I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

November 01, 2014 - 10:46 a.m.

The Remin of Halloween

What did I do during the day yesterday? Chronklepts must have it. I did talk to LORi and she gave me the nerve to read the scary snail mail from my health insurance company marked "open immediately." I was sure it said something like "If you don't eat your own liver we are canceling your insurance and don't even think of having bacon with it!" But it was nothing like that and not in the least scary.

Then I was off to the New York Theremin society's Halloween show at Joe's Pub. I waited till yesterday to buy the ticket. I was lucky, there was a single seat available in my favorite section and is in fact the best seat in the house. I dont know how that happened. Only after I got there did I remember that I had friends that told me that they wanted to go with me the next time I saw a theremin show. Even worse I forgot which friends these were. So if you want to go with me the next time I hear a theremin let me know now. I am making a list, people to hear theremin with.

The show featured my favorite thereminist Rob Schwimmer. The two favorite things I've written about myself lately are that I have a good kazoo and a favorite thereminist. I am not a vanilla folkie

Nothing reflects the sad state of civilization more than that I feel the need to tell some of you what a theremin is. Would I have to explain what a guitar is?

It is an electronic instrument and the only instrument that you play without touching it. The vertical mast control the pitch and the loop the volume. Your hand and the metal elements for two capacitors and the distance between them the capacitance. They form part of an RLC circuit which has a resonant frequency. It is exactly the same phenomenon as the picture on a broadcast TV changing as your hand gets near the antenna. The theremin sounds spooky and unworldly so is perfect for Halloween. This is in fact that second time I saw Rob on Halloween. It should be an annual tradition.

Rob was not the only one on the bill. Unfortunately I don't know the name of the other one just that she's Austrian and is prettier than Rob..

If I had a good camera my seat would be perfect for photography, the house photographer Kevin was right next to me. But with my phone it's a bit far The lighting is a challenge there so some are in black and white or sepia. Other times I tried to capture the mood lighting.

Do you see the difference between how their theremins are set up? Rob has the mast on the right, she has it on her left. My guess is that she's left-handed. I should have asked after the show.

After the intro she did a set by herself. Even if I didn't see them I would have known she wasnt Rob, her style was different. She moved differently to. Her motions were more often dramatic and broader. She also sang. I haven't seen that before theremin and singing together. Oh it is NOT a theremin on Good Vibrations though I've heard that Brian Wilson has faked playing one on stage when he does it live.

Rob's set included classical pieces, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, film scores, Vertigo and Bride of Frankenstein, and original compositions. He also did a piano piece dedicated to Clara Rockmore. the first great thereminist. She's also the aunt of WfUV's Bob Sherman. Are you impressed I remembered what he played? I damn sure am. I was taken aback a bit by the audience when he did The Dance of the Swans. He introduced it by saying how the film Dracula scared him as a kid. That is the haunting theme music. When he started playing it people applauded. That's fine, I don't expect everyone to know that was what he was going to play from mentioning the film. But then they applauded over his playing for 30 seconds. Hell I love that piece, on my short list of favorite music. It's my specialty on the kazoo. But I'd much rather hear it played than applaud so I can't hear it as well.


Sepia just seems fitting for Halloween

Last time I saw Rob on Halloween he provided the music to a silent film. He did it this time too. It was an original score he wrote to a film from I believe 1925. I will not have to tell you which one.

Poe pretty much defines Halloween. This was my favorite part of the show. The music fit the action perfectly. It was scary, creepy, and at times funny. It was exactly what I want from a theremin Halloween show.

I would love for him to do a full length film, perhaps Metropolis or Phantom of the Opera. No The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari! OK who has some pull and can arrange that? A national tour playing movie theaters to make it worthwhile for him to score a full film.

After the film I said hi then headed out. I went shopping at Pathmark, Halloween candy wasn't marked down yet. Bacon was on sale! I stocked up.

I felt bad I wasn't in costume. Last time I saw Rob on Halloween I wore perhaps my favorite costume ever,

Can you figure out what I am? Does telling you it was 2008 help? I was Joe Six-pack! Come on don't give me that look. That's clever.

I got some great pics of Rob that night. Look at this one.

OK now for breakfast. I am going to break tradition and NOT tell you what I'm eating. I also didn't tell you what subways I took. It was Halloween. Is this being written by a pod person? Wouldn't you like to know. Just take a nap, you'll feel better. Now sleep.





Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017



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Horvendile November 01, 2014
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