October 14, 2013

New York Theremin Society in concert Oct. 30 at Campus Theatre

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The New York Theremin Society will perform in a Halloween-inspired concert on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Campus Theatre, 413 Market Street, in Lewisburg. Doors open at 7 p.m.

The performance, presented by the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell, is free and open to the public; tickets are not required.

The only instrument that generates sound without being touched, the theremin is a melodic instrument of the electronic family typically played by moving the right hand between two projecting electrodes with the left hand controlling dynamics and articulation.

This performance will feature five thereminists: Rob Schwimmer, Dorit Chrysler, Scott Robinson, Llamano, and Cornelius Loy. They will perform both original and traditional pieces inspired by horror films -just in time for Halloween. The performance will also include video clips, projections and interesting lighting.

Schwimmer describes the challenge of playing the theremin, "Two of your best senses are not reliable when it comes to the theremin. You look and you don't see anything happening and you don't feel anything happening but in fact you are touching something; you're in an electromagnetic field so that you are manipulating the invisible."

Based in New York City, the New York Theremin Society serves as a platform for thereminists and enthusiasts to exchange, inspire and educate, as well as to demonstrate the surprising variety of different approaches that this relatively young and unique instrument has to offer in the contemporary world of music.

About the Thereminists
Originally from Bloomsburg, Pa., Rob Schwimmer is a pianist-composer described as a "Theremin master" in The New York Times and a "Theremin hero" in The New Yorker. He was theremin soloist with The Orchestra of St. Luke's at Caramoor playing the premiere of Bernard Herrmann's "Scene d'Amour" from "Vertigo" performed with theremin for the first time and played theremin and piano on Matthew Barney's epic "Cremaster 3" movie. An original member of The NY Theremin Society as well as a founding member of Polygraph Lounge, he has been featured on "CBS Sunday Morning", CNN and NPR show "Song Travels with Michael Feinstein." Schwimmer has added the Haken Continuum to his arsenal of instruments.

Austrian born composer/musician Dorit Chrysler composed the music for this year's Danish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. She has performed at Lincoln Center, Coachella Festival, World Trade Center, Roskilde Festival, Vienna Konzerthaus, Moogfest & CBGB's. She is a featured Moog Music artist whose contemporary compositions have taken her around the world. She has released several records and written sound tracks for TV and cinema, as well as for visual artists such as Jesper Just. Other collaborators include Elliott Sharp, JG Thirlwell, Anders Trentemoeller and Gibby Haynes. Chrysler produced and curated the 10 piece Theremin Orchestra at the Disney Hall of Los Angeles. Her solo work includes Theremin, Vocals, Laptop and Taurus.

Scott Robinson is one of today's most wide-ranging instrumentalists. He has been heard on tenor sax with Buck Clayton's band, on trumpet with Lionel Hampton's quintet, on alto clarinet with Paquito D'Rivera's clarinet quartet, and on bass sax with the New York City Opera. On these and other instruments including theremin and ophicleide, he has been heard with a cross-section of jazz's greats representing nearly every imaginable style of the music, from Braff to Braxton. Robinson has been heard numerous times on film, radio and television; his discography includes more than 200 recordings. His releases as a leader have garnered five-star reviews from Leonard Feather, Down Beat Magazine and other sources worldwide, and have appeared in many "Best of the Year" lists. He recently released "Bronze Nemesis", a CD featuring 12 compositions based on the exploits of 1930s pulp adventure hero Doc Savage. This project, 10 years in the making, was greeted with extensive praise in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Down Beat.

Llamano is a thereminist and songwriter/composer who hails from Yokohama. She studied under Japanese thereminist Yuki Yano who is a pioneer of theremin in Japan. A mostly self-taught pianist in her youth, she also learned to play guitar. Llamano started theremin about 10 years ago and often plays in music pubs and galleries in Tokyo. She recently returned from the Norwegian arctic island of Svalbard which she felt drawn to visit in order to play theremin under the aurora (in the company of polar bears ... but not too close) and taking part in the Polar Jazz Festival.

Cornelius Loy is an artist and self-taught thereminist from New York City. His theremin techniques are intuitive and wildly dramatic. In his original compositions he performs, records and mixes the music. He plays a range of musical instruments and creates natural atmospheres by recording local sounds such as subway trains, wild birds and other organic symphonies.

For more information about this performance, contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by email at lisa.leighton@bucknell.edu.

The next performance in the Weis Center's 2013-14 Series is modern dance troupe Ballet Hispanico on Friday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center. Tickets for the performance are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors ages 62+, $10 for youth under 18, and $10 for all college students.

For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to www.bucknell.edu/WeisCenter or www.facebook.com/WeisCenter