Fascination with the theremin, the otherworldly electronic musical instrument developed in the late s and early s out of Soviet. Trained from a young age as a violinist, Rockmore ultimately gave up the violin due to physical strain. This led her to discover the theremin. Clara Rockmore, Master of the Theremin. Photo by Renato Toppo, courtesy of The Nadia Reisenberg – Clara Rockmore Foundation.

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You can manipulate the sound based on where your hands are relative to its antennae.

Clara Rockmore: Theremin Witch | Insomniac

Leave a Reply Name required Email required Message. Though electronic music was uncommon in formal music settings in the s, Rockmore performed as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony.

Theremin made several other customizations including improvements to tonal quality and its responsiveness to hand movements. Open Culture editor Dan Colman scours the web for the best educational media. The Doodle team worked with sound designer Manuel Clement and the Calra WebAudio team to create a “smooth sliding between frequencies and scaling vibrato,” said Will Knowles, a Google engineer.

Clara Rockmore

Stream it on Spotify below. She developed a unique technique for playing the instrument, including a fingering system that allowed her to perform accurately fast passages and large note leaps without the more familiar portamentoor glide, on theremin. H er life was thrown into turmoil when Rockmore’s family decided to flee the USSR’s revolutionary government. T he Google Doodle version of the theremin translates the two hand movement into an interative white light that controls the pitch and volume.

Instead, she sustained, like one of those wonky tones of the theremin. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. In the words of designer Alex Chen, the Music Lab aims to “create simple ways for anyone, of any age, to explore how music works.


That however led her to discover the newborn electronic instrument and arguably become the greatest ever virtuosa of the theremin.

Clara Rockmore was rightly hailed in her time as a true star. Such suggestions, like a faster volume antenna, wider musical range, and control over the instrument’s tone colour were i ncorporated by the dlara in later versions.

A Soviet byproduct like its creator, the theremin was patented in and was an immediate hit.

Magical Music in the Air by Clara Rockmore — Kickstarter

We’ve noticed you’re adblocking. You cannot register any of your internal emotion at all. The Moog synth has also been the subject of a Google Doodle. My-Linh Le Greg Capuano. Through his modifications, the instrument’s normal 5 to 5. We’re hoping to rely on loyal readers, rather than erratic ads.

She studied violin under the virtuoso Leopold Auer, and remains to this day the youngest student ever to be admitted to the institution. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future.

Her violin career was stopped due to muscular problems, but due to the fact that she knew Leon Theremin, who had recently developed his Theremin, she soon became a virtuoso on this new electronic instrument, performing with the premier orchestras of the USA and enjoying many commissions and a close collaboration with Leopold Stokowski. The team translated the movement used to play the theremin—one hand controlling pitch and the other volume—to an interactive module, where a point of light controls volume and pitch.

She performed widely and helped Theremin to refine his instrument. Pinging is currently not allowed. One antenna controls the frequency so basically, the pitch and the other the volume. In the late s she helped her friend Louis Theremin add extra features to the design, including “aerial fingering” to change notes.

C lara Rockmore was a pioneer of electronic music and, had she still been alive, would have turned today. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Clara Rockmore. The instrument is on long-term loan to the museum by Peter Sherman of the Reisenberg family.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Moving your pitch hand closer towards the vertical antenna produces a higher note, and further away produces a lower one. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism.

Why Clara Rockmore’s Theremin Playing Was So Impressive

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Her family shuffled around Europe, eventually immigrating to America. She died in New York City on May 10,aged Few people proved that such skill was possible as handily—again, no pun roc,more Clara Rockmore did. How did the theremin influence music?

On one hand—no pun intended—the lack of division between notes allowed a much wider range of sounds to be created: July 8, at Archived from the original PDF on 8 July Magical Music in the Air. The tubes are also customized and labeled in Theremin’s own writing. As you just heard, the theremin is a truly bizarre and unique instrument—somewhere between the violin, kazoo, and synthesizer. By the time Rockmore was playing large scale public concerts, such as New York City’s Town Hall inshe was becoming increasingly known for impressing critics with her artistry of the theremin during a time in which much of the general public had come to rather negative conclusions of what was possible on the instrument.

This instrument was later restored by Robert Moog in October Just last year, countless many more of us learned not just the word theremin but the name Clara Rockmore when Google’s front-page “doodle” celebrated her birthday.