Theremin Opera, With Subscope Theremin + EHX Talking Machine

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Thereminist Améthyste Spardel performs a haunting rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Pie Jesu on Subscope Theremin, run through an Electro-Harmonix Talking Machine.

The Talking Machine is a programmable formant filter, designed to create vocal effects controlled by the player’s dynamics. In this performance, the Talking Machine is set to a fixed ‘ah’ sound.

See also Peter Pringle’s amazing theremin vocal synthesis of Nessun Dorma.


11 thoughts on “Theremin Opera, With Subscope Theremin + EHX Talking Machine

  1. Beautiful!

    Would like to hear better audio of this – but the camera quality almost makes the performance more haunting.

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  2. Fantastic playing – although that has to be one of the hardest ways of producing a human vocal.

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    • Good point. But WOW what intonation! The overall effect is of a vintage recording of a mellow tenor. Kind of haut steampunk.

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  3. Hey there :) I am the thereminist in the video :) THank you so much for watching and for the wonderful comments. I am deeply touched! :)

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  4. Incredible, Améthyste… beautifully played, wonderful dynamics and such expressive feeling!
    I am in the market for a theremin. I have been playing guitar professionally for over 50 years and I’m looking at branching out. Is Subscope still in business? Their website only has photos of some of the theremins they have made.
    If you don’t mind, may I ask your opinion about which theremin you would recommend. Thomas Grillo suggested the Moog Etherwave Standard primarily for its rugged construction as a gigging instrument. I much prefer the sweeter tone, and price, of the Burns B3 Deluxe. I have asked Dan Burns if he has ever considered making another theremin model which would have the more robust construction and portability – removable rod and loop – of the B3 Deluxe without the costlier cabinetry of the Burns B3 Pro. I’m not sure if I should also investigate a theremin with waveform controls, and/or pitch preview and/or a headphone jack.
    What do all the knobs on your Subscope control? How do they change the sound? What is the price range for the Subscope Theremins?
    Again, I love your playing and I look forward to more examples of your work… and hopefully a reply to my email.
    Thanks – Doug (Manotick, Ontario, Canada)

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