The Nearness of You

Have you ever seen a theremin played outside Bill Bailleyesque comedy? May I recommend this short video featuring Pamelia Kurstin? Lest you fear that the timbre is going to be a little samey throughout, try to hang on until at least 2:45 when the sound changes dramatically. At 14:15 there is a lovely arrangement of Billy Strayhorn‘s Lush Life featuring Makoto Ozone on piano. What’s nice in this film is the juxtaposition of sensitive playing with extremely merry explanatory dialogue between the items. The musical sensitivity is all the more surprising when you realise that the only parameters specified by the hands approaching the instrument are pitch (frequency) and volume (amplitude). Pupils interested in both science and music might enjoy puzzling out which one is responsible for producing vibrato*. If you haven’t already clicked the Theremin link, try to guess when the instrument was invented.

* an Int 2 concept