Computer Specialist, Musician/composer, and Certified Flight Instructor.
My music activities range from playing traditional/classical church music to working with neo-classic and experimental music with synthesizers and theremin. I am a member of the electro-music, loopers-delight, and theremin-world communities, and a member of the “Spellbound” artists list (theremin).
Official site: http://kevinkissinger.com/
What prompted you to play theremin?
I built a Theremax kit with no intention to use it for other than a
controller for my synthesizer. I downloaded Clara Rockmore’s Theremin
method thinking that I’d get a laugh out of my attempts to play! I
discovered that, after a few evenings, I could play. Three weeks
later I ordered an Moog Etherwave Pro: a leap of faith that I’ve never
Incidentally, I never ended up controlling my synthesizer with a
theremin — I just play the theremin “stand alone”.
What were your first feelings when you heard the sounds of theremin
and where did it happen?
I was always aware of the theremin from an early age — I must have
seen it demonstrated on TV, though I don’t remember when. I viewed
the theremin as a novelty for old horror and sci-fi movies. I didn’t
become interested in the theremin until years later when I heard Clara
Rockmore’s performance of “Vocalise”. Along with the revelation that
the theremin could be played artistically, I also was convinced that
it was something that I would never be able to do. That was two years
before I built my first theremin.
What is your musical philosophy and what place it occupies a
I compose music for theremin that challenges my abilities without
overwhelming them. To play rapid passages (i.e. 16th or 32nd notes)
and wide jumps is inherently difficult on theremin and particularly
difficult for me. To maintain accurate intonation against complex
harmonies, to execute nuanced dynamics, and to play with precise and
complex rhythmns are great challenges which interest me.
I seek to create music that utilizes modern harmonies, textures, and
technology that is accessable to a wide audience and my music consists
of written-out notes.
Prospects for theremin and its place in modern music space – how
you see them? For what qualities you value this tool?
The theremin has an expressive voice and is capable of nuanced
dynamics, vibrato,and portamento. I don’t approach the theremin as a
“virtuoso” instrument — rather, I approach it as an expressive
instrument that can play long phrases and slow passages much better
than most other instruments.
Which manufacturer of theremin do you prefer?
I perform on the Moog Etherwave Pro theremin.