Theremin: Thorwald Jørgensen plays heavenly sounding music

ENGLISH VERSION:  Suppose I ask you to play heavenly sounding music. But no strings, no keys, nothing to count on. No orientation, whatsoever. You just have to play in nothing but thin air between two given points. Don’t worry, most people can’t do this. But here in the town of Dordrecht (The Netherlands in Europe) there is a guy who plays the most gorgeous sounds in inimitable movements with both hands. On a wonderful instrument called the theremin. I published this article and video here.

Theremin

Thorwald Jørgensen: “When I first heard it, I wanted to play it. When I got the theremin for the first time, I immediately could play Bach on it. For me, playing the instrument feels totally natural.” Is Thorwald just a lucky person? No, he isn’t! Thorwald benefits from a long and intensive period of studying music. He started playing music at the age of thirteen and at fourteen he was already playing in orchestras. At that same time he bought his first classical records.

Inspiring teachers like Gerrit de Weerd (conductor/clarinettist), Arnold Marinissen (percussion soloist and conservatory teacher), Peter Elbertse (first timpanist of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra) Kamilla Bystrova (pianist and teacher at the Royal Conservatory) and Saskia Boon (cellist of the Royal Concertgebouw orchestra) made him the person and the musician he is today.

Thorwald Jörgensen; Thereminist; Photography: Jan Wind; www.kleurrijkdordt.nl

Heavenly sounding

Thorwald: “The last few years I performed a lot with my Theremin. I played all over Europe, the USA and Canada and the homeland of the theremin: St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia. There I played at the invitation of the descendants of the instrument’s inventor: Léon Theremin. Thorwald prefers the well-developed, educated and musical way to play this early electronic musical instrument. He is aware of the huge legacy Leon Theremin left behind and works hard to be a good ambassador for the instrument.

Thorwald Jörgensen; Thereminist; Theremin; Photography: Jan Wind; www.kleurrijkdordt.nl

Music

Unfortunately the general audience only remembers the theremin as an instrument used for scary sound effects in sci-fi and horror movies. Thorwald wants to change the current view of the instrument by playing serious concert music on the stages of the world to prove to audiences that the theremin is so much more than a “one trick pony”!

Do you remember the film music in Hitchcock’s Spellbound? Ever seen an episode of Midsomer Murders and wondered about that mysterious musical intro? Are you now even more curious? Well, Google ‘theremin’, hit the YouTube button once and you’ll see more newbie theremin players than you could possibly imagine. The magical image of this musical cabinet with one antenna and a loop appeals to a lot of people who want to try it once and then leave it, or just make sound effects with it! With all the bad playing out there it is very easy to get a completely twisted idea about the instrument.

Thorwald Jörgensen; Thereminist; Theremin; Photography: Jan Wind; www.kleurrijkdordt.nl

Thorwald Jörgensen

However, do you like to know more of the theremin’s interesting and exciting history? Are you open to admiration for its immense octave range and beautiful expressive sound? Be sure to check the links below to get a good impression of the instrument. Meet Léon Theremin (1896 – 1993) or the world famous theremin virtuosa Clara Rockmore (1911 -1998, who was accepted at the St. Petersburg conservatory at the ‘ripe’ age of 4 as a violin student in the class of famous violinist Leopold Auer. You’re in for a good time and be amazed for sure.

Of course also don’t forget to watch and listen to the three-minute video on top of this blog. There you will meet Thorwald Jørgensen in person. You will receive his cordial greetings.

Thorwald Jörgensen; Thereminist; Theremin; Photography: Jan Wind; www.kleurrijkdordt.nl

More about Thorwald Jørgensen: www.thorwaldjorgensen.com/Thorwald Jorgensen

Clara Rockmore, theremin virtuosa: http://www.nadiareisenberg-clararockmore.org

Léon Theremin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Léon_Theremin

And here is Thierry Frenkel’ s Facebook page. Creator of Thorwald’s theremin you hear and see in the video. He also reinvented the theremincello, which you can hear being played in the Vocalise by Rachmaninoff  (in the English version only): https://www.facebook.com/theremin.luthier

Have a good time, enjoy it.

Jan Wind; photographer author

 

 

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12 Responses to Theremin: Thorwald Jørgensen plays heavenly sounding music

  1. Augusto Triani says:

    What a wonderful documentary about the theremin and Thorwald Jørgensen. The pictures and the music are beautiful! Thank You!!!!

    • Jan Wind says:

      Dear Augusto Triani, These words of appreciation are the inspiration for many new documentaries. Thank you very much! I send your comments directly to Thorwald. Jan Wind

  2. GREAT and CLEARj documentary about the theremin well explained by Thorwald! Lovely pictures and lovely music (as usually) 😉

  3. The theremin doesn’t make music…Thorwald Jørgensen does! A nice piece on that thing he does and how he does it.

  4. I’m very thankful for this wonderful documentation. Thorwald is for sure the new shooting star in the Theremin world and the only thereminist who walks in Clara Rockmore’s steps.

    I’m proud to be his Theremin luthier.

  5. Good stuff, Thorwald can really make the instrument sing. The theremin has way more potential than just sci-fi effects, more musicians should take a serious attempt at it.

    I’m also interested in how that theremin cello I saw in the video is progressing.

  6. Valerie Douglas says:

    A wonderful sound, so haunting and so human like. Sometimes the sound brings tears to my eyes. Thorwald is an amazing musician. I heard him in person in Ottawa ( Canada) and it was breathtaking! This is an excellent introduction to this instrument and to a talented musician.

    • Jan Wind says:

      Thank you Valerie! I really hope this “excellent introduction” will reach the harts and minds of a lot of people. I send your kind words of appreciation direct to Thorwald. I wish you the best. Jan Wind

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