Leon Theremin, Russian engineer and inventor of the Theremin,
the first electronic musical instrument.
Creation date: February 6, 2021
→ Concert Band with Solo Theremin or Soprano
Solo Theremin or Soprano voice
3 Fl. (+ Picc.), Ob. (+ Eng.Hn. 2),
Eng.Hn. 1, 2 Bsns, Eb Cl., 2 Bb Cl.,
Bass Cl., Cb. Cl., Bar. Sax. (+ A. Sax.),
2 Hns, 2 Cnts, 3 Trbs, Tuba, Vcl., Cb.,
E.Guitar, Hp., Cel., 3 Perc.
Level: Grade 5
Commissioned by / Dedicated to Thorwald Jørgensen, thereminist.
Met in Amsterdam, while myGulliver’s Travelswere played by the Amsterdamse Tramharmonie at the Concertgebouw – Thorwald played the percussion –, this famous thereminist asked me to compose a work for him, and I couldn’t refuse, with the possibility of participating to the theremin repertoire development, and this is a challenge in orchestration.
Indeed, the theremin has contributed to the UFO and other flying-saucers success, especially in the 50’s SF movies. It’s even hard today to not associate its bewitching, outer-space voice like sound, to the SF films with their extraterrestrial invaders; in fact, it has been used effectively, recently, by Danny Elfman in Tim Burton’s ‘Mars Attacks’ film score.
Because theremin’s inflections, miaowing sounds, very close to human voice, I was interested into a writing a transcription for soprano. Of course, it’s not an exact transcription, the theremin’s tessitura being much more larger than a soprano voice’s.
The nearly absurd title is a reference to the fact that the vast Sci-Fi cinematographic literature, sometimes related to real scientific data, has contributed to make the idea of outer space life possible, and very common for everybody nowadays.
The piece will be premiered in 2021 with Thorwald Jørgensen, Theremin.