theremin major

notes from me and my moog etherwave pro

Juries! May 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenhammaker @ 8:42 am

So, the day after my birthday (and subsequent party), I had my very first jury examination!

For those of you unfamiliar with the term outside of the American Judicial System, a jury is like a performance exam. Music students have to demonstrate their progress by dressing up like they would at a recital and performing a few diverse pieces of music for a select group of faculty higher-ups.

They scheduled me for 7:10pm: the final jury of the day. . . probably because they would have something to look forward to! (Right?)

There were three people in my jury besides me and my awesome accompanist: The Extension Division department head, my teacher, and the teacher of the saxophone player who went ahead of me.

I prepared three pieces.

  1. Vocalise by The Rach.
  2. Pie Jesu from Faure’s Requiem
  3. He Shall Feed His Flock from Handel’s Messiah.

I was attempting, in my choice of pieces, to be diverse. That’s why I chose the Handel. It’s not a great piece for the instrument, but I chose it because I was familiar with it, it was Baroque, and I’d never heard anyone play it on the theremin.

I got to choose which piece to play first and I played Vocalise. It went really well although I could have turned my amp up a bit more to get a wider range of dynamics. On the EPro I used the most muted timbre for this piece — the one to the far left of the dial. It made the high notes less screechy.

I didn’t know they were going to be writing during the piece, but as soon as I got used to that, everything was fine.

When I had finished the Vocalise, they all complimented me, saying that the sound was beautiful and haunting.

The next piece was chosen for me by the jury panel. I was crossing my fingers for the Faure. Of course they chose the Handel.

I changed the timbre to produce a more brassy sound. It went well. I probably added more crescendos than Handel had originally intended for an Oratorio, but it would have been pretty dull without them.

Again, they complimented me and told me that it sounded like a voice! Hooray!

A few days later, in the hall, the Extension Division department chair saw me in the hall.

“We need to talk,” he said.

I approached him apprehensively.

“You know, your jury went really, really well. You blew. us. away. Very nice job.”


I got my evaluation back yesterday.

It was in the key of A.

(Please forgive me for that last sentence. It was way out of line.)


Completely Off-Topic? I guess. . . May 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenhammaker @ 7:11 am

I have completely forgotten how to update blogs. Surprised was I when Eliza blog-tagged me!

Okay, Eliza, I will blog your little game. I concede to blog you all 6 unremarkable quirks of useless blogformation about myself. (So far I have used the word “blog” in every sentence.)

Here you are, blogreaders:

My Very Own Six Unremarkable Quirks

1.) I’m sorry, but I just don’t like Laura Linney.

2.) My stomach can’t handle oranges but other citrus fruits don’t bother it in the slightest.

3.) If I don’t have a stick of chapstick on my person at all times, I feel completely unbalanced.

4.) In 1999, when Santana and Rob Thomas most brilliantly joined forces to release their artistic masterpiece, “Smooth,” I simply could not get enough of it.

5.) There are six lamps in my house.

6.) If rice gets too expensive to have around the house, I will be fine with that. I don’t usually keep rice around the house anyway!

Now I will tag:

Natasha Levinger

Ashley Sronce

Becky Yamamoto

Frannie Parker

(I don’t think I know 2 more bloggers well enough to tag them, so I am cheating and only tagging 4.)

The rules are as follows:

* Link the person who tagged you
* Mention the rules in your blog
* Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours
* Tag six following bloggers by linking them
* Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged