Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Above: Clara Rockmore, master of the theremin.
Everyone knows that chicks can be Bros too. But Clara Rockmore was a true Bro among Bros, a pioneering master of the impossible-to-play musical instrument called the theremin. Born Clara Reisenberg in Lithuania, she later relocated to the U.S. and changed her last name because, well, Rockmore is just "way more rockin'".
At an early age, Clara excelled at playing violin, and was admitted to the Lithuanian Imperial conservatory in St. Petersburg at age five (making her the youngest student ever admitted there). A degenerative bone disease forced her to quit in her early teens though, and Rockmore turned to a new instrument, Leon Theremin's new electronic wonder, the aptly named theremin.
Right: Clara's custom-made theremin, designed by the man himself.
If you've ever seen someone play a theremin (or played one yourself), you know that it's not an easy task. I have one. I know. It's HARD.
But Clara rocked the Hell out the instrument right off the bat, forming a friendship with its inventor and also a young Robert Moog. Her unique fingering techniques and lightning fast hand movements soon made her the unrivalled queen of the theremin, and soon she was playing huge concert halls. Upon her death in 1998, she left behind a legacy of brilliant musicianship but only a little recorded work. Bummer.
Check out the two videos at the bottom of this post. Clara had some crazy fucking skills, yo! What a Bro!
Below: Leon Theremin and a young Clara.
"The Swan" (Saint-Saens):
PS: Clara Rockmore shares a birthday with Brian Bosworth (March 9th). So you KNOW she's a badass.