Randy George theremin



Randy George is one of a small handful of musicians in the world that can carry the title of theremin virtuoso. He has dedicated 10 years of his life as a musician developing mastery over the theremin, an instrument that is widely regarded as the most difficult instrument to play in the world. Randy holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Texas where he was previously a bassoonist and saxophonist.


Since 2010, Randy has performed solo in recital, and with chamber ensembles across the United States and Europe. He is best known for his contributions to the escalating world wide awareness of the theremin on the internet. His video creations featuring the theremin in a variety of musical contexts have garnered viewership exceeding 20 million people since 2006. Randy’s technical knowledge of theremin playing is augmented by his specialization in software development for interactive multimedia art. In 2012, he began work as an independent developer and his flagship software title is scheduled for release at the end of 2015.


About Theremin


The theremin is one of the world’s earliest electronic musical instruments. It is the only instrument that is played continuously, completely without physical contact. It was developed in the 1920’s by Russian scientist and inventor Lev Sergeyevich Termen as a direct product of his innovations in radio physics and his musical past as a concert cellist. The player of a theremin uses his arms and hands to displace the capacity of the space surrounding the instrument in order to continuously influence its pitch and loudness. The tone quality can vary depending on how its signal is processed and how it is played. It can sound similar to a human voice, a stringed instrument or even a wind instrument depending on variations in vibrato, portamento, and dynamics. Due to its unconventional interface and lack of spacial reference, the theremin is very difficult to master as a melodic instrument. As with any musical instrument it requires discipline and dedication over many years to gain any degree of proficiency.


The single most defining characteristic of a theremin is its dynamic responsiveness. Its sound is an instantaneous reflection of the player’s every move. The moment the sound begins, the player is intimately integrated with the instrument in a continuous feedback loop of sound and motion. This transfer of motion into sound is made possible by the capacity sensing and radio frequency oscillator circuitry employed by the instrument. To perform precise melodies on a theremin, a player must possess an acute awareness of its sustained pitch, continuously trim its position over time, and utilize aural and muscular memory of pitch spacings to accurately place each new note. Because the amplitude of the tone is also continuously controlled, a theremin player is responsible for crafting both the theremin’s sound and the silence in-between sounds.


Over the nearly century long history of the theremin, many people have associated the theremin with a particular eerie, otherworldly type of sound with a heavy degree of continuous portamento. This sound stereotype was created as a result of the instrument being played by a critical mass of players in a manner requiring very little musical discipline. The qualities of the tone are completely dependent on the theremin player’s movements and the signal processing employed with the amplification of the tone. The stereotype exists primarily because of how the theremin has been incorporated into mainstream entertainment during the early years of Hollywood cinema and popular rock music.


Over the past twenty years, there has been a surge in awareness of the theremin and it is currently undergoing a renaissance, especially within the context of modern composition and live performance. Although it still seems novel and obscure, there has never before been more people interested in the theremin, composing music for theremin, or playing the theremin than there are in the world today.


About randygeorgemusic.com


Randy George designed this website. He is not a web-designer by trade. His knowledge of the core web programming languages is fairly intermediate, but he chose to invest the time and energy to create a website that provided a balance of form, function and comfortable user experience. It would be a stretch to say that he designed it all by himself. It was assembled upon on the time-tested framework of the WordPress Content Management System. The basic layout came from a HTML5 compliant theme that was purchased from UIUEUX Studio called ‘Travel’ which Randy modified to meet his preferences. He revised more than half of the javascript code, integrated his own selection of plugins, and designed all of the artwork. This project evolved over the course of a year and it proved to be an immense challenge. While utilizing the AJAX protocol for dynamically loading content and responsive CSS for dynamically adjusting to fit mobile web browsers, the choice to make a simplified user-experience naturally creates a ton of new challenges to sort out, but Randy decided that it was worth doing. All the elements and content have come together in the end. He now has a flexible platform that can continue to evolve and more importantly be used to share his work with the internet. Web design is much more difficult than people realize. Randy has great respect for the people that design websites professionally. Randy decided to revise this paragraph so that he is referred to in the third person because the previous versions were not consistent with the first two sections of this page. He would like to thank you for reading to the end of this page.

© 2017 Randy George Music
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