Bates Museum of Art hosts theremin concert

Barry Morse will perform a concert of original electronic music for theremin at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, in the Bates College Museum of Art, 75 Russell St. Morse’s compositions were inspired by the museum’s current exhibit, Alex Grey: Numinous Flesh. The public is invited and admission is free.

The theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments, has been widely heard on the Beach Boys’ hit “Good Vibrations” and as background music to popular 1950s horror films, such as The Day the Earth Stood Still. Thereminists control pitch and volume as their hands waver over the instrument, which responds to the electromagnetic aura surrounding the human body.

“Grey’s paintings have so much to do with auras,” said Anthony Shostak, education coordinator at the Bates College Museum of Art and the show’s curator. “Since the theremin relies on reading a field of energy around the body, there is a real connection between the instrument and the art. The theremin’s ethereal sound is a perfect complement to the paintings.”

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