We have been testing our different visual ideas for the performance this week using shark tooth gauze. This is a very thin opaque projection material used in theatres, we wanted to see how the theremins interact with projections on this material and we could achieve a double projection. The material has quite an ethereal quality and looks amazing with our psychedelic visuals. Big thanks to J&CJoel for supplying us with the material.
On this video you can see what it feels like to be inside the projection…
Here is a little animation, an ode to the amazing Rhythmicon, the instrument invented by Leon Theremin that Dave and myself were privileged to play whilst in Moscow. Professor Andrey Smirnov demonstrated the machine which plays multiple rhythms at the same time mechanically.
Avraamov worked in a wide range of musical fields, most relevant to us and our residency is his graphical sound work in the 1930s, a very short clip below:
He’s most well known for this extraordinary 1922 piece organising the city and its sounds as an instrument
“This recording was made close note of taking Avraamov’s instructions, originally published in Turkish in Baku’s three local newspapers on 6 November 1922, the day before the event: Continue reading Arseny Avraamov
Working at home today to solder up the circuits we have been developing and slowly building them into this beautiful old radio for protection. Will use this in our final performance on the 31st.
To create our graphical scores we have taken inspiration from objects and images in the archives at the National Media Museum. Each item was chosen for its unique interesting shape and our curiosity into how these would sound when played with theremins. It has taken painstaking work to get to the stage where we have our final paper scores using various stages of photography, hand drawings, digital manipulation and tracing on Photoshop and Illustrator to finally having these produced as laser cut stencils. The final batch arrived today and we can’t wait to get these on the turntables to have a listen.
The objects we have chosen are on display in the Gallery, they include
- Skull from Arthur C Clarkes’ Mysterious World (1980s ITV show)
- Photo Cannon
- Kodak Concertina Camera
- Russian Photosniper Camera
- Nelrod Camera (US)
- Cinecam 1950s
We have also selected 2d images from the archives that contain visual repetitions and rhythms such as Muybridge’s ‘Movement of a Hand beating in time’. Inspired by Avraamov’s ‘hand drawn ornamental sound’ explorations we have turned objects and hand drawn skylines into graphical paper scores also. In this image you can see ‘View from Ivan’s tower’ on the far left, the first photograph taken of Moscow and ‘The Maxim Gorky’ a huge plane built to drop propaganda leaflets over Russia.