20100120

Shit From an Old Notebook (Hugs and Kisses to D. Boon)

I got to speak briefly to Pamelia Kurstin in February, 2006 immediately after the first of Issue Project Room's Theremin Society evenings. What I hoped would blossom into a feature about the new wave of thereminists failed to garner much editorial attention. As I recall, the interview went very quickly over a beer and a fast walk down the street to an apartment that wasn't hers in Brooklyn, while she was packing and rushing to the airport. Here's a few lines that stood the test of time and saved notebooks.

"I didn't know what scene was out there. I just saw the documentary and thought, "oh, I want to do that.' I'd tried other instruments. I didn't understand that there weren't other people playing it.

"I wish I could sing and then I probably wouldn't play any instrument.

"If you go out on the street and there's someone playing a violin, you know more or less what to expect, but when people see a theremin they're just infatuated with someone moving around.

"I don't want it to sound like a theremin. I'd much rather it sound like a voice or something.

"I think a lot of musicians dismiss it as being a toy or think it's impossible.

"I would never criticize, even if someone is doing something that's giving you a splitting headache, as long as they're not murdering you.

"It's something that can be taken so extremely seriously and also it can be laughed at.

"After I saw the documentary, I saw Clara Rockmore play. She set a standard for it for her time and she was doing something that nobody thought was possible. It was so important, the documentary came out and there's a document of her playing."