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The Theremin's Not Up and Running

Dreamed 1998/8/28 by Chris Wayan

It's maybe 1930, in New York. I'm in Theremin's lab. He's letting me try to play one of his famous electronic instruments. I put my hands in the field, but no sound. At first I blame myself--too timid? But he tinkers until I hear a faint hiss. It was off! The circuit was defective, not me. It's still only intermittent, as often off as on.

Before trying to make music, I have to wait for him to get the instrument working consistently. Patience! And quit jumping to such conclusions about my incompetence.


Theremin, for those who don't know, invented early electronic instruments. The one bearing his name need not be touched to be played--your hands in midair disrupt a magnetic field to create pure, eerie tones.

I think this is about my own struggles all day with learning music. I got what I wanted intermittently at most. But I only started studying music after age 40. Teachers told me it was really impossible that late. Too bad for them. I'm going on.

ACTION: keep doing groundwork, and switch off your critic. It's way too early to judge yourself--the basic technical stuff's not automatic yet. You're trying to play an instrument that's only switched on half the time!

LISTS AND LINKS: music - instruments - dream advice - mistakes - time travel - a second dream that night on Theremin - negativity and pessimism

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