Alexander's progress

Posted: 8/28/2007 6:53:13 AM

From: Bristol, United Kingdom

Joined: 12/30/2006

[i]it sounds to me that those personal guidelines and influence of the objects themselves would lead to much more organic music and sound work.[/i]

Basically, yes. Although I've never been one for the clinical approach in the first place :)

[i]Experiencing music making and realizing "there are no wrong notes" and that it helped your stage fright is encouraging, I'm glad you can share that, so many won't admit to it and it's a common problem.[/i]


I got some really nasty shakes at my gig the other day, although I did make the aggressive music I had intended I also had a massive loss of confidence. I finished the set off by trying out something I'd been experimenting with, making beats out of the Theremin passed through various pedals and playing over them. It was the one thing in the set that worked just as I'd hoped and was the most talked about afterwards. Although my biggest mixture of pride and shame came from watching Charlie D run from the auditorium with his fingers in his ears! Sorry, Charlie. I didn't quite intend to hurt anyone! He did come back in when it quietened down, though.

I should make a post about earplugs on here sometime.

I did have a couple of paragraphs about the boringologists on Levnet, but then I decided that it wasn't my job to lubricate their groins.
Posted: 8/28/2007 10:49:50 AM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

Wow, it's been a long time since I drove a colleague from the room screaming.

After my first time at NYTS, they love it *loud* l-o-u-d there, I always try to carry a cotton ball with me for ad hock ear plugs. It works well and I have enough hearing loss now to hold me and hope to avoid any more.
The cotton really saved my life at a jam session in a medium size recording studio. It was a total freeing blast but would not have been fun without some protection.

Word back.

I used to get the shakes very bad when I performed in my previous musical life, then playing as part of theatrical productions helped some. Now it rarely happens since I've been playing theremin. Reading Kip Rosser's thoughts and the book by Kenny Werner he recommended (Effortless Mastery) helped a lot and I try to use it in my teaching too now.
It may make us blush and even invite criticism from ungracious snobs, but a sour note never killed anybody.
Making Music happen is what matters.
Sounds like you did in abundance, congrats.

Agreed, you have to be careful in the lubrication jobs you take on. You can't give it all away for free.
Posted: 9/23/2007 7:58:35 AM

From: Bristol, United Kingdom

Joined: 12/30/2006

Quwack (e) ( was last night. The Qujunctions promoters are known for putting on interesting gigs, and when they get a festival together it's usually as innovative as the acts they choose.

The running theme of Quwack (e) was rolling improvisations between different electronic musicians. Each performer is on stage for 25 minutes - 15 minutes of solo performance bookended by 5 minutes of collaboration with the performers before and after their own.

This represents probably one of my best gigs ever. I didn't get any stage fright at all. Everyone played great, highlights for me were were Katapulto ('s amazingly bouncy and quirky techno (Heffalumpstep), Bela Emerson ('s Narnia-Prog set, LeadToWill's mastery of his homemade devices, TwoCsinaK ( and Janek Schaefer ('s sample conversation, Artamonova ('s amazing massive zither thing and Infinite Livez (' voice.

My own set I was happy with, brought out a lot of the percussive and noisy stuff I'd been working on as well as the "choir of clouds" (according to one audience member) Theremin-looping I've always done. Bela and I collaborated at the end of my set, and from opposite ends of the room we had a conversation in whale noises with her on musical saw. After my set, I was informed that a number of people in the front row had started making out to my music.

All in all a really great day.
Posted: 9/23/2007 8:00:19 AM

From: Bristol, United Kingdom

Joined: 12/30/2006

Oh, and I got to meet Man From Uranus, and he was a nice guy.
Posted: 9/23/2007 10:31:40 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Sounds like an amazing evening! I shall watch out for shaky lo-res footage on youTube.

BTW I like the description of you on the Quwack (e) myspace site...

[i]Alexander Thomas - coaxes delicious ripples from his Theremin. Vaudeville, mad-cap hip-hop and ghostly soundscapes are all defined and then re-defined by his sense of otherworldiness.[/i]
Posted: 9/24/2007 3:24:05 AM

From: Bristol, United Kingdom

Joined: 12/30/2006

Heh, there's plenty of photos and recordings from the event. I said "evening" but really it started at 2pm and finished at roughly 11pm.

I was also informed that I'd been played on BBC Radio Bristol that morning, so: ace.
Posted: 9/24/2007 4:50:58 AM

From: Bristol, United Kingdom

Joined: 12/30/2006

Oh, I notice Quwack's still on the Theremin UK site as being the 26th... Gordon, could you possibly amend that? :)
Posted: 9/24/2007 8:30:45 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Posted: 9/25/2007 8:03:02 AM

From: Bristol, United Kingdom

Joined: 12/30/2006


Click here ( for a photo of yours truly onstage. Judging by the way my hands are moving, I was busy building beats.
Posted: 9/26/2007 1:28:10 PM

From: Bristol, United Kingdom

Joined: 12/30/2006

There some photos from QuWack online.

Montage of all the artists involved in order of appearance (

Yours truly, having discovered some crisps backstage (

Artamonova's super cool setup (

This was given to all performers. (

LeadToWill, Katapulto, Me (

The very competent sound engineers and DJs (

The projections displayed each performer's time left. (

Isambard Khroustaliov opened the show (

Katapulto got everyone bouncing (

James Scatter brought the ambience (

LeadToWill showed everyone how it's done (

Then I got up and did my thing (

Bela made lots of lovely Cello noises (

Artamonova was something new and ace (

Isambard Khroustaliov did it all over again to round things off (

The intermission was full of food and drink (

Matt Elliot's first performance returned the stage to life (

Man From Uranus kept it going (

Then it was time for Vi's oscilloscopic wonderment (

MAIOF screamed his way through his last ever gig (

Janek Schaefer was all turntables (

Whilst TwoCsinaK was 4:33ed (

Infinite Livez was awesome in a wig (

And Mr Elliot rounded the evening up once again. (

...and that was QuWack!

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