Tag: gear


So I am gradually appreciating that finite control of the Theremin is based on a reference posture – some days, when I am tired I pitch differently to when I am rested and not fatigued. Unlike other instruments, if you move around while playing you lose your accurate rendering of notes on the pitch antenna.

You could imagine the pitch is like a series of concentric cylinders radiating from the vertical pitch antenna – increasing radius lowers pitch – anything close to the pitch antenna effects your control over it. In the last little while I have been “gigging” with a band of colleagues (The Touchstones), and noticed as they moved about they hijacked my pitch if they came close enough – this might be a useful controllable thing eventually, but that was a revelation to them, assuming only I was on control of the instrument.

Typically I use a single path from my body to the antenna as the pitch controller because I find a single line more controllable. Standing to do this is difficult as postural changes (and tired feet and legs) change my position relative to the instrument, making reliable pitching much harder. I have noticed many Thereminists sit (well, perch on a stool) while playing, and I can see sense in that.

Theremini and Ikea BENGTERIK bar stool combo

Thank you IKEA for providing a classy solution – a wooden screw-gear stool (BENGTERIK) that looks like it was designed by the same people who designed the Theremini, same colours, matches the microphone stand etc. Together is looks like it all belongs, which is really hoopy.

The upshot of this is that, although there is a slight increase in carryables for a gig, this setup will let me develop the reliable muscle memory affording pitch control.