Theremin

THEREMIN, THE UNTOUCHABLE INSTRUMENT

Katica started to play on the theremin some years ago. She practiced for hours each day, and now, the „new” instrument has become an indispensable part of her concerts.

They hardly knew anything about the theremin in Hungary, so Katica’s goal is to introduce this mysterious instrument to as many people as possible, in hope that more and more of them will want to learn how to play on it.

„What I like the most about playing the theremin, is that it‘s tune is almost identical with the human voice. As a singer and violinist I am very inspired by the opportunity of being able to play on a much wider scale of notes on the theremin compared to our singing voice. I believe music is for sharing joy and happiness with our fellow beings therefore it doesn‘t matter on which instrument we play. However, theremin is trully an instrument forthe soul. It’s extraordinary and mystical sound has a great impact on our emotions. Up to this day theremin is considered as a some kind of „miracle“.

Katica Illényi

The theremin was used in movie soundtracks such as Miklós Rózsa’s for Spellbound and The Lost Weekend and Bernard Herrmann’s for The Day the Earth Stood Still and as the theme tune for the ITV drama Midsomer Murders. This has led to its association with a very eerie sound. Theremins are also used in concert music (especially avant-garde and 20th- and 21st-century new music) and in popular music genres such as rock. Psychedelic rock bands in particular, such as Hawkwind, Led Zeppelin used the theremin in their work. Clara Rockmore is widely regarded as the greatest Theremin player to have ever lived.

Illényi Katica theremin
Illényi Katica theremin

IT IS NAMED AFTER THE WESTERNIZED NAME OF ITS RUSSIAN INVENTOR, LÉON THEREMIN, WHO PATENTED THE DEVICE IN 1928.

The theremin (/ˈθɛrəmɪn/; originally known as the ætherphone/etherphone, thereminophone[2] or termenvox/thereminvox) is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist (performer). It is named after its inventor, Leon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928.

The instrument’s controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas that sense the relative position of the thereminist’s hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.

The sound of the instrument is often associated with eerie situations. Thus, the theremin has been used in movie soundtracks such as Miklós Rózsa’s Spellbound and The Lost Weekend, Bernard Herrmann’s The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Justin Hurwitz’s First Man, as well as in theme songs for television shows such as the ITV drama Midsomer Murders and the Disney+ series Loki, the latter composed by Natalie Holt. The theremin is also used in concert music (especially avant-garde and 20th- and 21st-century new music), and in popular music genres such as rock.

(Source: Wikipedia)

I believe music is for sharing joy and happiness with our fellow beings therefore it doesn‘t matter on which instrument we play. However, theremin is trully an instrument for the soul. It’s extraordinary and mystical sound has a great impact on our emotions. Up to this day theremin is considered as a some kind of „miracle“.

Katica Illényi