[S04E02] June 2022 - Mano Divina


In the June 2022 episode of the Theremin 30 podcast, host Rick Reid plays theremin music from Germany, Spain, Colombia, and the USA. Rick interviews Mano Divina, the thereminist and musical director of The Divine Hand Ensemble, a chamber music group based in Philadelphia. For detailed show notes, visit theremin30.com.

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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  0:18  
Hey, welcome to the June 2022 edition of Theremin 30. If you're a regular listener, thanks for coming back again. And if you're new to the podcast welcome. After you finish listening to this episode, check out the previous shows for some great music and interviews from around the world. This month I've got music from Germany, Spain, Colombia and the USA. And my special guest is thereminist mono Divina of the Philadelphia based chamber orchestra, the divine hand ensemble. He'll be sharing news about the Group's new album set for release on June 21. Let's get the music started now with a couple of European recording artists. First we'll hear the jazz rock trio about Aphrodite from the vicinity of Dortmund, Germany, and after that the tiki inspired lounge band lixada ghost from Madrid Spain. I'll tell you about both tracks after we give them a spin.

We started the show with a track called a future memories 2.0 A brand new release from about Aphrodite. The band features Gilda Rosani on Theremin and several other instruments Hans vining on keyboards and since and Jaime Moraga Vasquez on drums and percussion. They have just released a performance video to accompany that track. I've added it to the theorem and 30 playlist on YouTube. And you can see them live on stage in Bolcom, Germany on June 24. There's a link to ticket information in that Theremin 30 calendar. Then I played want you Lulu Louis featuring thereminist Javier Diaz Aina it's from the new exotic ghost album called Commando. The 10 song album continues the band's fun reimagining of tropical lounge music. It's available now on all the usual streaming and download sites including iTunes and Bandcamp luxotic goes tap concert slated for Allah Conte, Spain on June 10, Barcelona on June 17, and Valencia on June 18. Links are on that Theremin 30 calendar. Later in the show. I'll visit with mono Divina of the divine hand ensemble and I've got music from Amaan Rouge. Plus after this quick break, I'll take a look at upcoming events on the Theremin 30 calendar. So stay tuned.

It's time now for a look at the Theramin 30 calendar of Theremin events. On June 4 door at Chrysler will lead some free Theramin workshops in Washington DC and Dr. G will perform at nerds doc Fest in Montreal. Also the divine hand ensemble performs in the West Laurel cemetery in Philadelphia on June 5 or nesto Mendoza will be on stage in Mexico City. Ichiko will perform at meow wolf Denver for four nights in a row June 17. Through the 20th. Lydia Cavanagh continues her online workshops on most Sundays and Yoko Onishi hosts another RCA Theremini meeting on June 25. For details about these events and more, including the performances by about Aphrodite and luxotic ghost that I mentioned earlier in the show, check out the interactive calendar on Theramin thirty.com. If you have an event you'd like me to put on the calendar send me all the details through the website or social media. Now let's get back to the music with a song from Amman Rouge the music project Amanda Lucia Rodriguez of Bogota, Colombia. Since 2019, the singer songwriter has been recording and releasing parts of an epic and theatrical album project called the crow in the hat the third installment is almost ready for release and again features thereminist e theorem IQ also known as Eric sewist gun among the new tracks will be this recording on Rouge previously released as a single called Swain yo profundo or an English deep sleep.

Rick Reid  15:58  
That was soo ano profundo or deepsleep by Amman Rouge featuring thereminist e theorem IQ. You can hear more of their music on their Bandcamp page. And you can also find their recent music video for the song children of London on that Theremin 30 YouTube playlist. After this break, I'll visit with mono Divina of the divine hand ensemble and we'll preview music from their new album, Aria 51. So stick around.

The divine hand ensemble has been bringing their modern take on classical music to audiences around Philadelphia and beyond. Now they're about to release their very first studio album called Aria 51. I recently visited with their founder and thereminist mono Davina to learn more about the group, the album and the most unusual concert slated for June 4. Mono Divina, thank you so much for being on Theremin 30.

Mano Divina  17:02  
Thank you so much for having me. I'm looking forward to speaking with you. And this is such an awesome project that you have going on here.

Rick Reid  17:08  
Oh, thank you. Well, you've got a couple of awesome projects coming up. You have a new album coming out and a really cool concert at a cemetery in Pennsylvania. So I want to talk to you about both of those things. But first of all, tell me what is the divine hand ensemble,

Mano Divina 17:23  
the divine hand ensemble is a 11 piece, classical ensemble that functions like a rock band, and we're fronted by a thermos. We use the Thurman in lieu of vocals. So it's like a classical group doing ROCK COVERS with a Thurman singer.

Rick Reid  17:39  
What's the typical arrangement of instruments you have a certain number of cellos and so on. We have

Mano Divina  17:45  
cello to Viola three violin to concert harp vibraphone and marimba, accordion and Theremin.

Rick Reid  17:53  
Well, how many people in your group 11? Did you say,

Mano Divina  17:55  
regular members, and then we have an additional four or five members that come in and out depending on the material we're doing for the ship. With all the various places we play. Some shows might be all Mozart's some shows might be all movies, theme, to some shows might be all ROCK COVERS. So depending on the material we're playing is how many people have been to the stage with me,

Rick Reid  18:15  
who does your arrangements? Is that all you? Or is it a collaborative effort,

Mano Divina 18:19  
depending on the piece, I always go to my first arranger, John salmon, and have him do the arrangement. And then I have two other majors in the group that work outside of the project in case I want to monitor John's overloaded or anything like

Rick Reid  18:32  
that, where does the name of the group come from?

Mano Divina18:35  
My name, mono Divina is Italian for divine hand. And the other reason we use divine hand is some of the classical material in particular that we perform is meant to emotionally move the audience. So we try to pick all the pieces that a composer was kind of putting his hand up to God in order to praise a higher self or higher sense of consciousness in the musical world and reflected in a musical piece. So I mean, I love Mozart's Magic Flute. And as much as I think they're creative, the Knights house final term and we aim more for the more beautiful pieces so we go with divine and because we're trying to present divine music, and of course the Thurman is played just with your hands.

Rick Reid  19:15  
When I first heard of the group that made me think of the 1960s band founded here in Denver called Lothar and the hand people lo thar was the name of their Theremin. Yeah,

Mano Divina  19:25  
our classic amongst Theremin world. collectible items there a couple of albums are still considered influential today. Great Ideas super cool concept. And of course, you know, everybody who's determinist today should give props to lodestar for being the first person out there doing this. And we kind of do or not that we shout anything like that. But we kind of take that concept of putting the Thurman as the lead singer sometimes we do opera duets with a real singer. Oh, like the flower duet and Thurman does the operatic soprano part.

Rick Reid  19:56  
Your group has a relationship with the Laurel Hill Summit. Are you there in the Philadelphia area? How did that get started and tell us about the concert that you're going to be playing there in June. In our

Mano Divina  20:07  
town here in Philadelphia, we have wonderful venues to see classical music. However, they're expensive. Most of them started at $100 a seat. And there's just a lot of people in this town who love classical music, they just can't afford that. So we started to make it our mission to bring not just classical music, but an unusual classical ensemble fronted by Thurman to places that you wouldn't normally see a classical group perform and offer affordable ticket pricing our shows are 20 $25 each. And we play everywhere from churches to concert stages, to theatres to nightclubs, and we're always on the lookout for other unusual places to play. We got asked about 11 years ago, if we would consider performing in the middle of a cemetery. Because of all the styles and music we specialize in. One of them is funeral. funeral music is music that was written for the dead, getting back to the 1500s. Now there's a lot of misinformation out there about funerary music, but it was a legitimate art form where people would play legitimately with the dead. And we found this fascinating, and I got to petition the Vatican and get access to the nine interesting funerary pieces that they had in their archives and transcribed them and was able to bring them back to my group to play and we started to feature some funerary music and the cemetery contacted me one day and they said, We love your funeral Ray stuff. Would you ever consider doing a whole concert of it in the cemetery? That's right up our alley, of course. So we like Yeah. And while we're adding about a second quarter of that same evening, where we're doing more of a gothic theme for the audience like Edward Scissorhands, and Beetlejuice and Danny Elfman stuff, they said, Yeah, let's give it a shot. And it was a huge success. So we go back every year, this I think is going to be our 12th year might be our 13th performing in the cemetery where the whole group sets up in the middle of the cemetery, we started at sunset, which is six o'clock. And we play until the sunset completely and light up a bunch of candles. And we do a two hour concert in the middle of graveyard that covers everything from the specials ghost town to legitimate funeral music to themes of people who are there, we've developed this relationship with them over a decade now. And when they do their phone, walking tour, this is a tour where you can walk through this graveyard, just a huge cemetery. And it's historically filled with really important people. And you can point your cell phone at a gravestone. And you get a narration of telling you who's buried there and some significant details about them, like you would in a museum, but it's for a cemetery. Great idea. We thought that was really cool. And turns out there are 13 composers buried in that cemetery, I believe nine of them are women. And they hired us to do the musical score behind the narration of each gravestone and we took it upon ourselves to actually perform the pieces written by the composer's that are very good. And that's a free download. The highlights of that score is available on our website, divine hand doc net. And of course, if you visit the local cemetery, you can get that app in their gift shop. And you can just put your phone in and gravestone and hear a little history of who's buried there. And maybe a piece or two of their composition, you have

Rick Reid  23:02  
a new album coming out. It's called Aria 51. Love the name. Tell me about that. And when can we hear it. It's

Mano Divina  23:10  
not just a new album, it is our debut album. So we've spent over a decade concentrating on performing live and sharing music with an audience, which is something as a group we're really into, we haven't liked the classical mentality of somebody up on stage, like they're in a glass cage and the audience is a million miles away in the dark applauding. We'd like a more rock and roll interaction show where you actually can communicate with the audience and share your music in a less divided kind of way. Over the years, we've been very competitive, just playing live, I shot our group to labels and classical people thought we were to rock and roll and rock and roll. People thought we were too classical. Of course, when the plague came in 2020 plague we lost 50 or 60 concerts, and we didn't have anything else to do. So I said, now would be a good time to go in and record our debut out. Let's make a record of some of our favorite show stopping pieces that go over well, and we'll put it out ourselves since record labels don't seem to get it. And at the same time, make sure it's a legitimate presentation of not just the band, but what a thorough minute. Theremin has a huge history of being a science fiction sound effects device. And then I realized in playing opera arias with it. So we thought the name was a perfect reflection of the amalgam of those two concepts. And hence we have REM 51 And it's being released on summer solstice 2022. I believe it is also the 75th anniversary of the UFO crash landing in Roswell, New Mexico, is 11 covers that range everywhere from RIMSKY KORSAKOV to the specials is somewhat of a concept record somewhat heavenly sci fi musical journey. Some space age, science fiction operatic fun for earthlings we're doing series to release parties from the summer solstice to the autumn equinox. Me We're from the planetarium, Franklin Institute to some concert stages like the Sellersville theater, a colonial theater. We're doing a concert by candlelight in a few churches. Oh this to celebrate our album and to reach a very wide audience. Well, thank

Rick Reid  25:13  
you so much for taking the time to visit with us. Thank

Mano Divina 25:16  
you so much for having me. I think anybody doing what you're doing is of great help. So thank you for all that you bring to the Theremin community.

Rick Reid  25:23  
The new RAF if you want to album comes out on June 21. But let's wrap up this episode with a sneak preview here is the divine hand ensemble with the title track ARIA 51.

And with that it's time to close this June 2022 edition of the Theremin 30 podcast. I want to thank about Aphrodite luxotic ghost on Rouge and the divine hand ensemble for allowing me to play their music and to mono Divina for being my interview guest. And last but not least Special thanks to the listeners who support the podcast with small one time and monthly donations. I really appreciate your generosity. I'm your host, Rick Reid. I'll see you again soon somewhere in the ether.

David Brower  29:49  
You've been listening to the Theramin 30 podcast visit Theremin 30 on the web at Theremin 30 dot com