Skip to main content

CD-Tip IV : Clara Rockmore - The Art of the Theremin (1977)

Okay... Either you love the sound of the Theremin, or you don't. If you count yourself to the last category, feel free to skip this post and return to this blog in 3 or 4 days.

Yesterday was what would have been theremin virtuosa and electronic music pioneer, Clara Rockmore's 100th Birthday.
Clara Rockmore ( born as Clara Reisenberg ) studied violin in Leningrad, Russia, but she had to stop her career because of bone-problems due to malnutrition in her youth.
After she moved to the USA she started to work with Léon Theremin, who had recently invented the Theremin, and very quickly she mastered the instrument and became a virtuoso Theremin player.

In all the years performing with USA's finest orchestras and touring she developed a distinguished technique for playing the instrument and she proved that the Theremin really was a serious instrument, and not just an instrument to make 'eerie' sound effects for scary movies.
Although she also did these sound effects on commission, her true love was for the real classical compositions.

This 12-track CD has special arrangements of great classic composers like Saint-Saens, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Stravinsky and a few others.
Rockmore plays the Theremin beautifully, accompanied by her sister Nadia Reisenberg on piano. Pure and simple. If you are into classical music you will probably appreciate these wonderful recordings.
I have to admit that the tracks do sound a bit sad or moody, but that might just be the power of Clara's playing-style. With this recording and performances she definitely proved that you can really touch someone's soul with this instrument, and that is a great accomplishment with such a difficult to play instrument.

Video: Clara Rockmore - The Swan from Saint Saëns


CD catalog nr: Delos DE1014

A few more recordings that were made during these sessions later appeared on the 'Lost Theremin Album' (1989), together with other old recordings.
Also worth watching: Theremin, an Electronic Odyssey, a 1997 documentary about Léon Theremin, his instrument and life, including various interviews and performances by Clara Rockmore.
Trialer: HERE

Popular posts from this blog

DIY Modular Case Ideas

There are many ways to house your (eurorack) modular synth, i wrote about the pre-manufactured options from Doepfer earlier, find that post HERE, but of course you can also try to build you own case.
There are many ways to make your own A-100/Eurorack case if you start out with just the basic rails and busboard, and you can make it as cheap or expensive as you can.

Check out a few ideas;
Wooden cabinets and side-panels are still very popular amongst (modular) synth enthusiasts.
These simple case standards for the pre-manufactured LC9 cases are very simple, and can be sooo useful
http://synthesizerart.blogspot.com/2011/10/dual-doepfer-lc9-case-stand-v1-design.html Also check out the other great modular pictures on his site.
Matthew Goike (@Goiks) also has some nice wooden cabinets on display and for sale on his website: http://www.goike.com/node/5

...or do what Stretta did (or rather what his brother did), make a high-end wood/brushed aluminium cabinet with integrated LED-lights and some …

Doepfer A-150-8 Octal Manual/Voltage Controlled Programmable Switches Announced

Doepfer has just released some info on their new modules for NAMM 2017 (19-21 jan.) Besides some vintage editions of existing modules, the A-135ABC VC Performance mixer modules, the A-110-6Trapezoid Thru Zero Quadrature VCO and a new A-100LC1 case (economically priced small housing with 48 HP width) there was also one other interesting new module announcement:
Module A-150-8 contains eight manually/voltage controlled switches.  Each of the eight switches has a manual control button (Man.), a control voltage input (CV), a common Out / Input (O/I), and two In / Outputs (I/O1, I/O2).  The switches are bi-directional, i.e. they can work in both directions, so can connect one input to either of two outputs, or either of two inputs to one output. 
Two LEDs show which in / output is active (ie. which is connected to the common out / input).  In addition the LEDs are used for the programming of the module: For each unit the operating mode can be selected:  Toggle or Level controlled. In Toggl…

Happy New Year From PatchPierre

Hi there, it's me again... Happy New Year!

You might have noticed that I havent posted a lot in the last 2 years...
It's been a rough time for me since the sudden loss of two parents within a relatively short time-span and I really needed some time to get myself together... to set things straight, finding myself and selecting priorities... even my regular work suffered from this breakdown.

It took a while to understand it all, and to get a better grip on it, and it's sometimes still not very clear.
I think I have found a way to cope with most of it now... although the slight autism that I have (ADD-like) doesn't make it easy for, especially in crowds with lots of people I don't know...
On my journey I also (re-)discovered the beautiful woman that has always lived inside of me and that i need to accept and cherish... more on that maybe later... I'm not considering changing the name of the blog to PatchPetra.Net 😇 (...yet), but you might spot me somewhere at mod…