[S04E04] September 2022 - Drew Raison


In the September 2022 episode of the Theremin 30 podcast, host Rick Reid plays theremin music from Canada, USA, and Finland. Rick interviews Drew Raison, executive director of EMEAPP, the Electronic Music Education and Preservation Project. 

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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. 



  • Drew Raison, executive director, EMEAPP





Copyright 2022 Rick Reid 



This transcript was created with an AI speech-to-text system. It may contain errors.


David Brower  00:04

This is Theremin 30, 30 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  00:18

a welcome to another edition of the Theremin 30 podcast. You know, last month we had an episode fall a little later in the month and that kind of threw off my schedule. So here it is the end of August and I'm just going to call this the September episode. This time around, I've got new music from Dr. G, Anna Glyph, and Kepa Lehtinen and in plus more music from the Divine Hand Ensemble's current album Aria 51. And my special guest this month is Drew Raison, the executive director of EMEAPP, the electronic music education and preservation project. It's a nonprofit organization that runs a huge musical instrument archive in Philadelphia. And you can imagine what we're going to talk about right now to kick off the music for this show. Let's get physical. I mean let's learn about physics. Here's the latest and final single from Dr. G's physics album if you don't know him Dr G is sort of a mad scientist who brings together the forces of music and physics to entertain and educate kids all over Canada this track is called motion


Rick Reid  09:03

we started the show with motion by Dr G check out the fun new lyric video for that song on that Theremin 30 playlist on YouTube. After that I played say I do a brand new track from Anna glyphe The recording features some Eurorack synth modules a mo grandmother and a Moke ether wave plus that actually used to belong to me. I sold it to her earlier this year and of course she makes it sound better than I ever did. Maybe I should buy it pack. Anyway there's a really clever stop motion music video for say I do on the Theremin 30 playlist on YouTube. After this break I'll take a look at the Theremin 30 calendar and I have new music from compilation so stay tuned


Rick Reid  09:58

It's time now for a look at the Theremin 30 calendar of Theremin events. Since this episode's coming out a little early let's start with August 27. It's the 126 the birthday of Professor Leon Theremin or is it since he was born in 1896 when Russia used a different calendar format. His birthday really depends on which calendar you're looking at. August 27 Does also play music on the porch day, so get out there on September 2, Schramm performs at the nCn festival in Dutson, Germany. Also on September 2 fishbone, featuring thereminist Angelou more will perform at the mercury cafe here in Denver, and on September 3, Dr. G performs at the Orleans library in Ottawa. The 10th edition of the knob con synthesizer convention is set for September 9 through the 11th in the Chicago area, and the RCA Theremin evening is back streaming live on YouTube on the final weekend of September. For details about these events and more, check out the interactive calendar on Theremin thirty.com. And I can't keep up with all that Theremin events myself. So if you have an event you'd like me to put on the calendar, give me a little nudge. Send me all the details through the website to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Helsinki based Film and Television composer Kip Weston recently sent me a copy of his latest single it's a lovely and haunting track called it gets dark Let's listen.


Rick Reid  13:48

That was it gets dark by Kepa Lehtinen and if you want to hear what he does when he isn't playing Theremin, check out his recent TV soundtrack album made in Finland mobile 101 Season One it's available to stream and download in all the usual places. Up next on Theremin 30 I'll visit with Drew res on from the electronic music education and preservation project. So stick around


Rick Reid  14:34

if you frequent that Theremin 30 website and I hope you do you've probably seen links and banners for me app the electronic music education and preservation project. It's one of the music nonprofits I promote because they help spread the word about Theremin music. A couple of weeks ago I got to visit with Drew Raison the executive director of me app to find out what it's all about. Drew Raison thank you so much for being on the Theremin 30 Podcast.


Drew Raison  15:02

I'm very happy to be here I am honored and looking forward to discussing pheromones because it's one of my favorite things to do.


Rick Reid  15:08

I saw your streaming live tour of EMEAPP where you work when I was just blown away with the assortment of instruments that you have and the historic, famous instruments that you have. And I wanted to share a little bit of my experience with my listeners. So to start with, can you tell me what is EMEAPP?


Drew Raison  15:27

Yeah, I can try. We are the steward of a massive collection of historically significant musical instruments and gear. Then it started off as a private collection, our curator started off, he was in a band back in the 70s, a rock band and when disco hit his rock band couldn't get a gig because everybody wanted disco, okay, so he got out of the business, sold off most of his instruments and stepped into the food production world and had great success there. And he decided to then turn back and say, you know, I want to get back into this thing. So he finds his original instruments, and he buys a couple of them back. And then he says, You know, I've, I've always wanted one of these. And I've always wanted one of these. And he got out of that. But that's what happens in a perfect world, right. So ultimately, the private collection started to grow at a very, very fast rate. And he kind of stopped and look back at it and realize that this is not a collection of stuff. In fact, this is a very fine tuned, curated collection. And he started to exercise his license as a curator. So as opposed to I've always wanted one of these things, he starts to look into the history of that given object and who created it. And what did the early ones look like? And what about before they actually were produced? Did they create any prototypes of that given item, and then he would go after the prototypes. Now that little story is wonderful. But what you get when you come into me app is you get this dose of 30,000 square feet of this curatorial skill. So yes, we have a massive collection of synthesizers. It's a ridiculous collection. And we've got some rarities beyond belief, but we also have a lot of the prototypes, and we're tied in with the pioneers that created the concepts of these instruments, and then created the actual instruments. And then beyond the synthesizers we have a lot of electromechanical instruments that is electric pianos, clavinets that goes very deep at a massive collection of combo organs so before synthesizers really took grasp the combo organ was in fact the main means for keyboardists to convey their musical ideas in a band. We have untold sums of those and then we have a massive collection of tonewheel Oregon's made by Hammond, you might have heard of the A series, the B Series and the C series, the B three being the doll of all


Rick Reid  17:46

Yeah, one of my highlights of watching the or tour you did online, was to see John Lord's B3.


Drew Raison  17:52

the collection of tonewheel Oregon's here makes my knees knock it's a nobody really does because there's nothing more exciting to me and of course I might have different standards than most than to walk up to the Hammond Oregon that rift that insane solo on the yes a song roundabout on the album fragile and and it goes deeper than that because we have multiples of Keith Emerson's Hammond Oregon's and it goes deeper and deeper and deeper. And, you know, you think you know a lot about a Hammond, Oregon until you start working here and you realize you kind of don't know anything. And then also recording gear we have, as our recording studio is up and operating now we have a massive collection of vintage audio gear, and probably no fewer than 2500 to 3000 effects pedals, you know, guitar keyboard, bass effects pedals. And then we also have one of the world's finest collections of Mogae equipment. Dr. Robert Moog was one of the main pioneers of synthesizer design. And we have a I don't know you want to call it a shrine? Maybe, you know,


Rick Reid  18:57

I think that would be appropriate. Yeah.


Drew Raison  18:59

Yeah, it kinda is. And it's funny because we built the mug exhibit for a specific Keith Emerson related event that we were having here. And we're never taken that setup down. It's a very special room and it's loaded with prototypes. Bob mugs mug is in that room. It's a freakishly delicious collection and I am one of the luckiest human beings on earth to stand among these items on a daily basis and I don't take it lightly. It's a very special opportunity.


Rick Reid  19:26

You have some historical Theremins on display there


Drew Raison  19:30

we do. The curator got into Thurman's very early on in the collection, we have a number of advisors, I refer to them as our eyes on the world. They're the folks that look out for us, and when a rare instrument hits the market, and it ought to be preserved, as opposed to ending up in a private collection that a generation is going to miss it and it could end up in the dumpster. Sometimes we have to jump in there and really save it. And a couple of our advisors, one in particular a gentleman named Brian key who helped steer us into the history of the Theramin. And, again, from the position of a curator, he wants to tell the story of the Theramin and show the development of it. So we have I consider this to be a flagship object. It's a 1929 RCA Theramin. That's the large wooden one that is just so beautiful looking. And we see in pictures of many early Thurmond players, and it also has its matching speaker cabinet. And that Theramin sat in our lobby for the longest time and it was a highlight when mono Divina who I'm sure you know, and have spoken with. He's been on the show. He also lives five minutes from here, ironically, and he was playing on that Theramin, which is a finicky instrument. The tone of that instrument was shockingly delicious. I kind of almost can't describe it beyond it was almost like a imagine a Theramin that kind of had a little bit of a warm blanket feeling to it. But I mean, that's old school technology there at its finest. I will also say the inside of the 1929 Fairman is possibly one of my favorite electronic images. When we're looking at electronic components, the stuff that the user doesn't get to see. While you will swing open the back of that Theramin it's just it's exciting to me the big tubes in the coil, just beautiful. I mean, I wouldn't be sticking my hand in there if it was plugged. tell you guys a lot of voltage in there, but really a beautiful looking machine. And then we also have a 1954 Mogae Theramin. That was one of Bob mugs earlier projects and was actually built by Bob and his father and both of them signed it. And that's probably my favorite, most impactful Theremin. And then we also have a series of other Moog, Theremin instruments the troubadour, the Melodia, which are both very common Moog instruments. One of those was a kit was it? Yes, it was, because Bob was doing that, you know, the instruments were available pre made or as a kit. And I don't know which one it was, and I wasn't involved in me at the time that they arrived. I was here when we took delivery of a maestro Theramin that has a pair of square plates on an angle, a compound angle, oh, to actuate it and I was of the understanding that Bob Moog was involved in the design of the instrument. But Brian key who the gentleman I mentioned earlier, pointed out to Bob wasn't, but I think it's one of the coolest looking instruments on the more modern tip, it's not very forgiving, because the plates are right smack next to each other. So as you have with a standard Theramin you know, you can you can separate your arms a bit. This one is a little tighter, but I don't I kind of sense that it wasn't really meant to be as flexible and instrument as a lot of the Bob Moog instruments are 


Rick Reid  22:39

Yeah, that was made when Gibson owned the Moog name, I believe.


Drew Raison  22:43

So yeah, that would probably be a norlane era instrument. And it sounds good. Yeah. And then on top of that, we have to Mogae ether wave pro pheromones, which are, you know, very desirable precision instruments, we have one that is left handed, and one that is right handed, and taking delivery of the Left Handed either way, throw is kind of a trip because I'm thinking I'm a lefty, I'm a deep left, I'm not right handed in any way, shape, and form. So if I care to play a theorem, and I'll just stand behind it, and all of a sudden it becomes a left handed instrument. So we actually have a pair of them left and right handed, and our collection of Theremin 's will be increasing over time. I'm hoping that we have the opportunity to look back at a few of the other Moog instruments from the 60s and continue to expand on that. And then we don't really focus on the newer instruments. I mean, the ether wave probes are actually two of the newest instruments that we have in the building. But I'm also interested in seeing some of the more modern instruments that will quantize and kind of allow the performer to have an easier time. Because you know, the theorem is easy to play and not easy to play. Well. Am I right?


Rick Reid  23:52

Yeah, exactly. Can someone arrange to go to your studio and use the instruments from your collection? If Mano Divina wants to do a new album that features your historical Theremin.


Drew Raison  24:06

I would do that in a heartbeat. And we're not going to let you come in and use Jimi Hendrix is Woodstock wah wah pedal for your guitar solo and your rock band project. That wouldn't happen but a great example would be the tribute band Manta core that does Emerson Lake and Palmer songs approached us about doing a 50 year celebration of their album trilogy. And of course, we jumped on that. So we brought the entire band in we use Keith Emerson's gear, we use some of Greg lakes gear, and we put together a piece which you can see at me app.org We have a series called Live at me app and you can actually see what the band did. So in cases like that, we say yes, we also bring artists and residents through it. It has to be set up appropriately. But we have Robin hatch coming in Robin is a synthesis that has done quite a bit of work on historically significant instruments, and she'll be here for about a week just exploring what we have and and putting together compositions on certain pieces of gear. And so we do that as well. So basically what I say is approach us, tell us your idea. And if our mission and your mission match, then let's do it. Tell us what it is. Let's compare notes. And if it's a good fit, then we'll be working together in no time.


Rick Reid  25:19

I really want to get an in-person tour there soon.


Drew Raison  25:22

I would love to show you around. And then if your listeners as well keep your eyes open, I'm structuring a Theremin project right now I was waiting for mono Divina to finish up his current record that just came out called Aria 51. And then we also work with Rob Schwimmer, who is another amazing therapist from New York. Yeah, we know Rob, we enjoy it when he comes down here because he is so good on so many instruments. And he knows every single piece of music ever written. And then of course, Pamela Stickney is another therapist that we work with, we've done some stuff with and, and so I'm looking to put together a, you know, a nice Theremin series. So when it happens, I'll reach out to you and let you know and you can let your your listeners know we're constantly outputting product and we have so many people that request Theramin projects, but it's it's hard to find capable and available feminists, but luckily monto lives literally five minutes away.


Rick Reid  26:14

Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about your organization.


Drew Raison  26:18

Well, listen, I really appreciate this. It's been a wonderful conversation. I encourage any of your listeners to reach out directly if you got any questions, EMEAPP.org. That's e m e a p p dot org. And we keep things on Facebook and Instagram very fresh. So if you want to see what we're doing, we encourage you to if you feel like donating, we encourage you to do that as well. And if you have any questions, please hit us up we'd love to talk.


Rick Reid  26:42

To learn more about me app and to sign up for a free membership. Follow the link to the mem website and this month's show notes at Theremin thirty.com. You know with all that talk about mono Divina, of course, I need to finish the episode with his music from the Aria 51 album by the Divine Hand Ensemble. Here's his interpretation of Nightingale and the Rose by Rimsy-Korsakov.


Rick Reid  29:05

Thank you to Dr. G, Anna Glyph, Kepa Lehtinen,  and the Divine Hand Ensemble for allowing me to play their music. Also, thanks to my special guest drew Reyes on the executive director of EMEAPP, the electronic music education and preservation project and to the listeners who support this show with small one time and monthly donations. If you're new to the podcast, be sure to check out the website and listen to any of the episodes you may have missed. Also, take a look at the merch store for T shirts, bumper stickers and other fun things that help support the show. Until next time, I'm your host, Rick Reid. I'll see you somewhere in the ether.


David Brower  29:49

you've been listening to the Theremin 30 podcast. visit Theremin 30 on the web at Theremin 30 dot com