great success!
I had a very busy day myself, running the workshop, MCing the evening event, and performing, so I will leave some of the more in-depth coverage to blogs from people who attended: Genzaichi | Hellocatfood | Digbeth is Good
I do however want to provide some personal insight into the event and a bit more detail on certain aspects. First and foremost, thanks to everyone that supported me and to those that came along and made it a great event. Much appreciated!
The workshop was a great success. With one exception, which we’re working on, everyone who attended the workshop went home with a noisy box. Here is a selection, thanks to Nikki Pugh:
People worked from the kits and instructions I put together to build their boxes, with only one minor mod required on the day. People brought along some fantastic enclosures and some people even added custom functionality on the day, wow!
The range of people making optical Theremins was a real highlight. Yes, thankfully the usual suspects were there and some of them completed the task in record time but there were also a number of people who had never soldered before, or who would ever previously have considered attending such an event. Their success in building a noisy box, and their reaction to the workshop and evening event was extremely rewarding!
The evening event went really well too. I was pretty nervous at the start but the Theremin videos we started proceedings with soon broke the ice. Here they are:
After these Pete Ashton took to the stage with his Thingamagoops and a variety of light sources, including his LED fingers. He also set up a mic for people who had made noisy boxes in the workshop to come and join in. Great fun!
I then set up the four torches for my performance of Steve Reich’s Pendulum Music, for four optical Theremins and four torches. Thanks to my helpers from the audience for dropping them so effectively. I was really pleased with how this went, and the reaction it received. Thanks to Hellocatfood for videoing it:
To top the evening off Ms Hypnotique provided a fantastic performance with a real Theremin! As well as some amazing Theremin playing, she provided the audience with a great insight into the world of Theremin. As soon as she settled in, I was able to relax a bit, and I thoroughly enjoyed her set!
Following Ms Hypnotique, I was able to have a beer and relax, at least until I was accosted by Getgood and Phantom Circuit for interviews. I was tired but also hugely excited by what we had achieved.
Ms Hypnotique is going to be performing at Theremin Day!
I can’t really say it any better than her bio does, other than to mention that it’s a real personal honour to have her playing at our event. I have worked with her on my soon to be released EP and she is a truly amazing musician. Right…that bio:
Ms Hypnotique is one of the nation’s most renowned Theremin players. She has trained with Lydia Kavina, the grand-niece of Leon Theremin, and performs in many genres from classical to surf-rock to industrial. She has given numerous performances and recordings for artists including Bob Moog, Damien Hirst and TV appearances include “James May’s 20th Century” and “New Paul O’Grady Show”. In 2009 she performed on the fourth plinth, Trafalgar Square, as part of Anthony Gormley’s “One and Other” project and in April 2010 she will perform at Ether Fest at Royal Festival Hall in a 20-piece Theremin orchestra.
Yes, last weekend she played the Royal Festival Hall, this weekend Theremin Day.
I’d urge you to come and witness Ms Hypnotique and all that Theremin Day has to offer – tickets available here. See you tomorrow!
The latest reason to attend Theremin Day is my very own performance of Steve Reich’s Pendulum Music.
Everything you witness on Theremin Day will be out of the ordinary but the piece I am performing (well, which my four performers will be performing), is a truly rare beast; a piece Reich has never recorded himself. The adaption for torch and Optical Theremin will serve to make this performance even more visually intriguing – thanks to Tom Bugs for the inspiration for this.
Reason six to come to Theremin Day is that you will get to witness Pete performing live with his Glove of DOOM. Pete Ashton (who is marginally more renowned as a blogger than a musician) will be performing a liveset with his Thingamagoop and the aforementioned glove, a sight and sound to behold.
Also, part of Pete’s set will feature live improv with other musicians at the event. Expect much noise and visual madness to ensue.
As part of the audio visual delights on Theremin Day – DO NOT TOUCH, we will be showing a number of bizarre and wonderful Theremin videos. These will range from documentaries to funnies, with a hint of a focus on the hacker/maker side of things.
I ‘ll leave you with an example of a video we will not be showing on Theremin Day, because it’s shit: