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The fact is that exhibition month (a strange term that actually covers several histrionic weeks prior to and after September) at the museum is a concentrated stretch of to much joyous work in too little precious time, but it's a stretch that I'm able to relish, in a wild way.

I'll be much more calmly contented soon, and I'll be up at the Blue Moon on the weekend of the 11th, starting to build a new outhouse, which is the zen kind of work that has the effect of pleasantly dissolving accumulated exhaustion. Maybe I'm a weirdo, but all I can daydream about right now is outhouses, vintage Volkswagen Beetles, and pick-up rugby games.

That said, I built something.



To answer the most obvious questions:

Yes, it is a theremin.

No, the ladder is not the actual stand.

Yes, it will be for sale, following the closure of the new show at the museum (in Aug '09). In its configuration for the museum's show, however, it will be pretty expensive, primarily because of all the digital components that make it more than just a garden variety theremin in a funky box.

No, I probably will not build you a theremin. The ugly truth here is that, after having spent the last twenty years building these things for other people, I am completely thereminned-out. Theremins are to me what the character "Gilligan" was to the late actor Bob Denver. They're perfectly fine instruments, more or less, but they are finicky and require a lot of attention (and you will never, ever master your theremin) and I feel like I'm building much more interesting instruments and control surfaces of my own conception and wish people were interested in my actual original ideas. I'm also feeling a little frustrated and cynical right now, the occasional nice theremin video notwithstanding, but I'll probably relax eventually. I will happily build you a custom case if you want a theremin, and will assemble a Moog theremin kit for your custom case, on a paid commission, but will have no time for such projects for another six months or so.

Yes, the casework is all my work, as is the mosaic with the exception of the endpieces and the frame around the control panel, which were beautifully rendered in nautilus shell, mother of pearl, stained glass, and other shells by my friend, Patty Kuzbida (whose other work is available for sale in the museum's gift shop). The overall structure of the case is based on the fibonacci series, per the commission, but was significantly modified to reflect my skepticism about the real-world importance of such things.

Yes, kerfing and curling wood to make the case is, in fact, a total bitch.

It's spelled theremin, with an E, not theramin, with an A.

No, that's not a theremin you hear on "Good Vibrations," despite what everyone mistakenly claims—it's an instrument called a "Tannerin" or "Electro-Theremin" (a confusing name, to be sure), and is played with a stylus. I know even Brian Wilson has claimed it is a theremin, but it is not. Stop arguing with me.

Yes, I'm in a bit of a mood. It's the miserable month of September and the humidity is making my epoxy coat cure cloudy and as slowly as a damn snail.

more pictures and information follow )

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January 2013

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