In October 2021 I received a grant to study and develop ways to enhance the range of timbres available while playing the Theremin. While e.g. the Moog Etherwave allows for both huge jumps over up to four octaves as well as delicate microtonal manipulation in conjunction with fine grained control over the amplitude of the signal, the tonal variations are quite limited. In effect the Etherwave can sound either sharp or soft.

Luckily the “Plus” edition of the Etherwave features three control voltage (CV) outputs, one each for volume and pitch, plus a gate. Combining the Theremin with a synthesizer offering CV control over some or all of its parameters, be it a modular or semi modular device, allows one to use that instrument as the voice, delegating the Theremin to function as a controller.

After employing a Make Noise 0-Coast with great results overall I began thinking about the possibility of expanding the range of timbres even more, or even creating a composite of a selection of sonic textures. There were two general approaches, number one offering an easily switchable array of voices, number two allowing for their dynamic composition in realtime.

After much deliberation I singled out the The Make Noise tELHARMONIC, a digital module promising to be able to recreate the amazing soundscapes of the Telharmonium, plus a Pressure Points module to control the volume with which to add it’s three voices to the mix. Four fingers of my left hand rested, more or less lightly on the capacitive touchpad while my right hand controlled the pitch.

As playing the Theremin is by necessity a monophonic experience, on most recording sessions and concerts I also employed a Haken Audio Continuum Fingerboard to enable me to create polyphonic movement and pads. In that case I either switched between the Theremin+synth and playing the Continuum with both hands, or I played solely with my right hand, mixed timbres with the left and adjusted the pitch with my body.

The cooperation with Quatuor BRAC and Katrin Bethge is a good showcase of me employing various techniques.

Andrew in Ohrdruf

On Friday, February 24 (at 18:30 CET), I’ll be playing together with baroque violinist Claudia Mende during the inaugural concert of organist Jakob Dietz at St. Trinitatis Ohrdruf. I’m very much looking forward to this evening.

Image rights Landesarchiv Baden-WürttembergHohenlohe-Zentralarchiv Neuenstein (Sign. GA 100 Nr. 1129)

Album release on 01/22/2023

Cover of "Live at Cossoul, Lisboa on 12/22/2022"

The result of my first collaboration with the people running Phonogram Unit–José Lencastre, saxophone, Hernâni Faustino, double bass and Vasco Furtado, drums and percussion–is coming up on BandCamp as well as all music streaming websites on January 22, 2023.

Photo © 2022 by Nuno Martins

I play the OpenTheremin with the Make Noise 0-Coast as it’s voice as well as the SOMA PIPE. The day before the gig I realised that Hamburg Airport security had misplaced the contact microphone so I had to use a dynamic mic instead, but everything worked out.

Musical collaborations 2010-2022

Looking back at the last few years I feel very fortunate to have been able to collaborate with a great many wonderful artists. Many thanks for the opportunities, energy and creative impulses!

Jack Adler-McKean, London & Berlin (Tuba+Feedback)
Thalie Amossé, Paris (Recorder)
Federico Balducci, NY (Guitar)
Beijing Improvised Music Ensemble
Armand Bernardi, NY (Electronics)
Katrin Bethge (Light & projections)
Kriton Beyer, Berlin (Daxophone)
César Bernal, Chile (Bass)
Marek Brandt, Leipzig (Electronics)
Benoît Cancoin, Saint-Etienne (Bass)
Eric Cordier, Quimperlé (NOL / No Output Laptops)
Tim Crump, Atlanta (Clarinet)
Yorgos Dimitriadis, Berlin (Percussion)
Axel Dörner (Trumpet & electronics)
Frauke Eckhardt, Saarbrücken (Sound art)
Korhan Erel, Istanbul & Berlin (Electronics)
Hernani Faustino, Lisbon (Double bass)
Ingala Fortagne, Stuttgart (Voice)
Vasco Furtado, Lisbon & Köln (Percussion)
Manuel Gera, Hamburg (Organ)
Roland Graeter, Esslingen (Cello)
Sebastian Gramss, Köln (Bass)
Nathalia Grotenhuis, Mainz (Percussion)
Michael Haase, Hamburg (Dan Bao, zither)
Samuel Hall, Berlin (Percussion)
Benedikt Hansjosten, Trier (Cello, eBass, keyboard)
Helton & Bragg, Atlanta (Guitar, percussion & electronics) – Blake Helton, Colin Bragg
Anne Holler, Hamburg (Voice)
Georgia Hoppe, Hamburg (Clarinet, electronics)
Ayumi Ishito, NY (Saxophone)
Klimchak D. John, Atlanta (Percussion)
Andreas Krennerich, Stuttgart (Saxophones)
Jose Lencastre, Lisbon (Saxophone)
Kalun Leung, NY (Mubone)
Kayu Nakada, Tokyo (Electronics)
Nikola Lutz, Stuttgart (Saxophones)
Anna Mandel, Hamburg (Voice)
Thomas Noll, Berlin (Organ)
Sawako Nunotani, Nürtingen (Buto dance)
Lothar Ohlmeyer, Berlin (Bass-clarinet)
Davide Piersanti, Berlin (Trombone+FX)
Newena Popow, Hamburg (Piano)
Quatuor BRAC (String quartet) – Martine Altenburger, Tiziana Bertoncini, Benoit Cancoin, Soizic Lebrat, Vincent Royer
Angelika Remlinger, Kassel (Voice)
Thomas Reuter, Hannover (Piano, organ & voice)
Julian Schäfer, Hamburg (Bansuri, shakuhachi)
Frank-Paul Schubert, Berlin (Saxophones)
Axel Simon, Trier (Organ)
Benedikt Simon, Trier (Organ, percussion)
Manfred Stahnke, Hamburg (Viola)
Kentaro Suzuki, Paris (Bass)
Yuma Takeshita, Tokyo (Electronics)
Caroline Cecilia Tallone / K Lì (Hurdy-gurdy & Amplified objects)
Michael von Hintzenstern, Weimar (Organ)

(I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone. If so, please excuse me and drop me an eMail)