May has been a busy month for me. First I premiered a new set of Theremin music at Vancouver Low Frequency Festival and also to part in a workshop that introduced young folk to the world of electronic instruments as part of the festival. The weekend after that I played at Lana Lou’s in Vancouver for Milkshake Mania with Sparky Spur and the Husky Dudes.
Saturday May 17 I was part of the relaunch of Sunday Morning a band I’ve been working with Bruce Wilson on and off for the last few years. Our show at the Fox Cabaret was an out standing success with a sold out house and our fantastic friends Trailerhawk opening the night. I look forward to more shows by myself and with Sunday Morning in the upcoming months!
Last Saturday, April 20th, I got in my car and drove out to deepest darkest Surrey. Closer to Cloverdale to be exact to play 420 celebrations at the Hot Amp. No one seemed to be imbibing. I think it was a bit tongue in cheek but I got to play a set of theremin tunes to an appreciative audience. I hear the venue is shutting down but the fantastic duo of Sarah Edwards and Michael Gilbert of Leghound Productions promise to be up and running in a new venue somewhere out in the Fraser Valley soon and when they do I’ll happily make the trip out there again!
I was super excited to get to participate in a Rock Lotto Fundraiser for Girls Rock Camp Vancouver last week. “What is a Rock Lotto” you ask? Larissa Loyva aka Kellarissa put out the word a couple weeks ago for local musicians to participate in the charity event. Names were drawn from a hat and bands were formed. Five bands in total. I was teamed up with Lauren Smith, bass player for Jock Tears, Thesa Pakarnyk, singer extraordinaire, Luna Fang-Landerwyck on drums, Daveed Saban on guitar and myself on keyboards. Over two practices we wrote and practiced two original numbers and dubbed ourselves The Righteous Sisters! On Sunday March 3rd we took to the stage along with five other groups brought together by the lottery at Red Gate Arts Centre. It was a ton of fun and great to see and hear what everyone else came up with. A healthy audience was in attendance and lots of merch was sold, the proceeds going to help fund GRCV a great organization that teaches young girls and binary non specific kids how to play instruments and come together to rock. A great time was had by all!
Recently I ordered an Open Theremin kit from Gaudi Labs of Switzerland. A couple weeks later it showed up in the mail. A couple days later a second Theremin kit showed up. I contacted Urs at Gaudi Labs he made a mistake and accidentally sent me a second. No problem I told him I’d find someone else who would like the kit. I reached out to Haig Armen, professor of Interactive Design at Emily Carr University, wicked jazz guitar player and master tinkerer. Haig is on sabatical and has been posting some neat gadgets he’s been working on on Facebook. When I asked him if he’d like the second kit he was happy to take it off my hands and even invited me over to his workshop so we could spend a morning assembling the kits. There’s some soldering involved and there’s an Arduino micro controller as part of the Open Theremin kit which you have to attach and program. Haig has lots of experience in this so I was grateful for his time and expertise in helping me put my Theremin together. We both are pretty happy with our Theremins The Open Theremin is a fully playable instrument with a lot of great sounds and functionality. Thanks to Haig and to Gaudi Labs. I look forward to building another Open Theremin!
I was very excited to be asked to perform a Theremin set for the 11th Anniversary of Vancouver’s variety show Paul Anthony’s Talent Time! Once a month Paul puts together a show of singers, dancers, comedians and any kind of performers he can get his hands on and throws it all together at Vancouver’s Rio Theatre. Two years ago I did a set of Christmas songs and was asked to bring the magic of the Theremin back to the show. Also a big shout out to cohost Ryan Beil and the amazing cast and crew that have pulled this show together for the past 11 and years and made some of the best entertainment Vancouver has to offer. Bravo Talent Time!
I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to travel in early December to Oakland to take lessons and participate in Theremin workshops with renowned Thereminist Dorit Chrysler . It took place in a very cool warehouse loft run by OK Stereo. I also got to spend the week with my old friend Lev Delaney and who showed me around Oakland and of course took me to some of Oakland’s best restaurants. Dorit was a gracious teacher. We talked a lot about Theremin and how exciting it is to share enthusiasm for this unique and still unexplored instrument!
2017 saw the rerelease of Against The Glass, my band from the 80’s break through EP originally put out by Zulu Records, this time by Artoffact Records. To promote the release Slow reformed in December of 2017 and did three sold out shows at Vancouver’s Fox Theatre to widespread acclaim. That was followed up by a sold out ten night stand at the legendary Penthouse Cabaret in March of 2018 and an Eastern Canadian tour. You can find out more at thisisslow.com. Stay tuned for more…
This week I was excited to enter my new video into the Moog Halloween Theremin Contest. As always a big shout out to R.d. Cane for shooting and editing this gem. It’s trending big on Facebook right now!
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CALLANDER GIRL –A Vancouver based music blog by Gillian Callander