March 2021 - Yoko Onishi


Yuko Horinokita and Yoko Onishi in the Theremin Museum, Zushi, Japan
Yuko Horinokita (left) and Yoko Onishi (right)

The March 2021 episode of the Theremin 30 podcast features music from Canada, England, Japan and the USA. Rick Reid interviews Yoko Onishi, the host of the monthly RCA Theremin Evening live-streaming theremin recital series on YouTube.

▶️ Listen to this episode on Spotify.


  • "Particle (single edit)" - Dr G (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)
  • "Burning WitchesKevin Sinnott (Liverpool, England, UK)
  • "Prayer Flower" - Torine & Takanori Maehara (Japan)
  • "Somewhere on a Snowy Desert" -  The Banter Experience (Santa Fe, NM, 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. 







Copyright 2021 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 Theremin 30. Thirty minutes of theremin music, 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  0:18  
Hey, thanks for tuning into Theremin 30, the monthly Theremin music podcast. This is the march 2021 episode and number 23 in the series. This month I've got music from Canada, England, Japan, and the USA. And my interview guest is Yoko Onishi. She is curator of a private theremin museum and the host of a theremin recital that live-streams once a month on YouTube. Let's get the show started. Now with new educational music from Nova Scotia, Canada's singing scientists, Dr. G. Here's an edit of his new single called "Particle."

Rick Reid  7:18  
We started that set with Halifax, thereminist and science educator Dr. G with a track from his new Particle/Wave double-sided single. You can see the music video for "Particle" on the Theremin 30 YouTube playlist. After that I played a track called "Burning Witches" by Liverpool UK recording artist Kevin Sinnott. It's from his brand new EP release "Pray to the Theremin." You can listen to all seven tracks from the album on his Bandcamp page. To get there, just click on Kevin's name in this month show notes. Let's take a quick look now at the calendar of theremin events. On March 21st Andmo' performs at the Kobe Big Apple. There's another Bandcamp Friday on April 2nd. And on April 15, Robert Meyer will be a guest soloist with the Brandenburg State Orchestra of Frankfurt in a live performance of the Spellbound Concerto. Check out links to all of these events and more at Later in the show, I've got electronic music from The Banter Experience that will send you for a loop, and after the break I'll visit with Yoko Onishi so stick around.

Rick Reid  8:39  
Yoko Onishi is a wonderfully talented thereminist based in Zushi City in the Kanagawa prefecture about 30 miles south of Tokyo, Japan. When I invited Yoko to be a guest on the podcast, there was a bit of a language barrier. I only know about 20 words in Japanese, and she didn't feel she could speak off-the-cuff in English. So she had me write down my questions and email them to her. Then with the help of her sister Yuko Horinokita, she wrote her answers in English so she could read them out loud. You won't hear Yoko's sister speaking in the recording, but she was standing by to help us with additional translation. Yoko Onishi thank you so much for being on the Theremin 30 podcast.

Yoko Onishi  9:20  
Thank you very much for invitation.

Rick Reid  9:22  
I wanted to talk to you because I've been seeing your photographs on Facebook over the last few months from your Theremin Museum. How did you become interested in playing theremins and then collecting them?

Yoko Onishi  9:32  
I found out about theremins on the internet. As you know, Dr. Theremin's documentary film was completed in 1993 and was released in Japan in the summer of 2001. At that time theremin boom occurred in Japan and class lessons in the culture school became a little popular. As I didn't watch the movie then, I didn't know what theremin was. But anyway, I registered in culture course just with the information that there seems to be a mysterious instrument to play without touching. I thought this kind of boom must be transient, but to try it at least was good experience to me. Then "I slipped on the banana peel." Oh, this is Dr. Moog's word when he started making electronic musical instruments and entered the world of theremin. In Japanese, we say "hamaru" for this condition.

Rick Reid  10:29  
So, tell me what is the Theremin Museum?

Yoko Onishi  10:31  
Oh, it's a little museum where you can see or experience several types of theremins. It's located in Zushi City, the town next to Kamakura, Japan. It opened on August 28th last year. Now 19 theremins are in the museum.

Rick Reid  10:47  
What's the mission of the Theremin museum?

Yoko Onishi  10:50  
I hope it will be a place to let people know about theremins and the various theremin players. In September of the year before last, my musical performance was introduced at Theremin 30 here. Thank you. And after that I often listened to the program of Theremin 30. I'm not good at English so I can't understand, I can't understand most of what they say. But I can hear the sound of theremins. It was very exciting for me to know that there are so many players around the world playing theremin, many many theremin players with different styles. It was exciting. That's, we say, "waku waku" in Japanese.

Rick Reid  11:31  
Waku waku?

Yoko Onishi  11:31  
Waku waku. On the other hand in Japan, I was often surprised to find that my friends were unaware that there are many attractive theremin prayers in Japan. I thought this was a waste. And I wanted to live-stream using YouTube and introduce various styles of theremin players. Also, two years ago, the RCA theremin came to me. Needless to say, RCA theremin is a theremin sold by RCA in the United States from 1929 to 1930. It was the first theremin on the market, and above all, it was a theremin produced by Dr. Theremin himself. I got the RCA theremin from a private French owner. It's an old instrument. So when I got it, there were some problems and it was difficult to play. I asked MB Labo, the company in Nagoya, Japan, to repair it for me. Of course, I also asked him to restore it to the original condition as close as possible. When apparently after it was returned to me, the weak vacuum tube gradually rolled and started to make a powerful sound. I felt as if I felt the time of Dr. Sarah mean directory on my skin and was greatly moved back. Now serum is right in front of us as a pray every musical instrument. We don't have any doubt about it. But we think that about 100 years ago, when nobody knew it could be a musical instrument Dr. Sami mais a musical instrument from electronic circuit and all the vacuum tube. It's amazing. This was the beginning of the old techtronic musical instrument. The name of serum is also commonly used nowadays. No one doubted, but Dr. Theremin created many inventions besides Sammy. Among the many inventions only this musical instrument has its inventors name, when to rebuild our csme was done perfect three RCA posted it on the web registry. As you may know there's a big vacuum tube inside which they don't fabricate anymore. If you use a vacuum tube too much it weighs exhaust but if you don't use it, it will fold or three take those channels apart him too which should be postponed as long as possible. So I decided to spray the seremi once in a month to keep its original tone created by Dr. Sarah mean that this arrived stream called RCA cerami evening and on this day we also dairy budding alive that introduced this barrier second graders.

Rick Reid  14:23  
They're streamed from your Theremin museum. Are there any events scheduled in the near future

Yoko Onishi  14:29  
in Tokyo time from 1400 to 1500. On the fall Saturday only every month, the sound of our fear and the performance of the guest prayer ceremi live streamed on YouTube. On March the 27th. We invite Jin Tae Jin Kaku one of the Japanese prayers against you can see all the before Ava stream on archive presearch for our csme Evening on YouTube,

Rick Reid  15:01  
considering the covid 19 pandemic, Can people visit the museum right now? Or do they need to make an appointment? Or are the regular business hours when people can come by? Because it is your home?

Yoko Onishi  15:11  
Oh, my Sammy museum takes guests with a reservation, the peacemaker reservation by email or phone.

Rick Reid  15:19  
How did this all get started? How did you decide to start the museum? Is this all your own work? Or Didn't you have people help you?

Yoko Onishi  15:26  
Oh, I remodeled a part of my home and released it as a car museum

Rick Reid  15:31  
all by yourself.

Yoko Onishi  15:33  
Oh, yes.

Rick Reid  15:33  
How did you find all the different Theremin models you have?

Yoko Onishi  15:37  
By the internet? And by word of mouth from my friend,

Rick Reid  15:41  
where the instruments donated to your museum? Are they unknown or did you buy them all?

Yoko Onishi  15:45  
Oh, as a mentor my partner property to one of them was donated by my friend he donated to me when I told him that I had opened the ceremi Museum. It's a theorem he made in Australia

Rick Reid  15:58  
you have a lot of the same instruments that I have mo ugh and lost volt. You have a few that I don't have and one of them is the world globe Theremin. Tell me about that one.

Yoko Onishi  16:09  
It's a tsunami which I owe that to MLB Robert in Nagoya, Japan, the outside was originally a wind rock, the seremi with an ultra compact VCO inside which is made by MTB Rubble, you can change the system from a three by three sawtooth wave down to a sine wave down with a single knob. By switching the range. The plane range can change too high or too low. I can say it's a little nice trick the color of the air Ed ramp on top of a peach antenna change according to its volume.

Rick Reid  16:45  
What's your own personal favorite instrument in the museum?

Yoko Onishi  16:48  
Oh, now it's our see is coming? I would think so. You're ever distribution we also trying to pick up the seremi waveform with a microphone and see the waveform with a spectrum analyzer. sermon these days are all fundamental overtones or buttons and or buttons to wait for waveform is easy to understand. But the waveform of rc cerami is complicated. Or I must say it's quite distorted. The sound is mixed with noise to create a nice sound. Well that reason I think the tone is attractive. So it's difficult to say. Huh. When playing Theremin we often suffer from an identified noise. Before I consulted with a person familiar with the cables and trade barriers cables. As I change the cable with the one that don't have always noise and ways clearer and clearer the sound became, but also it became I noticed at that time that the noise itself, it's a sound. My favorite phrases are all these flowers blooming in the swamp of noise. My friend pointed gave me this wonderful phrase. I'd like to aim for this flower that blooms in the swamp or noise

Rick Reid  18:18  
to do all of the other instruments work and can visitors play them when they visit your museum.

Yoko Onishi  18:23  
Now one unit does not work well. So I think to me, robbing Nagoya for maintenance, I think we will be back soon with a big tech upgrade or not depends on the visitor. If the visitor knows how to handle Salman he'll be welcome to pray any but if the visitor has widow experience with how to handle Theremin, the instrument he can pray will be remitted.

Rick Reid  18:46  
How can people find out more information about the Theremini newseum and contact you about possibly arranging to go there.

Yoko Onishi  18:53  
Search for RC is Theremin evening on YouTube on Facebook. And you can reach us

Rick Reid  19:00  
thanks to Yoko ohnishi I now know 22 words in Japanese and if you are honmaru about Theremin music, you should find Yoko Ono she's RCA Theremin evening live stream on YouTube to be very Walker Walker. The next event is scheduled for Saturday March 27. It starts at 2pm Tokyo time so in other parts of the world that could be Saturday morning or maybe even Friday night. If you look at the event on the Theremin 30 calendar you can see it adjusted for your local timezone. Let's listen now to a performance from the fourth episode of the RCA Theremin evening. Here are the Theremin and guitar duo taurine and Maki hora with a lovely song called prayer flower

Rick Reid  23:21  
There's more Theremin music coming up there are many music to be precise so stay tuned

Rick Reid  23:45  
we're almost out of time for this month's edition of the Theremin 30 podcast to send us out here is a track from New Mexico recording artists the banter experience. This is called somewhere on a snowy desert

Rick Reid  28:59  
you can watch a performance and a discussion about how the banter experience used the Thera mini and mini looping techniques to create the track I just played. You'll find that video on the Theremin 30 YouTube playlist. Many thanks to Dr. g. Kevin Senate, Joe Renae and my era and the banter experience for sharing their music. Also Domo arigato to Yoko ohnishi. For being this month's interview guest, I must say having her on the show was wakawaka. As always, I encourage you to support all of the artists that appear on these podcasts with your ears, your eyes, and with your wallet if you're able. And if you'd like to support this show, there's a tip jar on the website. Until next time, I'm your host, Rick Reid. The pandemic isn't over yet. So be careful out there, and we'll see you soon.

David Brower  29:51  
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