Rob Schwimmer's Big Air Conditioned Concert @ Joe's Pub 7/5 in NYC

Posted: 6/28/2014 7:02:47 PM

From: Brooklyn

Joined: 8/15/2009

 1 Week from tonight!
"Rob Schwimmer's Big Air Conditioned Concert"
A Rare Solo show in Manhattan!

Featuring Rob's new crazed virtuosic soundtrack for the 1928 silent film "The Fall of the House of Usher" with live theremin!

Saturday July 5th - 7:30pm
Joe's Pub
at the Public Theater
425 Lafayette St.
NYC, NY 10003-7021
Info & Tickets:
Special Price! $14
Tele-Charge: 212 239 6200 or
Dinner reservations:212-539-8778

It's too hot outside… Come on in… In a Murakami'esque world, the mundane and the fantastical live side by side in peaceful yet jarring harmony… and usually the world doesn't end! In that spirit, come for the air conditioning but enjoy the unexpected with Rob Schwimmer, master pianist/composer/ thereminist and now a leading exponent of the amazing Continuum playing as if his life depended on it while he tries yet again to escape the oppression of comedy… or perhaps not. A founding member of the legendary comedy music group Polygraph Lounge, curator of The NY Theremin Society and a well known personality and solo artist on his own, Rob will guide you through the narrows of his unique outlook on music and life. Playing music developed over many years in such diametrically opposed settings such as Carnegie Hall & CBGB's, The Tokyo Dome & The Stone, playing for strippers at truckers conventions, etc. somehow continuity survives in this harsh Murakami'esque environment…we hope. A place where deep artistry and a sense of humor can still be friends…perhaps.

The Continuum is a brand new amazing leap in expressive instrument technology. A polyphonic touch surface of exquisite sensitivity! (Now see/hear)

Rob Schwimmer on the Haken Continuum Fingerboard (or just Continuum for short):
I think about the moment Leon Theremin thought "Let's make an instrument out of electricity"... I imagine that the Haken Continuum Fingerboard arose from a lightning flash moment like that one... There is magic here... A technological wonder and yet the technology is invisible in the service of expressive playing... I love this instrument


What is the Continuum and How Is It Played?
As a pianist and thereminist I am convinced this new instrument is a major breakthrough with aspects of both those instruments but opening up all sorts of new unexplored possibilities.  The Haken Continuum Fingerboard (invented by Lippold Haken) is an amazingly intuitive instrument to play, yet difficult to play well (as with all true instruments...) A bleeding edge polyphonic electronic instrument (with separate and individual vibrato, portamento, pitch, tone and volume available for each finger!) and microtonal (in the theremin sense that all pitches and all pitches between those pitches are available)  it can be played as a traditional melodic/harmonic/rhythmic instrument as well as new extended and as of yet unthought of techniques. It can do anything you do... The Continuum feels like playing an acoustic instrument much in the way the theremin does (albeit with tactile reference)... Immediate and ultra-sensitive response. Lots of unexplored musical  frontiers...

RS note: Left to right controls pitch (polyphonic and microtonal), up and down (either leaning in for slow attacks or tapping for fast attacks) controls volume (as well as changing tone as with many acoustic instruments) and closer (to your body) or farther from you gives you tonal (subtle or not) change.

The Theremin
I'll also be playing the THEREMIN which is an electronic instrument invented in 1920 which you play without touching. It is a most challenging instrument to play well... and yet has a somewhat acoustic feel to it because it reacts immediately to your motions with nothing between you and it. I'm the co-director of The NY Theremin Society, a group dedicated to the promotion of the theremin via concert series with many different players of different styles.



Here's what they've been saying about Rob Schwimmer
"Virtuosity, magic and humor" The New York Times
"Amazing" The New York Times
"Extraordinary...harmonically ravishing...a dazzling two-handed ostinato-based piece (where Oscar Peterson and Sergei Prokofiev break bread)... a most stimulating release that stays fresh after countless rehearings" Gramophone
"Shaping up to be the finest solo piano CD of the year" All About Jazz--NY
"Theremin hero" The New Yorker
"Exquisitely beautiful music" Keyboard
"With Schwimmer, more is more" Jazziz
"Dancing easily between both (classical and jazz) worlds" The New York Times
"Meaningful, intelligent and evocative music" Paul Simon
"Substantial artistry...An original compelling voice" Time Out New York
"(One of) downtown's best piano talents" The New Yorker
"Brainy and dreamy" San Diego News
"Theremin master" The New York Times
"Fantastic! In every way--writing, playing and  pianistically. Dynamically. Lyrically. I could go on... Congratulations, you're killin ', man!"  Michael Brecker
"Utterly unique...Virtuoso in the extreme...One of a kind...Such great surprises!  The structures are so thoughtful and complete...I couldn't wait to hear the next track...The most imaginative version of Stormy Weather I've ever heard...The world deserves to hear you!"  Leonid Hambro
"Astounding. Extraordinary. Other Worldly (Hence the title?) Those Hands...That Brain! Passion and Intellect in equal measure." Vernon Reid

CBS Sunday Morning
"It's like you're fingerpainting in space," says Rob Schwimmer. "Playing theremin is like having sex with ghosts."

 The New York Times concert review

The Wall Street Journal article

Rob Schwimmer (Polygraph Lounge/ The NY Theremin Society) is a composer-pianist/keyboardist, thereminist, vocalist and Continuum player who has performed and recorded throughout the world. He has worked with Simon and Garfunkel,Wayne Shorter, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Chaka Khan, Laurie Anderson, Bette Midler, Queen Latifah, Arif Mardin, Adam Guettel, Mary Cleere Haran, T-Bone Walker, Sam Rivers, Marc Shaiman, The Klezmatics, Christian Marclay, Matthew Barney, David Krakauer, Ang Lee, Maria Schneider, Michel Gondry, Trey Anastasio, Bernie Worrell, Nels Cline, Annette Peacock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marshall Brickman, Karen Black, Larry Campbell, Josh Groban, Mabou Mines, Geoffrey Holder, John Cale, Steve Buscemi, Theo Bleckmann, John Stubblefield, Burt Bacharach, The Roches,  Edie Brickell, Teo Macero, Hal Willner, Vernon Reid, The Everly Brothers, Ethel, James Emery, Bela Fleck, Lenny Kaye, Kurt Vonnegut, Anjani Thomas, Odetta, Drepung Loseling Tibetan Monks, Sussan Deyhim, Bernie Worrell, producer John Simon, Joseph Jarman, Alwin Nikolai/ Murray Louis Dance Company, Marc Ribot, Frank London, C&C Music Factory and Sammy Davis Jr. among others.

Working as a solo artist and as a founding member of the highly acclaimed Polygraph Lounge duo with  multi-instrumentalist Mark Stewart (Bang On A Can Allstars/Paul Simon) Rob's solo piano playing on his CD "Beyond The Sky" has been widely lauded in both classical and jazz publications: Hailed as "Extraordinary" in Gramophone and "Shaping up to be the finest solo piano CD of the year" in The NYC Jazz Record while The New York Times praised his "…machine-gun speed and clarity." Schwimmer has recently performed his own version of Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue with orchestra.  

He composed the score for Cynthia Wade's 2008 Academy Award winner "Freeheld" in the Documentary Short category as well as David Frankel's Oscar winner "Dear Diary" for Dreamworks (their first Oscar) in the Live Action Short in 1997. Rob's compositions have been featured in theater, television series and movies, silent films, documentaries and feature films as well as Rob's continuing series of solo concerts. 

Rob is one of the top theremin virtuosos in the world and was recently featured on CBS Sunday Morning, Fox News, the popular PBS series "History Detectives," and Al Jazeera America TV as well as in The NY Times and Wall St Journal. He is a founding member and co-director of The NY Theremin Society. His appearances as theremin soloist include The Orchestra of St. Luke's at Caramoor (which included Rob's theremin arrangement of Bernard Herrmann's "Scene d'Amour" from Vertigo,) The Little Orchestra at Lincoln Center, with Bobby McFerrin at Carnegie Hall and Simon & Garfunkel's world tours (including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary show at Madison Square Garden) where he also played keyboards and sang. In addition to his CD Theremin Noir (with Uri Caine and Mark Feldman,) Rob has performed as featured thereminist on Trey Anastasio's latest album Traveler, Matthew Barney’s epic movie Cremaster 3, the 2009 R.W. Goodwin feature Alien Trespass, CBS television series Now  and Again and A&E's Breakfast With the Arts. He was chosen to perform at a sold out concert in the Disney Concert Hall (LA) as part of legendary The 10 Piece Theremin Orchestra. Rob was recently interviewed by Faith Salie (Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me) for CBS Sunday Morning and The NY Theremin Society concert was filmed as part of the same segment about the resurgence of the theremin. Schwimmer recently premiered a new silent movie soundtrack (The Fall of the House of Usher--1928) featuring live theremin at The NY Theremin Society's recent residency at Bucknell University.

Rob has also added the incredible new instrument the Haken Continuum to his musical arsenal. Recent recording sessions on Continuum include Paul Simon and Trey Anastasio.

He has performed at venues all over the world including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, 92nd St. Y, the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Tokyo Dome, Madison Square Garden, The Blue Note, CBGB’s and the Colosseum (Rome) before a crowd of over 600,000. Schwimmer's work can be heard on CBS/Sony, Warner Brothers, Toshiba/ EMI, Def Jam/ Island, Manhattan/Blue Note, Dorian, NHK, Capricorn, Evidence, Knitting Factory, Polystar, Traditional Crossroads, Dreamworks SKG, Universal Pictures, TriStar Pictures,  HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, CBS,  NBC, ABC, Discovery, Lifetime, Noggin, A&E, NPR and Nickelodeon.


Posted: 6/28/2014 7:07:29 PM

From: Brooklyn

Joined: 8/15/2009

BTW I'll probably be playing (on theremin) depending on time constraints:

my original soundtrack to 1928 silent "The Fall of The House of Usher" w. live theremin

Vocalise (Rach)

Ne Poy Krasavitsa (sp?) (Rach)

Prelude from Tristan (Wagner)

Lost In The Stars (Weill)

Traüme (Wagner)

Alone (from Marx Bros "A Night at the Opera")

Why? (Beck)

maybe also The Swine...

You must be logged in to post a reply. Please log in or register for a new account.