[S04E01] May 2022 - Roy Palmer


In this season 4 premiere episode of the Theremin 30 podcast, host Rick Reid plays theremin music from the USA and Canada. Rick's interview guest is Roy Palmer, founder of the Theremini People interest group on Facebook.

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*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 2022 Rick Reid 



This transcript was automatically generated using speech-to-text AI. It will contain some errors.

David Brower  0:04  
This is Theremin 3030 minutes of Fairmined 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  0:19  
Hello there. Welcome to episode number one of the fourth season of the Theremin 30 podcast. I started this project way back in April of 2019. And what a long strange trip it has been. If you're new to this show, I do urge you to go back and listen to some great music and interesting interviews with a wide range of artists and experts from across the Theremin community and around the world. And if you've been along for the ride since the beginning, thank you for hanging with me, I appreciate your loyalty and support. Technically, it's still the month of April as I published this episode, but I'm going to go ahead and call it the May 2022 edition of Theremin 30. I want to try to start putting out episodes a few days before the start of each month if at all possible. And I want to apologize for my voice this time around. It's not too mad today, but I'm actually in my last day of quarantine with COVID-19. Fortunately, I had four doses of the vaccine before I was exposed and the variant I caught hasn't been very rough on me so far. I think the worst of it's actually behind me, but I'm still a little rough around the edges. In this episode, I've got new music from fourth era ministers based right here in North America. But my interview guest joins me from the UK. Roy Palmer is the founder and administrator of the Theremini people interest group on facebook. We'll be visiting about that group and about some of the features and challenges of Moke music's very first digital Theramin. Now let's get into the music. In just a few minutes I'll play a new classical adaptation from Rob Schwimmer. But first let's spin some Theremin music with the twang to it. Canadian folk singer James Cullerton has a super fun album for kids out this year that's actually what it's called super fun and the current single features thereminist Keri Latimer from leaf rapids here's a tour through the solar system called Zoom Zoom.

Rick Reid  9:43  
We started that set with Zoom zoom by James Cullerton featuring Keri Latimer on Theramin because it's been flagged as intended for children I can't add the super fun youtube video for zoom zoom on the Theremin 30 playlist but I've shared a link to the video in this month shown notes. After that we heard LG composed by modest Mussorgsky in 1874. As part of his sunless song cycle, and reinterpreted by Rob Schwimmer. Just a few days ago, I've added Rob's music video for LG to the Theremin 30 playlist. Rob's an amazing musician on Theremin piano and Hockin continuum. If you ever get a chance to see him perform live I highly recommend that you do. He has a bunch of performances scheduled over the next few months so be sure to catch him if he comes to your town. I will highlight a couple of his upcoming shows on the Theremin 30 calendar after this next break. Also Voolva will soon release a new album called gravity is your friend and I've got an exclusive sneak preview. So stay tuned.

It's time now for a look at the Theremin 30 calendar of Theremin events. The final weekend in April has live shows around the world featuring Sarah rice, Rob Schwimmer about Aphrodite and Randy George on May seventh itchy Oh has a show here in Denver, Colorado. It's officially sold out but I understand there is a waiting list if you'd like to go tour while the Oregon center will be the featured thereminist for a live show called The Time Machine with four performances in grayguns, Austria on May 12 and 13th. On May 14, Rob Schwimmer performs at the Gilmore International Piano festival in Kalamazoo, Michigan. May 23 Is Bob mugs birthday, he would have turned 88 this year on May 28. Robert Myers industrial Rock Band Schramm plays the hard metal festival in Vinton Burg Germany. Also on the 28th Yoko Ohnishi hosts or RCA Theremin evening live on YouTube. For more details about these events and more, check out the interactive calendar on Theremin thirty.com. And if you have an event you'd like me to put on the calendar, send me all the details through the website, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. And here's some breaking news. Moog Music has announced the release of a reimagined ether wave Theremin. The latest version features a mute switch a more manageable mic stand attachment and other improvements while retaining the best features of the ether wave plus including CB outputs for connecting to analog synthesizers. Greg Warren Blanc and the octopus project both have some demo recordings, and Ernesto Mendoza hosts a Spanish language video preview of the new features. I have media links in this episode's show notes at Theremin thirty.com vulva is the studio music project of multi-instrumentalist Raphael Marino, he'll release his second concept album gravity is your friend on May 6, with both digital release and a limited run of 100 vinyl copies made possible with the help of SGA ie the Society of Spanish authors and publishers. And I happen to make a cameo appearance on this album as the voice of a news anchor. Now here's an exclusive world premiere of my favorite track on the album that does not include me. This is Voolva with ether surf.

That was ether surf by Voolva, you can stream and purchase the full album gravity as your friends starting May 6. I wanted to publicly thank Raphael Marino for inviting me to be a small part of the album. It was fun to be involved in really quite an honor to be asked. Later in the show. I've got new music from Anna glyph and after this break, I'll talk about the mug Theremini with Roy Palmer, so stay tuned.

it's been more than eight years now since mulled music unveiled the mug there are many in the first mass-market digital Theremin there hasn't been much of a support community formed around the instrument, but one Theremin enthusiast in Nottingham England has set out to change that. Roy Palmer is the founder and administrator of the Theremini people interest group on Facebook that has quickly grown to more than 400 members. I visited with Roy a few days ago when my COVID voice was a bit worse than it is now. Roy Palmer thank you so much for being on the Theremin 30 podcast.

Roy Palmer  16:56  
Thanks for inviting me, it's a pleasure to be here.

Rick Reid  16:58  
You found it and lead a Facebook group called there are many people. So I wanted to find out how you got that group going and what it's all about. So listeners who play Theremini can find out about it and maybe get involved.

Roy Palmer 17:12  
And I'm no great musician. I was a sound engineer for the best part of 30 years. So I kind of frustrated musician always wanted to play something and then decided to pick one of the hardest musical instruments in the university way that I've built my ceremony a few years ago, I saw a ceremony in a music store. I'd seen a guy called Charlie Draper play and was so cool to do that. And then we have to be in a music store and there was a ceremony and I made some sounds we bought it not wanting to criticize Moke at all manuals only go so far. Had a couple of lessons. I was fortunate enough to meet Lydia cabinet and have a workshop with her. But I noticed over a period of time that a sport amongst Theremin players was Theremini bashing. Yeah, I thought well, this isn't fair. It's actually a pretty cool instrument and has some great sounds great potential. But unfortunately, it has a lot of complex menu structures with it. And so I took it upon myself to a get through those and find out how to get it to work and do what I wanted it to do. And then I thought well hang on a minute. There isn't a lot of help and resources out there. They didn't seem to be any Facebook pages, couple of useful videos. So I thought well, I'll have a go. I'll start a Facebook group. And it started to grow really quickly. And I was absolutely stunned. Just over a year. Now it's been going probably year and a half. I've just hit 422 members. But what was also really nice was because I've been persevering and finding out how to make it work. And the cabinet invited me very kindly and I was just totally stunned at this to do an hour long workshop on the ceremony as part of her Theramin Academy. And that's kind of like a football or meeting Pele. Somebody meeting Freddie Mercury, the world's most amazing Theremin player invited me to be part of her Academy. It took me a few days to say yes, because I was terrified. And so what I did was kind of went back to the point I was at when I first got it, knowing nothing and going through everything from literally putting the aerial in it to stick it on a mic to making noises and so on. And the point behind it was to just help people.

Rick Reid  19:25  
I remember when I got my Theremini and I love the sound, but I was so irritated with the mic stand Jack and it just baffled me that an American company would sell a Theremin with a European mic stand Jack and not include the adapter.

Roy Palmer  19:40  
It is a bit like that. It has some wonderful bits. So that's a very frustrating bit. And this is the reason behind the group is to say hey, I'm over here, I can help you because there's weird stuff. The antenna thing it has this little hole in the top and you push the antenna and that was the first thing I got wrong was not pushing the antenna up All the way in and it just made the weirdest crazy set.

Rick Reid  20:02  
I did the same thing.

Roy Palmer  20:04  
I think we all eat HCA, it's one of those, you know, get it out of the way quick. On the ceremony, there are 32 presets. And when you rotate the preset control, each preset loads with each preset loads with some kind of weird scale that if you're not, I've used a musician type person you would go, what's it doing? And they'd be Ionian and something else. And so then how, you know, to me, I'm kind of like, you know, certain music Deray me far. So Latino, that's it. So dug into menus, found out how to do that, then this thing, which was discovered, and he's amongst all thirimanne, he's now this thing called Theremin mode, you see people tune at a Theramin. So that they can play a certain number of notes from their shoulder to the antenna, carrier mini mode, makes it behave like that. But it takes a bit of finding it in the menus, and then the menus, you couldn't go backward, found that out. Being of a sound engineering background, I have a bit of a logical brain as I persevere and I stick at finding out what goes on behind the menus. And so I'm hoping that the resource is useful to people and that it helps them get the most from it. And so that when somebody says, Oh, it's not a Theremin, I can say, well, it is and it makes some great noises.

Rick Reid  21:18  
Yeah, I remember when I first got mine, having some of the frustrations that we've just described, the problem was me, I couldn't figure it out through the instructions or through intuition or whatever. And I had a prejudice of what it should be like because of my previous experience with analog Theremin. And this is a digital Theremin, it's a different thing. And so you can expect it to behave the way the analog Theremin 's work. But I didn't have anyone to talk to about it. If there's an issue that I can't figure out. And I know that other people are having the same problem that helps me between the different ideas in the group, somebody is going to come up with the workaround or the solution to the problem.

Roy Palmer  21:58  
The bed the jewelry now all sharing ideas, it got to a point now where all I did is I just took a bit of content. And I've got people share ideas and other people's questions. And then every now and again, I run a chat group does no more people just get together. But it's just again a chance for people who've got a ceremony to talk about their own experiences, ask questions, maybe even play something. It's not about the the best musician you can be. There's no competitive nature to this group at all. It's about a group of people who have a thorough mini want to get on with it want to make the most of it and meet other people. I mean, you know, bizarre, I now have a you know, an international fan base, which I'd never dreamed I would ever have. And you've

Rick Reid  22:39  
also been brave enough to go ask questions from the experts. You've been in contact with our mutual friend door at Chrysler, who's probably the leading proponent of the Theremini. And you've also contacted Mogae a few times to get specific answers to questions.

Roy Palmer  22:54  
Daria, of course, and Lydia both appear on the blog site playing Sarah minis. And they were both kind enough to be guests on one of the chats and direct make some amazing sounds with her Theremini and has actually played it at CERN, that hadron collider underground. Wow, what a gig that was. And she just gave tips and advice took you through just the basics of calibration, you have to kind of tune in to the room you're in your body is part of the instrument, even though you don't touch it, you are in this electromagnetic field or whatever you want to call it. And it's just a case of taking your time calibrating it so that when you move, you get some sounds that you can control. And Moog have been very helpful. They recently let me know about an update to the Thera mini editor, which is a whole new ballgame. And there's a whole load of stuff about the Thera mini editor on the Facebook group too. Because the other thing that is on the site too is you can create your own sounds with a ceremony. And people have been sharing their presets, we had a group meeting a while back where we were trying to create a cello like sound and a couple of people came up with possible presets. They're on the Facebook page. All the manuals are on the Facebook page, how to find the manuals in the editor had to get the most out of the editor because if you combine the editor and the ceremony, suddenly, you've got kind of 64 presets available at any one time. Or you can create your own said it was all about recognizing the instrument as a musical instrument anytime, right? giving other people the opportunity to learn from my mistakes, but also share their own info.

Rick Reid  24:42  
There's probably 1000s of there are many owners out there right now. And it seems like a lot of people are still buying them because it's one of the least expensive most accessible mass produced Theremin on the market.

Roy Palmer  24:54  
It's particularly interesting that even now that Moga brought out the Clara box which is why compact Our son walk for five times the price of a therapy ceremony is still there on their site available for sale.

Rick Reid  25:06  
Well, thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us today. And be sure to let me know of any of your future chat sessions and I'll put them on our calendar.

Roy Palmer  25:14  
I think you're doing an amazing thing yourself that people can go along here ceremony players. Yes, Theremin play players. Thurman music is one of the oldest electronic musical instruments around and it is such a beautiful quality of sound and such an expressive instrument that is great see people getting involved in listening to it. So thanks for inviting me.

Rick Reid  25:33  
If you have an interest in the moment there are many whether you own one of the instruments or not. You're welcome to join Roy's group. Just search for there are many people on Facebook. I also have a link in this episode's show notes at Theremin thirty.com Now let's finish this episode with the lovely new single from Anna glyph. The song is about imposter syndrome something that I think most of us have experienced in our musical pursuits. The track features a mug Clara Vox a MOBA grandmother's synthesizer and some Eurorack synth gear here is Anna glyph with imposters.

That was Anna glyph with a track called imposters. Check out the charming and kind of haunting stop motion video for that song on the Theremin YouTube playlist. And with that it's time to wrap up this season premiere episode of the Theremin 30 podcast thanks to James Cullerton and Carrie Latimer, Rob Schwimmer, vulva and Anna glyph for allowing me to play their music in the show. Please support them by purchasing music downloads, attending their performances and following them on social media. And special thanks to Roy Palmer for telling us all about that there are many people on Facebook. And as always, thanks to the listeners who support this podcast with one time and monthly donations. If you enjoy it, Theremin 30 Please tell your friends about it. And if you have original music to share, tell me about it. You can reach me through the website or social media. I'm your host Rick Reid. I'll see you again soon somewhere in the ether.

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