The newest video, first one for 2017. It’s Felix Mendelssohn’s Song Without Words, Opus 19, No 1.
this sublimely evocative melody has fascinated me for many years. Now, finally, I’ve been able
to record it and create a short music video inspired by it.
As you ponder the image below, you may experience a fundamental shift in consciousness as your nasal
passages open like the petals of the lotus. From here, your ears are ready to receive what your nose
already knows. And so, the music begins (give a clickety click right here).
For thereminists of all levels. The best theremin lessons are the ones that give you the results you want.
That’s why I advocate trying everything that’s out there. Of course, my lessons are among what’s out there,
and I’d love for you to try them – developed over the course of about ten years, they’ll challenge you
and I’m willing to bet you’ll surprise yourself with a lot of these techniques. They’re effective, they’re fun
and they’re FREE! Visit www.kiprosser.com
In late 2015, I began writing a theremin score for Michael Jason Allen’s, film An Idle Mind is the Devil’s
Playground. A significant amount of that music was either heard only in part, or, in some cases, not
included in the film. This is perfectly normal; the music (and how it’s used) is, ultimately, the province of
the director. However, I decided to create this “suite” of compositions in order to make more of the
theremin score available to anyone possessing interested ears. Several of the compositions have been remixed
and new orchestrations were composed and added to two of them. Just click here to access the music.
Many of you know that late last year I was commissioned to write a theremin score for the new Michael
Jason Allen feature film, “An idle Mind is the Devil’s Playground.” Not only did I do that, but Jason, the
director, asked me to be in the film! So, out I went to Arizona and did the whole thing. Now, the movie is out, available on DVD.
I won’t give away the plot, but I will tell you that this is the first film whose lead character
is a theremin player! He spends his life shut away from the world, until one day, he has a dream that
puts him face-to-face with…
To see the trailer for the movie, CLICK HERE and then scroll down the page.
This is a film shot with a style, mood and storyline reminiscent of the best Twilight Zone episodes. In
fact, Spats White, a former film critic, and close friend (and collaborator) of Rod Serling for many years,
consented to view the film and write a review. Here are two excerpts:
“An Idle Mind Is The Devil’s Playground is an entertaining and well made film with solid performances,
a sharp screenplay, distinctively fine music, and award worthy cinematography. It is a unique film
and well worth the attention of any audience. Rod Serling, creator and dominant writer of The Twilight
Zone, was my friend, TV co-host, college writing professor and mentor. The film successfully reeks of
that era and style and, knowing him as well as I did, I think I can safely assume and assert here that
Mr. Serling would have totally appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed this motion picture”.
“…the music score and sound track credited to Mr. Allen the director, Mr. Ehron VonAllen and the
aforementioned Mr. Kip Rosser who performs the score on the theremin, that odd electronic instrument
famous for its spooky and wailing sounds so popular in horror movies and TV shows of the era. In the
hands of the composers, however, and (literally) the hands of Mr. Rosser, the often novelty-like sound
of the theremin is expertly elevated to a higher level of musicianship and tonal quality placing it
alongside the atmospheric sound track beauty usually only attainable from a full orchestra. It is a
truly unique, haunting and strangely memorable score.
A movie about a thereminist, a theremin musical score… what more could any of us theremin afficionados
possibly want? To order the film or the soundtrack, CLICK HERE and then scroll down the page.
LESSONS FROM VINEGAR MOTHER Ambient Compositions for Theremin LESSONS FROM VINEGAR MOTHER
You can listen to samples and download the FREE Vinegar Mother Booklet below.
“Ambient” music has undergone many incarnations since Brian Eno first coined the phrase in 1978.
Yet, it has its origins in composers like Debussy and, especially, Erik Satie, who referred to his
own works as “furniture music.” It is intended for the background, music that plays almost at the
edge of perception, blending in with the sounds of the immediate environment.
It’s in this tradition that Lessons From Vinegar Mother was created.
And who, or what, is the Vinegar Mother? From 4th century Norse culture comes the obscure and
nearly lost art of receiving lessons from the Vinegar Mother. Mother of Vinegar or Mycoderma aceti (from the Greek μὑκης (fungus) plus δἐρμα (skin), and the Latin aceti (of the acid) is composed of
cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that forms in unpasteurized vinegar. Oxidation gives rise to this
gelatinous substance that can assume amorphous and even ethereal shapes.
It is these shapes that are “read” by a practitioner of the art. Bengta Stenlund is a tenth generation reader
or “Daughter” of the Vinegar Mother. All of the music on Lessons From Vinegar Mother was directly
inspired and composed using the text of ten lessons Ms. Stenlund imparted specifically for this project.
Put it on and let it flow. Soundscapes, familiar and unfamiliar. Meditative expanses evolve into
energetic passages that seethe with rhythms. Laughter, half-heard whisperings arise and hang in the
air. Melodies degrade into sonic textures and then reconstruct themselves. The ethereal voice of the
theremin, combined with the text in the Vinegar Mother Booklet, encourages the listener’s associations,
lending depth and personal resonance to the music…all in the background.
DOWNLOAD THE FREE VINEGAR MOTHER BOOKLET
Lessons From Vinegar Mother was produced on a very limited budget. As a result, its
accompanying 16-page booklet proved too expensive to print. Experience all of the Lessons from
Vinegar Mother as they were meant to be experienced.
The Vinegar Mother booklet contains the complete text of all ten lessons, original artwork, and
extra background information. You can download the booklet, FREE, even if you don’t purchase the
CD! To view the booklet, just click on the link below. To download it, right click on the link
below and save the PDF file called: VinegarBook.”
The New Year is starting off in a way I could never have predicted. Award winning feature film maker, Michael Jason Allen
contacted me to ask if I would write the score for his upcoming film, An Idle Mind is the Devil’s Playground.
“Why me?” was my first reaction. Turns out, it’s perfectly logical; his lead character. Sid Kottler, is a theremin player.
It follows that a theremin would be part and parcel of the music for the film. Where there’s a theremin, there’s suspense,
and there’s the type of compelling music that made the theremin’s reputation in brilliant films like Billy Wilder’s The
Lost Weekend, Hitchcock’s Spellbound and the original 1951 The Day the Earth Stood Still, directed
by Robert Wise. These films (all made before really cheesy SciFi turned the theremin’s sound into a cliché) featured music
by amazing composers like Bernard Herrmann and Miklos Rosza. While I’m hardly in that class of composer, this is going to
Filming in black and white, Allen is both writer and director. Rather than go the routes of horror or SciFi, he’s
written a suspenseful psychological drama reminiscent of masters like Hitchcock and Serling.
I encourage you to take a look at Allen’s extraordinary body of work. He’s just recently won the Great Lakes International
Film Festival for his film, The Coldest Kiss. It also received nominations for Best Actor, Best Director and Best
Feature at the Trail Dance Film Festival. You can see more at his web site, He Said She Said Productions:
During our preliminary talks it became clear that I’m working with an intensely creative and passionate man. Jason and I
connected very easily; it seems we’re on the same page from the start and I have to say I am in awe of his energy, his
enthusiasm and his incredible openness to the musical ideas I’ve proposed.
As with any independent filmmaking venture, finances are key. At the last tally, Jason still needed to $3,375 to complete
his budget. And you – yes, you, (picture me saying this in my best TV infomercial voiceover) can make a donation of any
amount to help this film see the light of day. Just go to the link below for all the details about the levels of funding:
To top it all off, after seeing me on youtube, Jason eventually asked if I would be interested in appearing in the film.
Took me a while to get my head around that – I was already busy writing the music and I had to “surface” from that mindset
to take in what he’d asked. After thinking it over for a day or two… I’m in. I’ll be out in Phoenix for filming at the
end of this month.
All I can say is: this is going to be fun.
More as things progress. For now, go take a look at Michael Jason Allen’s films!
It is thought that the word, “Gnosienne” is a vague allusion to Gnossos (or Knossos), an ancient city
on the island of Crete where once stood the palace of King Minos and the Minotaur’s labyrinth. But
that is neither here nor there (nor under the table). To quote the composer completely out of context
“And then the door opens, opens, opens like an eye: a formless silent being comes closer and closer
and closer. Not a drop of sweat remains in my terrified body; and besides, I am very, very thirsty.
A voice comes out of the shadows, “Sir, I think I am clairvoyant.” That, as they say, just about says
it all, doesn’t it?.
From the CD, Euphonic Verses (available on Amazon), and from one of the most eccentric composers
that has ever lived, here is Erik Satie’s Gnossienne No. 1. Visuals loosely inspired by Picasso’s
costume designs for Satie’s ballet, Parade, as well as Dada, surrealism and yesterday’s vegan
tuna sandwich. This piece is offered (to quote the composer out of context) to “show all those
affected by incommensurable tedium, profound disgust with existence, or unending bitterness, an
infallible way to be promptly cheered up.” Several of the composer’s notations are included.