Victoria Lundy (USA)

Victoria Lundy 
has been playing theremin in the Denver experimental/underground/punk scene since the 90s. She was a member of the avant garde Carbon Dioxide Orchestra, who opened for the legendary Silver Apples in 1997; is a founding member of Denver’s acclaimed nerd rock band The Inactivists and has appeared all of their 6 CDs and EP, and as a guest player live and in recordings with other local artists. She has performed at the 2011 Denver Noise Festival, 2014 Westword Music Showcase and at the 2013 Denver Post Underground Music Showcase as a guest of ambient project Pythian Whispers. Victoria has appeared at many venues in Denver as well as Boulder’s Dairy Center for the Performing Arts, and DU Lamont School of Music, and demonstrated the theremin at the World Science Fiction Convention, gave a 2015 presentation. For the last year she has participated in the Concrete Mixer musique concrete series, the latest playing with Mark Spybey of Dead Voices on Air, and is participating in the 2015 Denver Mini Maker Faire demonstrating the theremin.  Currently, she’s concentrating on solo ambient work exploring the expressive qualities of the theremin and plans a release on Halloween 2015.

Official :


What prompted you to play theremin?

I saw a local thereminist for the first time in the 1990s. I had heard the theremin and loved it in its conventional uses — mostly science fiction films — but I’d never seen one played, and in fact, had no idea how it was played. I guess I had visualized some kind of keyboard instrument. I was fascinated, and luckily, the internet helped me to learn about and purchase a theremin from Bob Moog’s Big Briar Company. I had dabbled on other instruments but I finally found something I wanted to pursue.

What were your first feelings when you heard the sounds of theremin and where did it happen?

I don’t know exactly where I first heard the sound of the theremin. I have always been interested in electronic music, and weird instruments. I used to imitate theremin sounds when I was a kid because they were the “symbol” of spooky science fiction to those of us who liked that kind of thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the first theremin I
heard was from the movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”

What is your musical philosophy and what place it occupies a theremin?

If I have a musical philosophy that addresses the theremin, it is this: The theremin is an instrument first. I have sought out situations and collaborations that allow the theremin to work in an ensemble with other instruments rather than to be showcased or made into a novelty. I think the theremin is often strongest when it’s played in an ensemble. I have branched out and played the theremin in experimental, free music and musique concrete ensembles, but I always like coming back to situations where it’s just another instrument in a regular band or ensemble.

Prospects for theremin and its place in modern music space – how you see them? For what qualities you value this tool?

I think that the theremin, which is arguably the first real electronic instrument, is really hitting its stride in the 21st century almost 100 years after its invention. The microtonal aspects — indeed, the lack of any reliance on any scale — make it a spectacular tool for new directions in composition. Also, there are more players than there have ever been before — and more players who are classically trained and dedicated.

Which manufacturer of theremin do you prefer?

I was lucky enough to purchase an Etherwave Pro from Moog Music several years ago, and that theremin is my gigging theremin. The linearity, the ease of setup, and the incredible tone make this my favorite. I also own my original Big Briar theremin and a Wavefront Classic by Wavefront Technologies.

What you can recommend for beginners thereminists, or those who are just going to start their way of thereminist?

To me, playing the theremin is about control and stillness. It takes a while to just get a coherent sound out of it — so be patient. I feel that good relative pitch is essential, and practice. Ear training is important as well.
If you are able, take lessons from a thereminist. This was pretty much impossible when I started to play.