Classical Concert for Theremin and Piano
February 3 @ 7:30 pm£12
At the Electric Theatre on Sunday 3rd February 2019.
Join Charlie Draper and Paul Jackson for a recital of rare music for theremin, ondes Martenot and piano, featuring works by Messiaen, Rósza, Milhaud and Rachmaninoff.
Charlie Draper plays the theremin and ondes Martenot, two early electronic instruments distinguished by their haunting tones and unique modes of operation. He has performed for the RTÉ Concert Orchestra (playing the music of Danny Elfman and Bernard Herrmann), the British Library (playing with Bruce Woolley’s Radio Science Orchestra), Tate Britain, WOMAD Festival, the London ExCEL Centre, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whipple Museum of Science, and his work has featured on ITV, Channel 4, BBC 1, and BBC Radio 3.
Paul Jackson is Director of Music and Performance at Anglia Ruskin. He is active as a conductor and pianist for the University, and directs the Anglia Symphony Orchestra, the contemporary music group Anglia Sinfonia and also Anglia Opera, which mounts bi annual opera productions at the Mumford Theatre. His research interests in early electronic music are reflected in wideranging publications and pioneering performances of such works as George Antheil’s Ballet Mécanique and Percy Grainger’s works for ensemble and Hammond Solovox.
The theremin has a place in history as one of the earliest electronic musical instruments. Devised in 1920 by the Russian physicist and musician Leon Theremin (1896 1993), the instrument is distinguished both by its haunting tone resembling the human voice, and by its unique mode of operation, which involves no physical contact from the player. By moving hands around two metal antennas, the player can : like the conductor of an orchestra : summon music from the air.
The ondes Martenot was patented in 1928 by French cellist and radio engineer Maurice Martenot (1898 :1980). Its most well known iteration is distinguished by three unique features: a laterally shifting keyboard (which permits vibrato), a ribbon control (which permits portamento), and special resonant speakers which imbue the sound with an otherworldly resonance. The instrument used in this recital is an Ondomo, handmade in 2017 by Japanese craftsman Naoyuki Omo. The evocative tones of the ondes Martenot can be reminiscent of a violin, cello, flute, or even a human voice, and attracted the attention of Olivier Messiaen, Maurice Ravel, Jacques Charpentier, and Jonny Greenwood.