Got my Etherwave yesterday!

Posted: 8/18/2005 10:38:04 PM

From: USA

Joined: 8/12/2005

So I've been having a blast fooling around with this awesome instrument. I brought it into work and everyone was mezmerized. One guy is a proficient musician and had messed with Theremins before and even asked if I'd join him in some recordings once my level increases a bit. That's just cool.

Anyway, I haven't played an instrument regularly since I was a kid (I'm 30 now) so this is a little daunting, but I'm pretty confident in my ability to hear proper pitch.

If anyone has some good solid advice on finger technique, I'd love to hear it. I seem to be moving my arm way too much and I'm relying enough on finger movements, it seems. I watch videos of Clara Rockmore and am just in awe of the movements of her hand...she's got that sort of knuckle-claw thing going on there that seems so amazingly accurate.
Posted: 8/19/2005 12:04:10 AM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

Congratulations! We have some resources for learning in our learn to play page (, but I'll be the first to admit we're a bit lacking in this department. The Lydia Kavina video that came with your instrument is a great introduction to the basics. I haven't seen Peter Pringle's DVD yet, but I hear it's also really good.

I've been working on some vibrato and aerial fingering tutorials in my spare time since Ethermusic 2005 ended... sounds like it's time to wrap those up and get them posted!

Here's treat: Pamelia Kurstin shows how to play walking bass theremin ( (Windows Media Video). It's an advanced technique, but very inspiring. The file is large, around 32MB. I'm working on getting it onto a streaming server, but you'll probably want to download it for now.

Posted: 8/19/2005 5:42:13 PM

From: Winston-Salem, NC

Joined: 6/30/2005

Whoops - "file does not exist"

Jason, I also wanted to thank you for the video of Jon that you posted earlier. It was great! I'm looking forward to your video of Pamelia. I want to post some of my videos but I'll have to come up with some bandwidth first.

Also thanks for the version 9 codec! Very important for the Mac users.
Posted: 8/19/2005 6:35:28 PM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

I had to take the videos down briefly... our bandwidth usage has [i]soared[/i] this month because of them, and I'm close to running out of my allotment for the month. I'll have it posted again soon, and I'm working on a streaming solution too.
Posted: 8/19/2005 8:42:03 PM

From: Undisclosed location without Dick Cheney

Joined: 2/21/2005

I have Peter Pringle's DVD, and I can't recommend it enough. Trying to figure it out by watching Clara is nearly impossible, and I found Lydia's method to be very awkward. Peter really has Clara's method all worked out and presents it all remarkably clearly, as well as including a couple of mindblowing performances. The DVD would be worth it at twice the cost.

Incidentally, have you considered offering those videos via Bittorrent? It could save you a lot of bandwidth.
Posted: 8/19/2005 10:19:06 PM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

I don't know much about Bittorrent, but I'll check into it. If you have some tips, would you mind dropping me a private e-mail with pointers? I have about 5 hours of video from Ethermusic 2005 that I'd love to share.
Posted: 8/20/2005 2:31:46 PM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

I dont really understand the correlation between Peter's and Clara's method. They both rely on fingering of a sort, but Clara's looks very different on the Moog DVD. She has many nuances that Peter doesn't use and vice versa, particularly the way she recoils her hand and then lets it spring forward wildly.

Clara was so in tune with her instrument that I'm sure that the fingering came naturally to her as she played.
Posted: 8/20/2005 4:36:59 PM

From: Undisclosed location without Dick Cheney

Joined: 2/21/2005

Charlie, I think Clara was so good at what she did that she moved almost instinctively, so the movements she made weren't always the same given the same set of notes to play, yet came up with the same sound. This can make it a little difficult to figure out what exactly she's doing.

What I think Peter did (we could ask him of course) is to standardize the motions of Clara's method so it's plannable and repeatable and teachable. Clara had the same idea, and if you read her brief book you'll find that the positions she describe correspond to the positions Peter shows, but she didn't always practice exactly as she preached: she was kinda beyond that.

Also, Peter actually improved the method... Clara moves her arm and hand somewhat and will occasionally step forward or back to adjust her playing threshhold. Peter keeps his arm in one place and his hand more or less in one place, and shifts his balance to move the arm by moving the whole body. This allows him to keep the arm very close to his body at all times, which maximizes his ability to make fine motor movements with his hand. I found it to be a vast improvement, myself.
Posted: 10/14/2005 9:07:05 PM

Joined: 10/14/2005

I recently purchased Peter's DVD and thought it was very good. I did wish there was more time spent on the fingering technique, with somewhat better closeup video of the finger/hand positions. Perhaps if he were to do a DVD just on the fingering techniques? I would certainly be among the first to purchase it!

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