Carolina Eyck’s arrangement of Claude Debussy’s Claire de Lune for human voice and theremin is possibly the most beautiful version you will ever hear.
Clair de Lune (in English, “Moonlight”) is a famous piano piece by the French composer Claude Debussy, which was inspired by the poem of the same name by the French poet Paul Verlaine. Caroline Eycks, considered one of the grandmasters of the art of the theremin, presents her version, with vocals, in one of the most entrancing music videos we have seen this year to date.
We obviously could not resist this one.
From their description on the Carolina Eyck YouTube channel:
A familiar melody floats into the head of our citizen of Thetis 2086 as they gaze up at the moon one evening, and as they sing it softly it conjures up questions that hadn’t occurred to them before: what’s out there, beyond that luminous globe in the sky? A blue dot off in the distance catches their eye: another whole world out there, begging to be explored. Unable to resist its call, they embark on a trip to planet Earth.
The theremin was invented by the Russian physicist and musician Lev Sergeyevich Termen (also known as Leon Theremin) in 1920. Termen developed the instrument while working on a project for the Russian government. Based on radio wave interference,it quickly gained popularity as a musical instrument due to its unique sound and the fact that it could be played without physical contact.
The instrument consists of two antennas, one of which controls the pitch of the sound and the other of which controls the volume. The player’s hand movements near the antennas create changes in the frequency and amplitude of the radio waves, which are then amplified and converted into sound by the instrument’s circuitry. The resulting sound is typically a high-pitched, vibrato-heavy tone that can be manipulated in real-time by the player’s hand movements.
The theremin was first used in motion picture score music in 1945, in the film Spellbound. The score for the film was composed by Miklós Rózsa, who incorporated the theremin into the music to create a sense of mystery and tension.
The first use of the theremin in science fiction was in the 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still, directed by Robert Wise. The film’s score was composed by Bernard Herrmann, who used the theremin to create the sound of the film’s alien spacecraft and its otherworldly occupant, Klaatu. The eerie, haunting sound of the theremin helped to create a sense of mystery and otherness that was key to the film’s success, and it became closely associated with science fiction and other genre films in the years that followed, including the timeless 1959 classic Forbidden Planet.
Carolina Eyck is a German musician and composer who is best known for her virtuosic performances on the theremin. She began playing the instrument at a young age, and has since become one of the most skilled and innovative theremin players in the world. Eyck has performed with numerous orchestras and ensembles, and has released several albums of original music.
Eyck is also a dedicated educator, and has written a popular instructional book on theremin playing called The Art of Playing the Theremin. She has also developed a new, more intuitive method of playing the theremin, which she calls the “Eyck Technique.”
Claude Debussy was a French composer who lived from 1862 to 1918, and his impact on modern cinematic scores is significant. Debussy’s compositions were known for their innovative use of harmony, rhythm, and texture, and his music was a significant departure from the traditional Western classical music of the time. His influence on the development of film music in the early 20th century is particularly noteworthy. His use of subtle, impressionistic harmonies and evocative melodies provided a template for film composers to follow, and his music has been used in numerous films over the years.
At the time of his first compositions, some people in the classical music establishment criticized Debussy’s music for its unconventional and innovative nature. Many felt that it did not adhere to traditional classical music structures, and was too modern and experimental. However, others saw his work as a breath of fresh air, and recognized his talent and contribution to the development of modern music. Debussy was part of a larger artistic movement in France called impressionism, which sought to capture fleeting sensations and impressions, and his music was seen as a reflection of this aesthetic.
We consider Carolina Eyck’s arrangement of Claire de Lune for voice and theremin to be one of the most serene and beautiful science fiction themed recordings we have ever heard. We hope you enjoy it.
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