OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA — Let’s just end the suspense right here.
This instrument, certainly the only one in the room you don’t even have to touch to play, is called a ‘theremin’.
The dedicated musician demonstrating for us is Maggie Abel.
“The pitch antenna gives you the high notes,” she demonstrates by moving her right hand.
Moving her left hand she says, “gets louder the higher you go.”
She started playing theremin because so many of her other friends were already good at other instruments.
“You can play any song you’ve ever heard,” she argues. “You don’t need to read sheet music.”
Ready and Abel, she liked the whole ballet it took to make music including playing the ‘shruti box’ at the same time.
“It’s like patting your head and rubbing your tummy,” she laughs.
A century ago Leon Theremin, a Russian scientist, was trying to invent a machine to measure invisible gases and came up with this.
Abel says, “He noticed it made a sound as he walked by.”
Cue the eerie music for subsequent science fiction movies, Beach Boys songs, and any level of spooky you might want.
Maggie isn’t the only thereminist out there either.
“The theremin likes company,” she says. “It likes to accompany.”
The Oklahoma Theremin Society used to meet once a month for jam sessions until the horror story of a pandemic began its own terrible tune.
It’s actually kind of fitting that 2020 would be the 100th anniversary of its invention.
There’s something about this kind of anthem that sticks in your head.
The Oklahoma Theremin Society finds itself in demand around Halloween and 2020 is no different.
The group has a gig at Factory Obscura Halloween night from 7:00PM until 8:30PM.
The location is NW 9th and Broadway along Automobile Alley in OKC.
Great State is sponsored by WEOKIE Credit Union