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 thanks to friend
and owner, Robin, as well as curator Angelo for a fantastic evening.

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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 directly
inspired by the content of a particular lesson. Lesson 4 is as follows: Paint on the walls you
have built between yourself and the ones you love. Breathe your soul’s color, light and shade
into your pictures and images. Do it well and those you love will be moved to pick up a brush
and offer you their symbols and their images. The more paint applied to each side, the sooner
the wall dissolves.

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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 the volume loop. Yet, an examination of the
pitch hand and its ability to subtly help “shape” a note or pitch reveals just how much can be
accomplished. Your pitch hand can lend an endless variety/character to musical passages,
soundscapes, and more.

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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 with bringing a variety of emotional states to
the surface from within.

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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 of any given composition correctly and a thereminist
playing music as a genuine means of self-expression.

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