Pamelia Stickney, Theremin Virtuoso

Friday, September 23, 2016 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
150 Mass Ave, Media Center
Pamelia Stickney (formerly known as Pamelia Kurstin) is an American theremin player. She has performed and recorded with many artists including David Byrne, Yoko Ono, Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Seb Rochford, Otto Lechner and Simone Dinnerstein, and was instrumental to the final design of Robert Moog's Etherwave Pro Theremin, for which she was one of the primary test musicians. Stickney has made various film, television and radio appearances, most notably on Saturday Night Live, and in the 2004 documentary Moog.
Pamelia discussed methods of thought regarding the theremin: for example, how playing the theremin is akin to being a vocalist in terms of constantly working with intangible intervals, very specific finger gestures and distances to produce certain pitches/sounds/effects, and how the size of the room determines how you calibrate the instrument. Some theremins are discarded because the owner doesn’t know how to calibrate it properly. With an impressive set-up, Pamelia demonstrated good playing technique, among many other things.