Posted: 12/9/2011 1:11:37 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

Since Jason put my 2005 Christmas album - A THEREMIN CHRISTMAS PUDDING - onto SoundCloud, quite a few people have downloaded the material. As there is no background information posted about it I thought I would provide some for those who are interested. 


All the songs on this CD were played on the Moog ETHERWAVE PRO theremin. Originally, all the versions you hear on the album were intended to be demos for the final recordings which were to be done later. Unfortunately I ran out of time and Christmas 2005 was suddenly upon us, so I released the demo CD just as it was.


One of the problems I had was with the Etherwave Pro itself. It is well known that when Robert Moog originally launched the instrument, for many of us the volume loop was too "snappy". Although I really liked the sound of the E'Pro, slow crescendos and decrescendos which are so important for the warm and gentle "flavor" of Christmas music, were almost impossible. This problem was not addressed until a few years later when French theremin engineer Thierry Frenkel designed a special module to correct the situation. 


I announced the sale of the CD on my website but I later withdrew it because it had never been intended for public consumption and I felt a bit guilty about selling something that wasn't what I had intended it to be. On the other hand, I don't mind giving it away and when THEREMIN WORLD contacted me about making A THEREMIN CHRISTMAS PUDDING available for a free download, I agreed. 


The arrangements of the carols, songs and other compositions on the album were done with a combination of both synthesized and acoustic sounds. All three of the most celebrated AVE MARIA's are included in the selections - namely, those of Schubert, Gounod and Caccini. The traditional THE HOLLY AND THE IVY was accompanied by my Dilling Model Irish harp (put through a ping-pong effect). I wish I had used the Irish harp more because it is particularly appropriate for the warm, gentle carols we are familiar with at Christmas time. Besides, the harp is the musical instrument of angels, is it not.


I am often critical of the theremin playing of others but I would like to point out that I am equally critical of my own. I have recorded three theremin CD's over the years, and I have withdrawn all of them from public distribution. I always seem to feel that I could have (and SHOULD have) played better, or arranged things differently, then I reproach myself for having the gall to sell something that I think is second rate! By the way, I am laughing as I write this and find the whole situation a bit silly. I play far too many instruments and realized long ago that there just aren't enough hours in a day for me to be able to be as good on any them as I would like to be. 


Still, my musical adventure has always been a whole lot of fun and I hope that comes through in A THEREMIN CHRISTMAS PUDDING. I really enjoyed doing it and I hope that is what you are left with when you listen to it - the joy that went into creating it. 


Merry Christmas everyone.




Posted: 12/9/2011 5:22:26 PM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

... and a Merry Christmas to you as well, Peter :)

Thank you for the wonderful present.

Posted: 12/9/2011 10:02:25 PM

From: A Coruña, Spain

Joined: 9/26/2010

Thank you for your music! If this is second rate music, I'd be happy to play third rate music some day :) I definitely think it's a CD worth paying for, probably more so than the vast majority of CD's in stores.

I hope you also re-release the other two CD's at some point, be it free or for pay. I'd really like to get my hands on them.

Posted: 12/10/2011 12:13:34 AM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

If I may quote the great German composer Richard Strauss, "I may be a second rate composer, but I am a first rate second rate composer".

(I think I should add that IMHO Strauss was a first rate first rate composer but he did seem to have a sense of humor about himself).

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