Author Archives: KipRosser

Lesson 53
The Xtremes: Xtreme Articulation
Part 5

We usually think of the pitch hand primarily as the source of muscle memory, intuiting the actual location of any given pitch as well as the guide for intonation – the ability to stay on pitch. However, using a very simple hand movement, the hand can also aid in articulation. Try it out.  

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A Repeat Lesson From Vinegar Mother

Lesson 9 from Lessons from Vinegar Mother. This version features new original video as intended for the performance piece. The spoken material is also clearer than the Asheville footage. The Cornelia Street Café is a much more intimate setting (with a much smaller stage) and it certainly captures the immediacy of the experience. A thousand [...]

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Lesson 52
The Xtremes: Xtreme Articulation
Part 4

Practicing the “upstroke” against a surface above your volume hand as you’ve been doing was a great way to build coordination, endurance and create the sense memory of a physical reference point. Now, you’ll take this movement over the volume loop to work on isolated and complex rhythmic patterns.  

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Lesson 62
The Xtremes: Expression and the Pitch Hand
Part 3

The theremin’s portamento, i.e., “slide,” is often given a bad rap. But under close examination, it’s revealed as a wonderful means of self-expression.  

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Lessons From Vinegar Mother, Part 3
Live From Asheville Electro-Music

The final excerpt from the premier of segments of “Lessons From Vinegar Mother,” live from 2013 Ashville Electro-Music. This is Lesson 4. Somewhat akin to the reading of tea leaves, pattern formations and movements of actual Mother of Vinegar are interpreted and imparted by practitioners as “lessons.” Each original composition in this performance piece is [...]

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Lesson 61
The Xtremes: Expression and the Pitch Hand
Part 2

As thereminists, we tend to think of the volume loop as the place where expression is lent to the pitches and music we produce; some of us even refer to the volume loop as the “expression loop.” It’s true – note articulation, the dynamics of loud and soft (crescendo, diminuendo, pianissimo, etc.) all happen using [...]

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Lessons From Vinegar Mother, Part 2
Live From Asheville Electro-Music

“Watch for rhythm in the air,” begins the text of Lesson 1 from Bengta Stenlund, a 10th generation “daughter” of the Vinegar Mother. The music was directly inspired by the text of this lesson. Video projection by Ted Klett.

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Lesson 60
The Xtremes: Expression and the Pitch Hand
Part 1

Having explored vibrato as a technique in many of the lessons, you can now move into using it as a means of true self expression. It finally makes the transition from purely mechanical to interpretational; its character now depends entirely upon what you as a thereminist feel. Rather than jumping into music, you first work [...]

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Lessons From Vinegar Mother, Part 1
Live From Asheville Electro-Music

Live from Asheville Electro-Music Festival, the half-hour set included excerpts from the performance piece, “Lessons From Vinegar Mother.” Part 1 of 3. Live Video by Ted Klett. Part 1 features background on The Vinegar Mother as well as Lesson 9. Part 2 coming soon.

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Lesson 59
The Xtremes: Moving Toward Free Flow, Part 4

This is the final segment of Moving Toward Free Flow. Here, the challenge is to begin to channel true emotion, bring it to the surface, and allow it to come through in the sounds you make. This is the last boundary, the point of departure that makes the difference between a thereminist playing the notes [...]

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