Jimmy Page-Theremin solo- Madison Square Garden, NY
A theremin works by generating electromagnetic fields around two antennae. A straight, vertical antenna controls pitch; A horizontal, looped antenna controls volume. A masterful player makes very small, precise finger and hand movements in the field around the vertical antenna to change pitch and create melodies. (“You have to play with butterfly wings,” virtuoso thereminist Clara Rockmore was quoted as saying.The secret to great Theremin playing lies in perfect pitch control. A great player must possess a good ear, fine muscle control and ample coordination. The first time a new player approaches a theremin, his performance is more likely to sound drunken and atonal than distinguished or adept. With only two antennae to manipulate, the theremin seems like it would be a breeze to play. Looks, however, can be deceiving. In the hands of a master, the theremin can sing with the precision, vibrato and depth of a seasoned mezzo-soprano.Many hours of practice, however, help a player develop the hearing and muscle memory necessary for keeping a melody in tune. Once he’s mastered those basics, he can progress to adding vibrato and dynamics to his playing. An experienced theremin master appears to be dancing with his hands, drawing a song from thin air, like magic, yes like Jimmy!
scanned, uploaded by me