Archive for the ‘What’s New?’ Category

“Idle Mind” – A Theremin in the Movies!

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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.
 
Idle Mind
 
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.

The New CD: Lessons From Vinegar Mother

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ALL NEW! LESSONS FROM VINEGAR MOTHER
 
Available Now at CD Baby! CLICK HERE
 
LESSONS FROM VINEGAR MOTHER
Ambient Compositions for Theremin

VM_ThumbLESSONS 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.”

VM_Booklet

 
Available Now at CD Baby! CLICK HERE
 
LESSONS FROM VINEGAR MOTHER COMPLETE TRACK LISTING:
(Click below for 60-second samples)
Lesson One
Lesson Two
Lesson Three
Lesson Four
Lesson Five
Lesson Six
Lesson Seven
Lesson Eight
Lesson Nine
Lesson Ten

 
 

Treat Your Ears To The Noise Beneath the Apple

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Over three years in the making, I’ve been privileged to be included in the new book, The Noise Beneath the Apple,
published by the organization of the same name. The Noise Beneath the Apple bring the experience of street
performing, or, “busking,” featuring and tracking Manhattan’s street performers. The book itself (a huge
coffee table volume) is now available in a very limited edition of 250 copies. Beautifully designed, written
by music journalist, Heather Jacks, with photography by Bryan Close, The Noise Beneath the Apple showcases
thirty-five street/subway musicians, myself included. It comes in a custom slipcase, accompanied by a 12-inch
red, black and white splatter patterned vinyl disc containing the work of eleven musicians (myself included).
Check out the book and the entire Manhattan street performing culture at http://www.TNBTA.com