Posts Tagged ‘rca’


Monday, April 27th, 2009

It’ s been some time since since I
last updated this blog but I have my good reasons…

Let me tell you everything:

A few months ago I was watching some videos on youtube and I found
one that really caught my attention and opened my eyes,
or I should say my ears!
It was about an instrument that many people (including myself,
I have to admit my ignorance about it!)
only know as a noise-making tool, used to create sound effects
for science-fiction films or ghost noises in the Scooby-Doo
animated series!!!!!!
An instrument that was widely mistreated in the seventies but
which can find a surprising and at times moving expressivenes
when played by the right hands.

Before the seventies though, when “His Master’s Voice”
gramophones were still in use and radios were as big as washing
Lev Termen sought to create a hassle-free instrument, aimed for
people willing to make music.

RCA (the first company to start series production) advertised
the instrument’ s playabiltiy “as easy as whistling.”

Or at least that was the idea, but it actually isn’ t that easy!

It is nevertheless a unique instrument which keeps all of its
charm even after almost a century!

Ok, too long of an introduction!

Here are some HUMANS (yeah, I swear they’ re humans,
and not even using a transporter!)
who can do marvels with this instrument.

There, it all started from here, I got a theremin fever so bad
that I thought about introducing a new version of this instrument
in the Axefactory production!


I’ ve had the privilege and honour of collaborating
with one of the best Italian theremin connoisseurs:
Giorgio Necordi.
He experiments with different models,
solid state and all-valve, and builds superb, all-valve instruments
with the help of Augusto Traiani, based on
(and improving) the RCA model.

Giorgio is currently taking care of the electronics of this model
and is really doing a great job!

I took care of design and playability:

This Theremin is conceived for a live setting so we chose to go
for a solid state version, which is easier to carry around,
but we were careful not to just build a cold metal box like
those you find in music shops.

To keep intact and pay tribute to the charm of the theremin
and the idea of its creator

I chose to fuse electronics and design by leaving in sight
some of its most important components,
just like they used to do back in the day.



The same thing can be said about the materials:
copper, mahogany, brass, ebony, plexiglas… a cross between
classic and modern.

Another important feature is the simmetry of the instrument,
which makes it equally playable with either the right hand
for volume control, staccatos and legatos and the left hand
for the melody or the other way round in a classic fashion.





Traslation by Simone Attivissimo