MATRIXSYNTH: 100 Years Of The Theremin | Podcast

Monday, March 15, 2021

100 Years Of The Theremin | Podcast

video by Sound On Sound magazine

"An Illustrated Podcast.

Still Making Waves In The 21st Century

Theremin at 100. A special podcast in honour of the 100th birthday. We speak to Cyril Lance (Chief Engineer, Moog), Dorit Chrysler (composer/New York Theremin Society), Bruce Woolley (songwriter/Radio Science Orchestra) and Katia Isakoff (singer/songwriter and producer).

Show Notes

00:32​ - Introduction
02:11​ - Cyril Lance / The Claravox
16:44​ - Dorit Chrysler
25:26​ - Bruce Woolley
32:08​ - Katia Isakoff
45:40​ - Ending

Clara Rockmore - Biog
Clara (Reisenberg) Rockmore holds a unique place in music history as the star performer of the theremin. Born in Russia in 1911, she moved to New York in 1921 where she met Leon Theremin (an Americanisation of Lev Termen, as he was known in Russia), the inventor of the world’s first electronic instrument. “I was fascinated by the aesthetic part of it, the visual beauty, the idea of playing in the air,” Clara recalled, “and I loved the sound. I tried it, and apparently showed some kind of immediate ability to manipulate it. Soon Lev Sergeyevich gave me, for a present, the RCA model theremin.”

She convinced Leon Theremin to build her a far more precise and responsive instrument than the RCA model, one with a five-octave range, instead of three. Over the years she performed extensively but it was not until 1977 that she saw the release of her first commercial LP, performances with Nadia Reisenberg (recorded by Robert Moog) titled ‘The Art Of The Theremin’.

In 1989, Steve M. Martin, long fascinated by the instrument, embarked upon the documentary Theremin - An Electronic Odyssey, a film including some of Clara’s last public performances (videotaped at the dress rehearsal for the Nadia Reisenberg Remembrance concert in late September 1989), and the New York reunion of Clara and Leon Theremin (then aged 95) in 1991. The film premiered in 1993 at Alice Tully Hall, New York and in large measure helped revitalised interest in both the theremin itself and Clara Rockmore’s unique accomplishments. Leon died in 1993 and she died in 1998.

Cyril Lance Moog - Biog
Cyril Lance is the Chief Technical Officer at Moog Music and lead designer of the Moog Claravox Centennial Theremin.​
See this page for further information.​

Dorit Chrysler - Biog
Dorit Chrysler has been dubbed a superior wizard of the theremin. An Austrian-born, New York-based composer and performer, Chrysler is the co-founder of the NY Theremin Society.​
See this page for further information.​

Bruce Woolley - Biog
In 1979 he co-wrote 'Video Killed The Radio Star' for The Buggles. After a stint fronting cult new wave unit The Camera Club, Woolley moved back into songwriting. Then, in 1994, Woolley discovered Exotica and formed The Radio Science Orchestra, and has collaborated with the world’s leading theremin virtuosi including Lydia Kavina, Carolina Eyck and Charlie Draper. Notable guest artists include Grace Jones, Polly Scattergood, Ken Hollings, Dr. Robert Moog, Steve Dub and Thomas Dolby.​
See this page for further information.​

Katia Isakoff - Biog
Katia Isakoff is a composer and multi-instrumentalist music producer whose compositions, performances and productions first appeared in the Add N To (X) album Loud Like Nature (Mute Records).​
See this page for further information.​

Rachmaninov: Vocalise - Clara Rockmore, theremin. Nadia Reisenberg, piano. From: “Clara Rockmore – The Art of the Theremin”. Delos Productions CD. Courtesy of The Nadia Reisenberg / Clara Rockmore Foundation.
Schneeleichen - by Dorit Chrysler - unreleased extract from M - eine stadt sucht einen moerder - with kind permission of Dorit Chrysler.
Beat Monjune - by Dorit Chrysler - unreleased extract from M - eine stadt sucht einen moerder - with kind permission of Dorit Chrysler.
Therexotica - by Peg Ming - with kind permission of Dorit Chrysler (a track on the THEREMIN100 compilation produced by The NY Theremin Society).
Peace Song To Other Worlds (2 extracts) - by Radio Science Orchestra - with kind permission of Bruce Woolley.
Theremini solo - by Katia Isakoff - with kind permission of Katia Isakoff."

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