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!
This summer I had the extraordinary opportunity to travel to Colmar, France to take Theremin lessons from two of the finest Theremin players in the world, Thierry Frenkel and Carolina Eyck. The academy drew players, twenty in all, from all over Europe and North America. Over five days I took private lessons from Carolina and participated in workshops about advanced theremin playing, improvisation and instrument maintenance. I had the privilege to sit in on practices of Thierry’s theremin ensemble comprised of players from all over Europe. After long days of classes I got to socialize with new friends at a cafe in the Colmar town square in the shadow of a medieval church. I can hardly wait to attend another academy. What a life altering experience!
I wanna give a shout out to all the good folks at NEPTOON RECORDS for hosting HAMM: ONE MAN BAND along with a whole bunch of other bands for an all day party last Saturday for RECORD STORE DAY! The store was packed all day for my show and for all the other bands that played. THANKS NEPTOON!
As many of you are aware as of late I’ve taken up playing the Theremin. Why you ask?
Well first off I’ve always been drawn to the odd, the eccentric and the magic of little known instruments and artist.
The theremin is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist (performer). It is named after the Westernized name of its Russian inventor, Léon Theremin (Термéн), who patented the device in 1928.
You play it by interacting with the magnetic fields produced by the antennae, the vertical one controls pitch, the horizontal volume. Some say it’s as hard to play as a violin. I’m enjoying the challenge and finding playing fulfilling rewarding and fun!
Here’s a demo reel I created to show me playing. Look for more updates for when and where I’ll be playing the Theremin. Also I’ve incorporated it into my One Man Band act which is playing around town at various musical venues!