A Centennial Celebration of the invention of the Theremin
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Cinema Arts Centre - Cinema 2 Wed, Oct 16, 2019 7:30 PM


Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey (A Centennial Celebration of the invention of the Theremin)

Wednesday, October 16th at 7:30 PM

$12 Members | $17 Public
Featuring a performance and post-film discussion with thereminist, Rob Schwimmer, in conversation with musicologist, Olivia Mattis 

Come take part in a worldwide celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the invention of one of the world’s most unique and beautiful instruments, the theremin.
The theremin, invented in Russia in 1920 by Leon Theremin, is played without making physical contact with instrument. The thereminist moves his or her hands in the proximity of two metal antennas, creating its eerie and haunting sound.
Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey tells the remarkable true story of Leon Theremin, the Russian inventor of an electronic musical instrument called the theremin, which uses motion to produce a sliding ethereal sound. After eleven years spent in New York, Theremin is escorted back to Russia by the KGB and made to work on surveillance technology. He disappears behind the Iron Curtain for 51 years, until his sudden reemergence in 1989.  During his absence, the theremin became a popular instrument, featured in the scores of films like “ Spellbound," "The Day The Earth Stood Still," and "The Lost Weekend" - as well as through the performances of Clara Rockmore(USA & UK, 1995, 83 Mins., PG, English | Dir. Steven M. Martin)
Rob Schwimmer (theremin) is a composer-pianist/keyboardist, thereminist, and Haken Continuum player. As a world class thereminist, Schwimmer has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Former co-director and founding member of the New York Theremin Society, his credits as theremin soloist include Simon & Garfunkel’s world tours, the Boston Pops, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Bobby McFerrin at Carnegie Hall and Gotye’s Ondioline Orchestra. Rob is currently the thereminist for Ethan Iverson’s “Pepperland,” a full length dance piece for The Mark Morris Dance Group which premiered in Liverpool in 2017 as part of Liverpool’s “Sgt. Pepper at 50” celebration and recently concluded a 7 week tour of the UK.  In addition to his CD Theremin Noir (with Uri Caine and Mark Feldman), Schwimmer played on Trey Anastasio’s CD Traveler, Matthew Barney’s epic movie Cremaster 3, and A&E’s Breakfast with the Arts
Olivia Mattis is a musicologist with degrees from Stanford and Yale Universities. She was the first to conduct an interview with Leon Theremin when he came out of Soviet seclusion in 1989 after 51 years of state confinement. She organized the First International Theremin Festival (Portland, ME) and the first MoogFest (Buffalo and Rochester, NY).  Her vintage RCA theremin instrument is now in the musical instrument collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Her interview with Theremin was published in Keyboard magazine and can be found here: