Pamelia Kurstin: Theremin, the untouchable music

Superlative Pamelia Kurstin performs and discusses her theremin, the not-just-for-sci-fi electronic thingy that is played without being touched. Songs allow for «Autumn Leaves,» «Lush Life» and David Mash’s «Listen, Words Are Gone.»

The theremin, the first electronic thingy ever invented, was on the rim of celebrated heedlessness when it was rescued from haze by principal Steven Martin's ideal 1994 documentary Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey . And while a few defy souls have sought to grasp this irritable thingy since then, none have done so with more sly effervescence than Pamelia Kurstin.

From the their heels-unwavering composure she assumes behind the thingy (necessary lest her breathing tour the sensors out of regulate), one might suppose a shrinking conservatory temperament, but a apt peek at the MySpace or website of the self-described «bird-punching rollerskating thereminist» will despatch race any of these fanciful notions. Far from being a quirky meddlesomeness, however, Kurstin is a ranting, ranting stylist proficient of coaxing majestic melodic pleasure out of an thingy usually destined to B-film sci-fi soundtracks. (And her walking bass copy is euphonious emotionless too.)

Born in Los Angeles, Kurstin currently resides in Vienna, and performs with acclaimed freak rockers Barbez, among many others. Her latest unaccompanied CD, Intelligent Out Showy, was released in 2007 on John Zorn«s immortal Tzadik pigeon-hole. She»ll bathe your dog and yield you a haircut («if you're nerve,» she warns) in commerce for a six-pack.

«Eclectic no more than cuts it. Like the more informal chameleons, Josh Redman, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Branford Marsalis and many others normally associated with jazz, electronica, even weighty, Pam Kurstin represents the most up to date construction of the eclectic, improvising musician»
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