German theremin virtuoso Carolina Eyck and pianist/composer Christopher Tarnow set their American debut today by way of Improvisations for Theremin and Piano on Buttersctoch Records. Produced by Allen Farmelo, Improvisations, modernizes the theremin and piano in a sonically jangled delight for all five senses.
Eyck studied under Lydia Kavina, a student herself of theremin God Léon Theremin's protégé, Clara Rockmore. Having grown equally tired and frustrated with the limitations of her classical training, Eyck took to a more contemporary technique. At 17, she published her own method book: The Art of Playing the Theremin. Now, having found solace in collaborative work with Tarnow, Eyck is the European-cum-American secret to modernized theremin works.
Classicalite recently caught up with the duo to gain a stronger understanding of the instrument that plays without touch, as well as the collaborative process behind Improvisations.
Classicalite: Improvisations for Theremin And Piano on Butterscotch is your first go at it in the American music scene. What differences have you noticed from the European music scene? Why did you decide to bring it across the sea?
Christopher: From the composer's point of view, because I know that the music scene is very different in the US compared to Europe. Which might be because of the historic differences. The course that music took in Germany was, of course, very specific due to the Second World War. So things like minimalism would never have been possible in Germany or Europe. So I think that generally, a more openness in the US towards new concepts in new music, as opposed to Europe, where I think there’s still a certain kind of academia's, one might say. I don’t know if that really answers your question.
Carolina: That’s what I would have said also, but I think you expanded better.