The Etherphonic Theremin Orchestra in Concert at the Orpheum Theatre, Champaign, IL
Contact: Barry R. Morse
Champaign-Urbana based Etherphonic Theremin Orchestra will perform improvised otherworldly soundscapes live at the Orpheum Theatre, 346 N. Neil St., Champaign, on Saturday, May 6 at 2:45 pm. Preceding the concert at 2:00 pm also at the Orpheum Theatre will be a lecture given by Barry R. Morse, founder and director of the ensemble, on the history, music and musical stylings of this strange instrument. Tickets are available at the door and all proceeds will benefit the refurbishing of the Orpheum Theatre.
The theremin is the world’s oldest electronic musical instrument still in use, having been invented in 1920. It is also the only instrument which is played without any physical contact: the player waves his/her hands in the air around two antennas to produce eerie, whistling sounds which rise and fall in smooth arcs of continuous pitch change. The sounds are then amplified and projected over loudspeakers. The theremin’s weird sound is famous for its use in 1950s era science fiction movies.
The Etherphonic Theremin Orchestra consists of nine (9) of these unique instruments, which is eight more than most people ever get to see in one place at the same time. The Orchestra is unique also in that the music is improvised but controlled by special hand signals given by Barry R. Morse, the director, who will sculpt sonic masses out of thin air in real time. All of the performers are local citizens who will train beforehand in two special workshops given by the director. This performance on May 6, will also be unusual in that it will be a performance-in-the-round: the whole orchestra will surround the audience which will be seated in the middle. This “surround sound” feature is the brainchild of sound and video artist Jake Metz.
Etherphonic Theremin Orchestra
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Orpheum Theatre, 346 N. Neil St., Champaign, IL
Lecture: 2:00 pm
Concert: 2:45 pm
Tickets: $5.00 available at the door
For more information: www.facebook.com/orpheummuseum