October 2020 - Thorwald Jørgensen

The October 2020 episode of the Theremin 30 Podcast features music from Italy, USA, and the UK. Rick's interview guest is classical thereminist Thorwald Jørgensen, who previews his forthcoming album "Air Électrique: Original Music for Theremin and Piano."

▶️ Listen to this episode on Spotify.


"Vanishing Point" - Timeless Sonic Factory (Rome, Italy)

"Afterlife Aria" - Divine Hand Ensemble (Philadelphia, PA, USA)

"One of Their Agents" - Simon Beck (London, England, UK)

"Halloween XVI" - Phlogiston Theory (Denver, CO, USA)

*The full-length recordings featured in this show were used with the knowledge and permission of the artists and composers. Please support the artists by visiting their websites, purchasing their recordings, and attending their performances. 


"Opera Glasses" - Phlogiston Theory and Ron Allen (Denver, CO / Seattle, WA, USA)

"Time Shadows" - Phlogiston Theory (Denver, CO, USA)

"No Static at All" - Phlogiston Theory (Denver, CO, USA)

Excerpts from the album "Air Électrique" - Thorwald Jørgensen and Kamilla Bystrova


Thorwald Jørgensen previews his new album with pianist Kamilla Bystrova, "Air Électrique: Original Music for Theremin and Piano."


Visit the Theremin 30 Calendar of Theremin Events for links and details of events mentioned in this episode. 


Get a free download of the Laurel Hill Cemetery Walking Tour Score by Divine Hand Ensemble.

The Theremin 30 Playlist on YouTube includes music videos and concert performances of songs featured in this podcast. 



Copyright 2020 Rick Reid 



Please note: This is a machine-generated transcript that has not been manually edited. There will be numerous errors. Check back soon for a corrected version.

David Brower  0:04  
This is there have been 3030 minutes of ceremonies, news events and interviews with a new episode about every 30 days. Now here's your host from Denver, Colorado, USA, Rick Reid.

Rick Reid  0:20  
Hey, welcome to Episode 19 of Theremin 30, the more or less monthly podcast devoted to Theremin music. In this October 2020 edition I've got a brand new track from Italy plus some Halloween music and my special guest is Tor wild Juergen son who will give us a sneak preview of his new classical music album that's due out in late November 1 up I've got a new single from timeless Sonic factory. That's the electronic music project of Italian thereminist or Rizzuto man seletti. His new album called vanishing point just came out a few days ago. And here is the title track

Rick Reid  6:12  
That was vanishing point title track of the new album by timeless Sonic factory, it's available to stream and download now in all the usual places.

Rick Reid  6:31  
It's time now for that Theremin 30 calendar of Theremin events. Of course, it's Halloween coming up this weekend so there has to be some Theremin shows in Japan and Moe will be performing at the Coby Big Apple. here in Denver, Colorado, USA the ichiko marching band has several socially distanced hollow mass concerts scheduled between October 30 and November 7. Also on Halloween Dorit Chrysler will lead an afternoon of Theremin workshops in Berlin, Germany few plans to have her new mobe Clara Vox Centennial Theremin set up for students to try out. On November 6 and December 4. band camp will waive its usual fees. So those are great days to purchase music for many of the artists that have been featured on the Theremin 30 podcast. And on November 8, Michelle Moga kusa will lead a virtual tour of the museum focusing on the early history of the big Briar company, you can find links to more information about all of these events on the Theremin 30 calendar at calendar dot Theremin thirty.com more just look for a link on the main page of the Theremin 30 website. And if you have an event you'd like on the calendar, send me the details through the website or the Facebook page. Coming up after the break. I've got some fun Theremin music for Halloween. So stick around.

Rick Reid  8:04  
Can I kind of didn't want to do a full Halloween themed show this year. With the pandemic and everything else going on. It just seems like there's enough scary stuff in the world already. But I couldn't let the holiday pass by completely. So here's a collection of music to put you in the Halloween spirit without getting too spooky. I'll give you the track details at the end of the set.

Rick Reid  17:44  
We started that set with afterlife Aria from divine hand ensemble that's part of a soundtrack to accompany a walking tour of the Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. You can get that track as a free download. The link is in this month show notes. Next we heard one of their agents some groovy spy music by Simon back a multi instrumentalist from London, England. And we finished that set with an excerpt from an ambient piece called Halloween 16. It's on my own album titled moth to a flame. After the break, I'll visit with tour while you're concerned. Stay tuned.

Rick Reid  18:49  
Dutch thereminist Torvalds your grandson has a new album coming out in late November. He recently joined me from his home and hope as valuer North rabbits to give us all a sneak preview to our wild Juergen son, thank you for being on Theremin 30

Thorwald Jørgensen  19:04  
You're welcome. Lovely to be there.

Rick Reid  19:06  
So you've been rather busy during the pandemic. You've been recording a new album

Thorwald Jørgensen  19:11  
actually I recorded two new albums and added a movie. On November 20. My first album with original music for Theremin and piano will be released worldwide. So really happy and looking forward to that. And that's called air electric original music for Theremin piano.

Rick Reid  19:27  
Yeah, electric and you're joined by your usual piano partner, Camila strober.

Thorwald Jørgensen  19:32  
Correct. And we decided to do an album now because we both had the time because obviously with the corona situation work was not there anymore. So we just put together repertoire which we loved, rehearsed it and then went to the studio. We were lucky to have a label which wanted to record with us and to release it.

Rick Reid  19:50  
I'm curious about how you recorded were you in the pianist in the same room at the same time performing together or is this a multitrack thing

Thorwald Jørgensen  19:58  
because I play two instruments on one Pease that one is, of course multitrack. But how we did it is just basically as a concert, we record it in a beautiful concert hall in the Netherlands with very good acoustics. And we just had several microphones surrounding us. We just played our music and we recorded it basically live. And of course, we recorded several times. So it's edited together. The best takes are of course, obviously there is like a constant situation. We just played it and it was recorded.

Rick Reid  20:25  
You start the album and actually half the album is 10 preludes for Theremin and piano. How did you find this composition? And why did you choose it?

Thorwald Jørgensen  20:33  
Well, it was given to me by Lera. Auerbach, the composer, I play a lot of her music with orchestra. And I always liked what she wrote. And then all of a sudden, she said to me, Oh, look, I have this piece for Thurman, maybe you're interested in it. And I saw the score and immediately thought, Oh, my God, this is so cool. And I shared it to my pianist, and she had the same reaction. And we worked on it and we performed it several times. And we just fell in love with it, because it's such a good piece and it highlights the chairman as well as the PMO in a very good way, it gives a very good impression of what is possible if you combine both instruments.

Rick Reid  21:20  
The Theremin took on the characteristics reminiscent of the stringed instruments.

Thorwald Jørgensen  21:27  
That obviously is not the Theremin is what I do. I play certain pieces, which I think are this is really like a cello melody, I can imagine how a cello would play it. And then I tried to mimic it with a Theremin. And because this is imprinted so much into my brain, most of the time it goes automatically I don't even think about it. This just happens and it's just the way I play.

Rick Reid  21:53  
The next section of the album is Barry Barry me wind for voice Theremin and piano that's a composition by Joseph schellenger you have the added challenge of performing as a trio with Theremin piano and a wonderful vocalist it sound medicine Chico.

Thorwald Jørgensen  22:21  
When I started playing the Theremin, I was not only interested in Theremin, but also in his history. And for the first three, four years, I was extensively looking in all the archives all around the world for original music. And this was one of the first pieces written for chamber music with an electronic instrument. I think it was written in 1929 or 1930. So it's really besides being good music, a very interesting piece of history.

Rick Reid  22:54  
That track I found interesting and how both you and the vocalist sort of take turns being the center of attention.

Thorwald Jørgensen  23:02  
It really is not a duet, the vocal is the main part because she has the lyrics and the melody. But every now and then determine takes over and has a little cut of the melody. It was my challenge to try to mimic her voice as much as possible. And especially in the end of the piece when she doesn't seem worse anymore. But she seems like the main theme on an M like, it becomes very difficult to hear which one is Theremin and which one is voice. And I really love that part because it's very strange, but it's extremely beautiful. I really love this piece very much.

Rick Reid  23:39  
The one piece on the album that has been reported before is of course sweet for Theremin and piano by Lydia cabinet. She released it in 1999, I believe. And I just can't imagine how challenging it must be to play music that not only has been recorded by the composer, but has been recorded by Lydia cabinet.

Thorwald Jørgensen  23:59  
It's always a challenge to make your own version. And what I did is obviously I know Lydia's recording very well. But for this album, I really did not listen to it at all, because I really wanted to have our version. Obviously the melody and the harmony is the same, but the intention of what we do and the articulation and the phrasing is completely different. And the funny thing with music, if you have one piece of music, you can make it sound like 1000 different ways. And with this particular piece with sweet, we did our version, and I think it turned out pretty well.

Rick Reid  24:46  
On the next piece, we find out a little bit about you that a lot of people don't know that. You're also a percussionist.

Thorwald Jørgensen  24:56  
That's my first Well, I started out as a percussionist. How did

Rick Reid  24:59  
you go From percussion to Theremin,

Thorwald Jørgensen  25:02  
well, I studied classical percussion. percussion, of course, as an instrument group is amazing. You have all the colors in the world and you can do anything. Being in a symphony orchestra is fabulous. It's very cool. But I did it for a very long time. I still do it actually. Although not this year, of course, but as a percussionist in the symphony orchestra, it can be very boring because usually what you do is you sit for the entire Symphony. And if the fourth movement at the last eight bars or the last 20 bars, you stand up and you do boom, chick, boom, chick, boom, Ting, and you're finished. So that was to me, not satisfying, as much as I thought it would be. And I wanted to have more of a solo voice and then more of an expressive voice. And it's not that you're not can be very expressive on the marimba, or on percussion you can, but to me, I wanted something else. And then I heard Clara and fell in love. Not knowing what she played, I just fell in love with her phrasing. Then I found that was the Theremin. And I thought, this is the way to go. And I just opened the door, got in, close it and run as fast as I could with it. And I think it brought me a lot because I think it saved my musical life because otherwise I probably would have stopped making music because I was plainly bored doing it.

Rick Reid  26:15  
Tell me about this piece, fantasy for Theremin, xylophone and piano.

Thorwald Jørgensen  26:19  
That's a piece by Russian composer Valerie balloon. So unfortunately, he died very young. So he didn't have a big repertoire of compositions. But I was fortunate enough to find this composition. And being a percussionist. I was both interested in playing the Thurman and the xylophone part because both parts are very exciting, very challenging and beautiful. And what I liked about it is that it's an extensive Feat. It's not like two or three minutes. It's a long piece that has beautiful melodies. It has beautiful atmospheres, and I just wanted to record both my Theremin and my xylophone. In any case, my percussion is recorded one time professionally as a soloist.

Rick Reid  26:57  
I imagine that having started as a percussionist that you miss hitting things with it, there are many don't even get to touch it.

Thorwald Jørgensen  27:04  
making music is making music. What it is about is phrasing and interpreting and how can you make a piece of sound as best as you can with your own abilities. So if I do it on percussion, or if I do it with Theremin, or if I do it with singing, it doesn't matter. To me, it's the same. I am the instrument and I just have to, for instance, xylophone or Theremin, which I use to express my thoughts and my feelings in a musical way.

Rick Reid  27:31  
Now the last piece I thought was a really beautiful way to wind down the album kind of bring it back to the calmness that you started with Juliet for Theremin and piano

Thorwald Jørgensen  27:49  
After all, this drama, not that this piece doesn't have drama in it because it's also a little bit wild in the middle. We wanted something to cool down and really bring you back to normal life. There's a lot of atmospheres on this album with a lot of information with is really at what we tried to do is to cleanse all of what you heard and just ease

Rick Reid  28:08  
out of the album. How can people go online to find out about your new album air electric, original music for Theremin and piano.

Thorwald Jørgensen  28:17  
You can of course go to my website, which is store with your own sin.com and I do a lot on YouTube, Facebook. And if you just put in my name you will find me because not a lot of people are called Thoreau the organism.

Rick Reid  28:30  
It's easy. And the album comes out on November 20.

Thorwald Jørgensen  28:34  
Correct. It will be released in the Netherlands on the safeer level and worldwide it will be released on Naxos order your CD if you really want to have a physical CD or you can just go to Spotify or iTunes or whatever it will also be there.

Rick Reid  28:46  
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me about your new album. I wish you much success with it.

Thorwald Jørgensen  28:51  
Thank you so much. And thank you for having me.

Rick Reid  28:54  
And that's all the time we have for this October 2020 edition of the Theremin 30 podcast. I want to thank timeless Sonic factory divine hand ensemble and Simon Beck for sharing their music. And a big thank you goes to Torvalds jurgenson for letting us be among the first to hear about his new album, air electric. There's a link to his website in the show notes. And I've added a live video performance of one of the songs from the album on the Theremin 30 YouTube playlist. If you've got an original Theremin recording you'd like me to play in the next podcast, contact me through the Facebook page or the website. And if you enjoyed the show, please share it with your friends. Purchase music from the featured artists and support the sponsors that help keep this podcast in the ether. Until next time, I'm your host Rick Reid, stay safe, wear a mask and try to keep other people out of your control zone.

David Brower  29:50  
You've been listening to the Theremin 30 podcast visit Theremin 30 on the web at Theremin three zero.com