Hello, and welcome to my blog. In response to a growing problem of blog style postings at thereminworld, I've decided to set up this blog as a repository of my past progress with the theremin.
To find out about upcoming shows, or events, please see my youtube page at: www.youtube.com/thomasgrillo . See also
To learn more about theremins in general, and check out highlights of some of my major accomplishments, please visit http://www.thomasgrillo.com/ .
My life as a thereminist began in July of 2006, when a friend had me help them search for a certain keyboard on the web. After landing at a major online retailer, I noticed out to the side, this funny looking gizmo. It looked like a radio, on a stick! The product was a theremin. Until that moment, I had no idea what a theremin looked like, or even how to spell "theremin".
I did a bit of research on the instrument, and then asked my self, "they still make those things?"
So, I went ahead, and got one, thinking it would collect dust after about a month. I had no clue as to how to play it at that time. Nor did I have any clue as to where it would take me in the future.
As soon as it showed up, I took it out of the box, set it up, and just started making God aweful noises with it, but I had a lot of fun doing it. It took me about a week to go from sounding like a catfight in a sewer pipe, to actually playing seperate notes, and then I decided to get Peter Pringle's DVD a few weeks later. Between his DVD, and the one that came with the Moog Music Etherwave Standard, I was able to teach myself how to play to a point that within a few weeks, I was playing "recognizable tunes", as Clara Rockmore would have put it.
By about November of 2006, I was able to play the instrument farely confidently, but with quite a bit more learning to do. By this time, I had also found myself quite drawn to the instrument. I found that I was spending nearly ten hours a day on the theremin. Well, near it, anyway. By Christmas of that year, I was confident enough to play it for others. I took the theremin to my parents home for christmas celebration, and played along with my father, who plays the piano in his spare time. My brother inlaw had a small digital camera which he shot a few minutes of video with. This was the first known recording ever, of me playing the theremin. He posted it to youtube, and you can see how I played at about 6 months into my experience. Check it out here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtnkiUuACOM . Please excuse the darkness of the video, it was a cheap camera, and was shot totally under candid conditions.
By the end of December of 2006, I signed up for youtube, and started watching other theremin enthusiasts showing off their new toys. I also had a talk with the owner of a guitar shop which had just opened up a block away from me, and we decided to make his shop a point of presense for would thereminization in Jackson, Mississippi. Every Saturday afternoon, I would go there, and set up my theremin, and just jam, and talk with people about the theremin. This has continued even to the time of this writting.
In February of 2007, I realized I was still enjoying playing the theremin, and noticed I was inded improving to the point where I felt justified in going after the Etherwave Pro theremin by Moog Music. Playing this instrument was way different than playing the Etherwave Standard. It took a few weeks to get the hang of playing the Etherwave Pro, as it's playing field is more linear than the Standard's field. That is to say, the notes are evenly spaced on the Etherwave Pro. They are not evenly spaced on the Standard, as they are clser together near the pitch antenna.
On March 3, 2007, I recorded, and posted my first ever video to youtube, and for weeks, posted a slew of videos. Granted, when compared with my current state of progress as of this writting, they were not exactly the best quality performances, but the stand as a record of the state of my progress at the times they were recorded, and are available for other theremin students to help guage their own progress, and to show how a serious thereminist progresses over time when learning the theremin.
On March 4 of 2007, I posted a video showing how I found a solution to a problem the Etherwave Stand had with some production batches in which, if you touched the volume antenna, the instrument would chirp. I solved this problem by placing a bit of cable sleeving over the volume antenna. This made the problem go away.
By mid March of 2007, I noticed Pamelia Kurstin was going to give a lecture at the Moog Music plant, in Asheville, North Carolina. It was for a one day workshop. I signed up, and was promptly asked by Moog Music if I would assist in showing the other attendees how to play during the hands on portion. They approached me about this after having seen my youtube videos. I suppose this particular day was the day I would learn that I could actually teach someone else how to play the theremin. The night before the workshop, I was lucky enough to enjoy a couple of hours of talking with Pamelia just before her show which took place at The Jolly Rouge in Asheville. We shared a lot of information about theremin technique. She practically gave me a private workshop imparting many valuable bits of information which was not covere in the workshop the next day. I owe her a debt of gratitude for that information. It would later serve to improve my skills on the theremin on many levels.
In early April of 2007, I noticed on thereminworld.com's forums, a call for thereminists by Karlajean Davis, an independant direcotor who was looking for someone to score the music for a movie called Golgotha. Realizing that I had reached a point of proficiancy suitable of human consumption even at this level, I decided to take on the task of producing the score for this movie. Little did I realize, that this movie score would take over a year to produce. It was a strictly voluntary effort on everyone's part. Even the director, who wrote, and produced the film put her own funds into the project, as did many of us in terms of equipment, time, and effort. Over time, we had even picked up a few more thereminists on the project. Those were none other than, Kevin Kissinger, Randy George, and Andy Karlock. Unfortunately, Andy was not able to continue due to school, and work schedule conflicts. More on Golgotha later.
Also in April of 2007, I launched my web page http://www.thomasgrillo.com/ where I feature many links to other thereminists around the world, as well as information about theremins. It is also where I offer my services, and highlight some of my most major accomplishments.
In May of 2007, I noticed a comment at thereminworld asking the question, "why has nobody posted theremin lessons to youtube". At that moment, I decded to break out the camera, put on a nice dress shirt, and tie, and get down to the business of teaching the theremin at a basic, introductory level. Little did I know, that I had just posted the first youtube based theremin lesson. I later found myself posting a total of six lessons in the series.
By July 1, 2007, I got an e-mail from an enthusiastic young musician by the name of Benjamin Scott, who insisted on taking lessons from me. he lives all the way over in England. I replied to his e-mail, and asked how was I to teach him to play the theremin if he was all the way over there? I offered suggestions as to several thereminists who live there, and he still insisted on taking lessons from me. When I asked why, he replied, "I like the vibrato technique you use". Well, I told him I would help in whatever capacity I could by e-mail, but then he told me to get skype. So, I did, and shortly thereafter, gave my first ever transatlantic theremin lesson via telepresense, or distance learning as it's sometimes called. Turns out, he's a whiz on the organ, and when he found out about Golgotha, practically begged to be braught onboard as a musician, even though I told him it was a no-budget production, and the even I was not being paid for it.
By July 3, 2007, I got my third theremin. It was the Burns B3 theremin. It was small, and very challenging to play because of it's siace, but playable, it was. A lot of people downplayed the Burns theremins as not being a serious instrument, because of it's size. Many thought of it as a toy. I knew better. I made a point to learn Rachmaninoff's Vocalise, and play it on that very theremin just to prov it was a viable musical instrument. I posted that video to youtube, as well.
At about the same time, I felt it was time for me to try my hand at actually building a theremin. I got the cheapest, smallest kit I could find. It was the Junior Theremin kit. It had all of about 20, or so parts, and was quite easy, even for a legally blind person like me to build. It actually worked!
By early August, of 2007, I was approached by David Vessel of the online radio show "Spellbound", a brief program for theremin music. He had asked me for some mp3s of my works, so I sent a few off to hime, and by August 5th, he had aired one of them. I was now "on the air".
By September 14, of 2007, after having burned out my first theremin's power regulator twice, and having had Moog Music repair it, they decided it was time, I learn how to fix that part myself. They told me exactly which part to preplace, and surprising as it was to me, the theremin came to life after a delicate operation to replace a single transistor.
On October 31, 2007, I made an appearance with theremin in tow at a Halloween party. Two of them, actually. It was a smash. I just did scary, spooky sounds with the theremin. Oddly enough, kids, and parents alike all thaught I was some sort of animatronic lawn decoration for Halloween that the homeowners had picked up somewhere. Oh well, it was a hott, and a lot of fun.
On November 10, 2007, I hammered out a deal between my self, Daniel Burns, maker of the Burns B3 theremins, and Patrick harkins of Fondren Guitars, to make Fondren Guitars the world's first retail outlet for Burns' theremins, as well as the first place in the state of Mississippi, and likely within range of a couple of states, where you could actually walk in to a shop, and not only buy a theremin, but get formal lessons there as well. I now offer lessons at Fondren Guitars in Jackson, Mississippi.
Also in November of 2007, I was approached for lessons by a totally blind college student named Dave Bahr, in Denver Colorado. for a few weeks I was only able to verbally describe playing techniques, and could only get verbal information back as he only had a microphone for skype. During this time, his first theremin, a rare B3 model with a built in speaker, had developed a problem with it's speaker cone which had torn as a result of having to play it loud enough to be heard over the microphone. By this time, he was in the market for an amp, so I verbally instructed him how to unscrew a cover grill from the speaker, and take an exacto hobby knife, and surgically remove the damaged paper speaker cone, and secure the speaker leads so as to avoid a short circuit. Keep in mind, Dave is totally blind, and successfully accomplished the task of disabling the damaged speaker, which we chose to do, rather than replace it, which would have meant going into the instrument. Later that month, he got a webcame which I was able to talk him through setting up, and pointing toward himself, so I could see what he was doing as I went through the precess of teaching him how to play.
On December 25 of 2007, he got an Etherwave Standard, which after a few days, in Colorado's cold, and dry environment, needed tuning. I was able to instruct hime how do this.
On December 22, 2007, Fondren Guitars made the first ever retail sale of a Burns B3 theremin to a man from Los Angeles, who happened to be passing through Jackson, at the time. Haven't a clue who that person was.
On January 18 of 2008, Dave's theremin needed internal tuning due to the Colorado environment. I used skype to instruct him how to open the theremin while watching via skype, and guide his hands verbally to the parts he needed to adjust. We actually got his theremin to tune correctly. Had I not been an avid NASA Television fan, I don't think I would have known how to execute these technical support issues via skype. I remember watching how mission controllers would have an astronaught describe what broken item they were working on, and they would tell exactly how to fix it, while looking over thier shoulders via an onboard camera. I just took what I learned from watching NASA TV, and applied it here. It worked! Not only could I teach the theremin over a skype connection, but I learned that I could help instruct minor servicing of a theremin from thousands of miles away.
On February 20 of 2008, I got my hands on a PAiA Theremax theremin kit. This one had hundreds of parts, and took weeks to build. I still have a ways to go before it's fully functional, but it does work to some degree.
On March 2 of 2008, I was interviewed for the first time by CNI Radio Network (Computer News, and Information). I even gave a small performance, as well as talked about how I assisted Dave with his theremin lessons, and theremin servicing via the web.
On March 29 of 2008, I performed with a rock band called Tandem (who still owes me 40 bucks for the performance by the way) at Hal & Mals in Jackson, Mississippi. It was the first time I had ever performed with a rock band. I rocked the theremin that night!
On April 11 of 2008, I was invided to perform with the musicians, and instructors of Fondren Guitars for the monthly Fondren celebration now known as Fondren After 5 festival, in which shops stay open late, and there is is a party atmosphere in the Fondren area. Local bands perform live at various parts of Fondren, including Fondren Guitars. I performed for several hours. What a blast!
On April 23 of 2008, I not only attended Ethermusic Fest in Asheville North Carolina, but was one of the instructors, and performers. There, I demonstrated a new technique I had develped for playing theremins with "non-linear" pitch fields. In attendance was thereminist Lydia Kavina, who even had a go with the new technique. Just getting to this gig was a challenge. Missed flights, and aircraft problems, and incopetence on the part of Delta airlines caused me to miss the first night of the convention, but I was able to get there on the day of my lecture with an hour to spare. On the night of the classical musical performances, I gave a very successful performance of the The Swan. Unfortunately, due to scheduling problems, they only had 5 minutes of space for my performance. I also performed with the theremin orchestra, which consisted of about 8 thereminists, including Lydia kavina, who directed the orchestra. On the final day of the workshop, Moog Music invited me to sit on a panel which discussed the possible next generatino theremin from Moog Music.
On May 5 of 2008, I gave an hour long performance of classical music at a local pub here in Jackson, called Finians. It was quite interesting to see people enjoying the performance of classical music while all the other performers were doing country, rock, blues, ect. Everyone loved it.
On May 26 of 2008, I joined the Amercan Federation of Musicians Union, local 579 in Jackson, Mississippi. I have also started contacting booking agents. We'll see where that leads.
On May 21 of 2008, I gave the first ever professional theremin lesson in Mississippi at Fondren Guitars. it was really quite interesting to see someone go from not knowing how to play a theremin to start understanding, and actually play notes with the theremin over the course of the lessons.
In June of 2008, I was invited by youtube to become a youtube partner, which allows me to post longer videos, and to take part in revenue sharing from advertising.
On August 8, of 2008, I was interviewed by Jackson Free Press. The reporter asked many questions regarding my experiences with the theremin. you can read a copy of the article at http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/ under music at http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/index.php/site/comments/hands_off_music_from_the_ether_100108/
On September 19 of 2008 The movie Golgotha was finally ready to be presented to the public for the first time in Atlanta GA, at The Plaza Theatre. I gave a half hour improvisational performance on theremin, as one of the pianists from Golgotha, Joel Patchel, performed on keyboard. The movie was a smash hit with everyone. A professional photographer was on hand, and took some amazing shots of the cast, crew, and musicians while at the premiere. The next day, I was treated to a tour of the Burns theremin plant, and I had a wonderful time with Dan, and his wife, as we enjoyed the afternoon, and evening sharing storries of all things theremin. Burns also provided the theremin, amp, and technical assistance while at the premiere. You can see pics of the premiere here: http://flickr.com/photos/karlajeandavis/sets/%3CBR%3E72157607500946146/ and on my site at: http://www.thomasgrillo.com/page8.html
In early October of 2008, I, and Benjamin Scott decided to collaborate on my first CD project. an audio story of a lost soul who is transported in his sleep to an alternate reality in which nightmares seem like day dreams. He must travel through creepy woods occupied by an eveil monster which stalks him as he travels an enchanted path which protects him from harm as he makes his way on a quest to vanquish evil monsters, and eventually, wake up. You can find a copy for sale at www.thomasgrillo.com/shop.html and at http://www.tradebit.com/ just search Thomas Grillo, and you'll find it.
On October 25 of 2008, I recieved an e-mail from Bruce, with Dead Channels Film festival with a link to a short review of Golgotha, which ran in San Fransisco on the October 4, and 8 of 2008. Turns out it was run first in the line up, and got a nice review. According to him, it was well spoken of at the Q & A sessions, as well. Here's a link to his blog entry:
On October 25 of 2008, after my usual guitar shop gig, I was asked to perform with one of the guitar instructors at a birthday party for a large group of kids who were celebrating at the shop. I had a great time playing the theremin with the guitarist. After our performance, the guitarist asked the kids, "Ok, who wants to try the guitar?" Well, not one went for the guitar! The all ran right over to the theremin, and cued up to have a go at it. I couldn't believe that. I kind of felt sorry for the guitarist. ;)
On October 31, 2008, I performed at the same two houses I performed at last halloween. All the trick-or-treaters enjoyed the sound of the creepy theremin. Several more groups of visitors asked the homeowners if I was real, or some sort of animated decoration.
On December 11, 2008, I was invited to appear as a guest on a radio program related to arts in Mississippi. The interview will be recorded on December 16, 2008, and aired about a month later. The interview will be recorded at Mississippi Public Broadcasting Studios in Jackson, Mississippi. MPB is a statewide television, and radio broadcasting network. This particular program will cover my views on arts in this state as it pertains to the theremin. I'll also be giving a short demonstration of the theremin. Podcasts will be available at: http://www.mpbonline.org/
On December 13, 2008, I was invited to attend, and participated in two discussions related to the arts in Mississippi. They will be held January 5th, and 15th, 2008 in Jackson. More details to come.
Also on this date, I have been invited to perform with the Mississippi Improv Alliance (M!A) on February 25, 2009, from 7 to 9 pm. Location to be announced soon.
On December 16, 2008, I just got back from the radio station where I was interviewed by Diane Williams with the Mississippi Arts Hour program. I also gave a short mini concert of two old standards, The Swan, and Vocalise on theremin.The show was recorded, and will air on WLEZ 100.1FM for Jackson area listeners, Thursday, January 8, 2009, then it will air on MPB on Saturday at 11 a.m. on HD (91.3-2) and you'll have to have HD radio to listen to that. Then the show will re-air on Sunday at 3 p.m. here in Mississippi.After that, the program will be available as a podcast. You will be able to access the podcast at: http://www.arts.state.ms.us/podcast/msartshour.xmlIf the above does not work, here's the tiny url version: http://tinyurl.com/6hyunzMississippi Public Broadcasting is a statewide radio / television network here in Jackson, so all of Mississippi will have a chance to learn about, and enjoy the theremin on those dates, and then the world has a crack at it with the podcasts.Enjoy!
On January 3rd, I shot video of the Mississippi Blues Marathon. After that, I was invited to jam with Patrick Harkins and his band at Fondren Guitars. The video is now on my youtube channel.
On January 6th, 2009, I was paid a visit by a professional guitarist I ran into the night before at an arts meeting. The guitarist is Jeff Commissaris. Turns out he ran in the Mississippi Blues Marathon. We did a total improv jam session here in my studio for two hours. We even shot video of about 20 minutes worth of the session, which is now on youtube on my channel.
On January 11th, 2009, my interview with Mississippi Public Broadcasting's program Mississippi Arts Hour aired on WMPN, MPB's statewide radio broadcasting network. The show was well recieved.
On February 18th, 2009, I appeared on a radio show called Film Club Radio, a program run by Edward Saint Pe', on radio station WLEZ in Jackson, Mississippi. We talked about the theremin, and the work I did with the movie Golgotha. We also discussed how theremins have been used in motion pictures throughout the theremin's history. I performed a couple of short improvisations on theremin in the studio.
On March 16th, 2009, I was interviewed in my studio by Portico Jackson, a local magazine. We spent about 2 hours talking about the theremin, and photos were taken.
On March 17th, 2009, another photographer-Josh Hailey did a photo shoot for nearly two hours. The photo shoot session was also for Portico Jackson. The magazine is slated to run the story on me in their May 2009 issue. More later as details become available.
During the month of March, 2009, I have been involved in interviewing and planning of a documentary which is being done on me by local film producer-Michael Usry. As of this writting, filming is slated to start in early April, and will involve multiple performances, and interviews with not only me, but family, friends, and close contacts of mine. More details on this as they become available.
On March 24th, 2009, I was paid a visit by an anthropology major from Milsaps College here in Jackson. She interviewed me, and documented me in my surroundings, as well as documenting me playing the theremin in my studio.
On April 28th, I completed the script for my upcoming Theremin Lessons DVD.
On May 3rd, 2009, I visited the grocery store as usual, and noticed the May issue of Portico Jackson was available. In it, is a nice story about my adventures with the theremin, along with some very well taken photos which were shot by none other than Josh Haley, of Hosh Haley Studeos. The magazine is available locally here in Mississippi, but may also be obtained throug http://www.porticojackson.com/ .
On July 1st, 2009, I released my DVD called Theremin Lessons. it is an instructional DVD which features my technique for compensating for non-linear theremins, as well as detailed instructions for playing the theremin. I used a never before seen method of instruction which features fist person camera views to better demonstrate the techniques. This DVD was four months in the making.
On July 5th, 2009, I was awarded membership in the Mississippi Artist Roster grant program, which provides half of an artist's performance fees to hiring entities.
On July 12th, 2009, I was invited to participate in an artist showcase convention where educators of all schoolastic levels came to shop for actors, artists, musicians to come to their schools and provide workshops. There were three hundred educators from all over the state who attended. I was there with my theremin, and performed for an hour, and a half, as well as answering questions from the educators.
On July 30th, 2009, I recieved my certificate of registration for my trademark from the United States Patent, and Trademark Office. I applied for the registration in October of 2008.
On August 3rd, 2009, I started a week of theremin classes in which the theremin was introduced to nearly a hundred kids ranging from six years, to fourteen years of age, who were attending a summer arts camp at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans Louisiana.
The classes ran for five days, and there were five classes per day. Sadly, with so many kids, and only five theremins on stage, each kid still only had about 10 to 15 minutes per day on instrument. Certainly not enough time to teach anyone how to play music on the theremin. We came close, but the main objective in this case was to simply introduce something new to the kids in a fun, and non-intimidating manner. So, I decided to teach the youngest kids to play some cool sound effects which reflected moods, while the oldest kids were shown a little more musical playing, as well as effects.
It's a lucky thing I decided to take half a dozen modified microphone stands with me. These allowed even the shortest six year old to play the theremin comfortably.
On the fifth day, we performed. After a short musical improv by my self, a guitarist, and pianist, the kids stepped up to the theremins. With so many kids, and so little performance time available to our artistic discipline (music), I had to have two main groups, of five, or six kids per theremin in the first group, and two, to three per theremin in the second group. Out of the hundred kids attending the classes, about thirty performed.
There were several other disciplines which had their own performances, or showings. Art, theater, and cooking.
I even had a sixth theremin set up in the loby of the CAC where visitors could try the theremin first hand, for them selves.
These kids really enjoyed the experience, and showed great interest in the theremin. It was a great honor to have been invited by Contemporary Arts Center to do this.
My only regret about going to New Orleans for a week, was I did not get a chance to eat one single beignet. But I did pick up a box of beignet mix, so I'll at least cook some here at home. LOL. :)
A spacial thanks goes out to Burns, who provided the loan of a dozen B3 Origninal theremins for the gig.
Originally, I'd intended to have them all set up on stage, but a recent renovation of the CAC's theater made such a set up impractical due to trip hazards, as they nolonger had the floor jacks for power, and audio in the stage. :( But, we at least had plenty of backup theremins just in case.
On October 30th, 2009, I had a rather busy day with the theremin. Starting at 8 in the morning, at a Madison Middle School, here in Mississippi, I finnished setting up the theremin just in time to take part in what had to be the strangest way to let kids enjoy a day of scientific discovery. In a gymnasium, along the walls were dozens of physics exhibits set up, and being demoed by physics instructors. There were about 400 students who would go from one exhibit, to the next, being allowed only 5 minutes at each station and then an air horn would blow, signaling the long line of students to proced to the next exhibit. Each exhibit was visited by a group of 4 students each. This meant that I had to quickly relearn my zoo/musium docent speaking skills, and quickly give the shortest theremin presentation to each group. In 5 minutes, I had to give the introduction of the theremin, it's history, how it worked, and demo the instrument, as well as give each member of a group half a minute to try the instrument. This went on from 8 a.m., to a little after 3 p.m.
After this, I had to pack my gear, get home, and grab more gear, and proceed directly over to Sal & Mookies Italian restaurant for a 4 p.m. load in, and set up for my next gig. This gig started at about 5 p.m. and ran to about close to 9 p.m. I played 3 classical sets, and 1 jazz set, a total of about 39 works in all. Everyone there seemed to enjoy it. There was also a local film maker there who is producing a documentary which is being done about my work with the theremin. He shot a good bit of the performance. Daniel Burns, and his wife, who make the Burns theremins were also present, as was my family. Everyone had a wonderful time.
On Feb 10th, 2010, I again performed with the Mississippi Improv Alliance at North Midtown Arts Center, (former one 2 one studios. I've posted a video of this gig on youtube.
On April 14th, 2010 I completed production on my first (all music) CD, Theremin Classics with Thomas Grillo. It's available in my shop at http://www.thomasgrillo.com/shop.html It features mostly classical works as well as a few non-classical works performed on theremin with piano accompaniment.
On April 14th, 2010, My band, headed by Adrian Hester formally came into being under the name, Adrian Hester Group. After months of production on a couple of works which feature the theremin, the works were posted for a short time to announce the upcoming album, Intervention, by Adrian Hester, on his website at http://www.adrianhester.com/ The two new theremin tunes are: Coffee Break, and Thereputic. The theremin melody lines were composed / improvised and performed by me on theremin. These tunes also feature Adrian Hester on Bass, Josh Lee on Guitar, and Brandt Parks on drums. These tunes represent the very first pieces performed by Adrian Hester Group with theremin. Our band is officially a "theremin band" as it features the theremin, not as an effects device, but as one of it's melodic lead instruments. The two tunes will also be made available in limited releases of an upcoming album which I'm currently working on. Adrian Hester Group specializes in jazz funk style music.
On April 15th, 2010, I performed theremin music for the opening of an art exhibition called SPACE, which will have run from April 15, to May 29th, 2010 at the Bozarts Art Gallery in Water Valley, Mississippi. The evening started off with a short sci-fi skit put on by William Waren, and his wife, along with several others who created special sound effects. At the same time, I was mingling with the crowd sporting an astronaut costume I found on Amazon. I even played some spacey sounds at the theremin in the costume. This bit was documented by reporter, Jack Gurner on his youtube channel, http://www.youtube.com/jackgurner Jack produced a nice little montage of highlights of the evening's performance and exhibition. After appearing in a space suit for the opening sequence, I later appeared in my youtube tux, and commenced the formal bit of my performance, playing classical music, as well as spacey sounding improvisations between classical works.
On April 16th, 2010, while still at Water Valley, Mississippi, I gave a one hour lecture on the theremin. I had two other theremins set up for attendees to try after the lecture. One participent, William Warren, who later baught a theremin I had with me, even had a go at the theremin during my lecture. I took him through a short lesson on finding pitches. The audience appeared to really drink in the new information about this wonderful instrument. Not only did I give a talk and demonstrate the theremin, and some effects, but I also performed two classical works, and a hymn. This lecture was recorded by me, and will be posted to youtube in a one hour video.
On April 23rd, 2010, I participated in yet another Science Fun Day exhibition of science related experiments put on by Hohn Hunt along with the school system in Mississippi. This time, we spent the day at Rankin Middle School in Pearl, Mississippi. As with the last science fun day, over 400 students were marched through the exhibition in groups of 4 or 5, with only three, and a half minutes at each exhibit before a blast of an air horn signaled the entire line to proceed to the next exhibit. Amazingly, I was able to give a brief history of the theremin, as well as describe how it works, demonstrate it, and let each member of each group have a go at it, all in less than 4 minutes. I started wondering if I should have just had a button near by with a recording giving the same little message about the theremin along with video. I'm starting to understand what it takes to be a museum docent. :)
On Sept 10th, 2010, the indie production of Murderabilia, which I submitted some music for was shown for the first time at a party for the cast, and crew on the production. The piece which I performed was a classical piece, Waltz by Brahms. It was used for a short sequence. The piece was used as part of a prop in one scene.
On Oct 29th, 2010, and Dec 3rd, 2010, I demonstrated the theremin for Madison Middle, and Rankin Middle Schools, here in Mississippi. A total of 900 more students have had access to the theremin as part of the Science Fun Day series which is produced by John Hunt, a physics teacher in Mississippi.
On Nov 26, 2010, My father was admitted to hospital with a terminal illness caused by cancer which slowly took out his spine, and consequently his ability to breath on his own.
On Dec 16th, 2010, my father lost his battle with cancer. As a retired colonel with the United States Air Force, he was given a military funeral. He was also a physician, and health officer with the state of Mississippi for several decades after retiring from the military. He was also a great musician, and largely influenced my interests in music, art, and science. My father was Dr. Donald Grillo, MD., Col USAF ret.