In 2012, the brilliant electro-musician, Howard Moscovitz, and I spent many hours improvising over
the course of a few months – he on acoustic piano and electronic keyboard, me on a variety of
theremins. We chose what we felt were the best seventy minutes of our instrumental “conversations”
and produced our ambient CD, Exploration of the Black Exterior. This piece, 88 Evening Devotions,
from a purely musical standpoint, is an exploration of the theremin’s ability to play the notes
between notes, quarter-tones, eighth-tones, etc. These are frequencies that inhabit the expanse
beyond the boundaries of our traditional western 12-tone scale, yet still remain hauntingly melodic.
From a conceptual standpoint, the composition is a very spare meditation on fragility. The “88”
in the title refers to the number of times the “bells” sing. And the broccoli, a tree of life in microcosm,
is just plain delicious.
FLASHBACK TIME…Possibly the strangest of my performance pieces, “TranscendAmbiental
Medication,” had a scant number of performances yet it remains a favorite of mine. Everything from
the stories to the original music is off the wall, yet presented almost as a meditation. This is an excerpt
from a 2012 performance in Kansas City.
A little over a year ago, I appeared in brilliant filmmaker/director/writer Jason Allen’s psycho-thriller,
EMULATOR. As he usually does, Jason submitted the film to various festivals around the country
and he’s been nominated by the Binge Horror Film Festival for Best Feature Film Screenplay!
What’s really weird is that someone bearing a scary bizarre resemblance to me has been nominated for
Best Performance in a Feature. Two others have been nominated in this category. The results will be
announced in early November. Making the film was incredible enough, and this nomination is the
icing on the blood pudding.
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So many beautiful arias sung about dire circumstances. In O Mio Babbino Caro, Lauretta sings that
if she isn’t allowed to marry the man she loves (as opposed to the one her dad wants her to get
hitched with) that she will throw herself off the Ponte Vecchio. And now we have Wally, beautiful
and wild-spirited, singing that she’ll leave home forever and wander the snowy mountains if her
father refuses to let her marry the man she loves! By the end of the opera, an avalanche has
put an end to her singing.
From open mike night at 1867 Sanctuary, this aria was used to demonstrate the theremin’s ability to
approximate a human voice. For such an ethereal melody, it’s a pretty dire aria, with Lauretta
determined to drown herself if she is unable to marry the man she loves.
From the newest performance piece, “Scheduled Flights on a Theremin,” here’s the song,
“The Most Ancientest Language of Love,” by the alter-ego bizarro (and non-existent) anti-pop group,
SCREWEYE. Good beat and easy to dance to.
This original piece was commissioned as the musical track used in a promo for the 2008 70th
Anniversary celebration of the infamous radio broadcast by Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre.
The “Wells” (for H.G.) Welles (for Orson) Etude” features an “orchestra” of overdubbed theremins.