Reflections on Barbara Buchholz

Posted: 4/11/2012 5:26:44 PM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

I've been listening to Barbara's albums all days yesterday and today. 

The thing that has always stuck out to me is the diversity of music she recorded for the theremin.  She loved all musical styles.  At the 2005 festival in Asheville, she told me her album Theremin: Russia With Love was inspired by the diverse sounds of street musicians she heard in St. Petersburg, a city whose culture is defined by artistry and musical diversity.  I think we instantly bonded over this understanding of her music. 

As I type this, I'm listening to "When I'm Laid" on her Moonstruck album and choking back tears. 

I absolutely love how she played the theremin, putting as much emphasis on visual style as melody.  We all talk about how the theremin can be such a visual instrument, but rather than adopt the "zombie stance", she embodied the idea and pushed it to the limits. 

Some people will compare her to Clara and Lydia and others and find fault in her intonation from time to time.  I don't care.  She pushed the theremin in a new direction, and it worked.  She put her soul into her performances. 

I've been out of the loop.  I did not realize she was battling cancer, and this news really caught me by surprise.  She's always been someone I respected very highly and wished I could spend more time getting to know, learning from, and find a bigger audience.  Life is too short to keep putting these things off. 

I'm deeply touched by the comments people have left here and on her Facebook page.  Truly, she was loved by many and will always be.

I hope she's in the Ether drinking tea with Clara and getting to know Lev and Lucie.  She'll be adding extra electrons to my theremin energy forever.


Posted: 4/11/2012 6:21:30 PM

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

Joined: 12/17/2010

I agree with your words, Jason. I have only been in the theremin world for just a short year, and have learned to listen to what she was all about through her music and it can tell so much about one person... Her death really shook me and quite frankly, left me terribly sad even though I only talked to her through emails.

I did a tribute video on the theremin for her, but I am not brave enough to put it up on YT yet, cause i don't want people to rat on the little blemishes here and there... It would just take away from the gesture i guess...

Posted: 4/11/2012 8:38:24 PM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

You video was awesome.  I hope you decide to publish it.  I've always preferred live/unfiltered music to "shiny and polished" -- it's more organic, and in this way, even more of a tribute.

Posted: 4/11/2012 9:14:13 PM

From: Weert, Limburg, the Netherlands

Joined: 4/10/2012

Well said Jason! May Barbara be surrounded by God's Ether now, together with Clara, Lucie, Lev ... AND probably Bob Moog too!

... I simply think it's good when people show their expressions, their thoughts, their words, their videos, their tributes ... You know ... This all will us help grieving, as I think that many of us didn't know she was dealing with cancer (EVEN not Thierry!) ... :-(

... Every picture I see of Barbara, every video, where she was, no matter where she was, but she always was smiling, spreading warm vibes around, NOT only by ether, but SURELY also by the presence herself, which certainly put some positive, somewhat "contaguous" effects on those who decide to start with playing theremin but who haven't got one yet, to buy a theremin and to go ahead with it ... It was just her entire HEART who did this!

... And ... I'm convinced about the fact Barbara still will read our messages, see our tributes, on Facebook, on Youtube, everywhere ... I know this for sure ... And yes ... I once have had a kinda experience which confirmed, but also underlined the fact that Barbara now watches over us, watches the messages on Facebook and everywhere ... That gives me some relief, although it's always hard to lose your loveones as you can't physically hug each others anymore ... :-(

Love, Light, Warmth & Strength,

Marielle :D

Posted: 4/12/2012 2:59:31 AM

From: gretna, louisiana

Joined: 8/10/2005

i met barbara at the 2005 event in asheville.

though she 'did not know me from adam', she politely answered my questions and 

engaged in thoughtful conversation about the theremin. i went to the event more as an observer.

after returning to new orleans, i sent her an email in hopes that she would take the time to respond to another question. To my surprise she responded fully like we were friends, well acquainted with each other.

 she gave her life energy for theremin expression.

God bless Barbara Buchholz.


Posted: 4/12/2012 3:15:40 AM

From: Flying with the Phoenix

Joined: 3/9/2011

I pray for her family and friends. She will be missed. But her music will continue be a Blessing to others.

In His Service --- Dana


Posted: 4/12/2012 10:25:05 AM

From: Netherlands

Joined: 7/9/2005

I wish everyone that is affected by Barbara's death much strength and solace. We all love and miss her.

Mick, you wrote that Barbara gave her life energy for theremin expression. Good point. Knowing Barbara (a bit), I have to say it has been the other way around. Discovering the theremin gave her renewed life and helped her in dealing with cancer. You hear her life energy in her theremin expression.

Lev Theremin always wanted to make a machine to wake the dead. But what he invented was an instrument that can give life.
Barbara was and is one of it's best ambassadors.




Posted: 4/12/2012 2:23:29 PM

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

Joined: 12/17/2010

"Lev Theremin always wanted to make a machine to wake the dead. But what he invented was an instrument that can give life."


That is a truly beautiful statement, Jessica!

Posted: 4/12/2012 4:18:57 PM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

Nice tribute to Barbara here: 

Posted: 4/15/2012 8:45:03 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

My tribute to Barbara. Such a sad loss.

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