Details on Pringle’s theremin setup below.
This is the GABRIEL’S OBOE theme from Italian composer Ennio Morricone’s score for the film, THE MISSION. Through the miracle of “green screen” I have been able to place myself inside the theremin. Yes, those giant glass tanks behind me are actually the delicate little vacuum tubes that give the RCA theremin its distinctive voice.
This instrument was once the property of Doctor Samuel Hoffman, who used it on the soundtracks of such classic films as THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, SPELLBOUND, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and many other suspense and SciFi movies of the late 1940’s and 1950’s. At that time, he modified the instrument for use in the recording studio by putting special audio output jacks on it so that external speakers could be plugged into the RCA theremin amplifier. For this recording, I used a CLARATONE speaker that was specially built by Florida vintage theremin expert Reid Welch (you can see it mounted on a pole behind me and to my left).
This speaker was designed to emulate the sound of the vintage Jensen speaker used by the late, great theremin virtuosa, Clara Rockmore. Because Reid had been a personal friend of Clara Rockmore, he had the opportunity to study her instrument and her speaker set up. His CLARATONE has a 10 inch cone and a particularly warm, sweet and definitely human voice.