An interview with Japanese singer and thereminist Eri Ii.
Eri II is a Japanese singer and thereminist. She received classical voice training from Masako Ueno (who studied with Mario Del Monaco) and, more recently, she began to learn the theremin. We’ve had the luck to listen to her charming theremin playing thanks to her uploads in the Thereminvox.com library, then we felt the need to know something more about her. This is what she said.
Saggini: Tell me about your activity as a musician and a thereminist.
Eri II: I compose music and write lyrics as well. I’ve written music for radio shows and for commercials (toys, candies, Yamaha musical instruments and also environment campaigns). Furthermore, I sing Disney songs for children.
Saggini: When did you start learning the theremin and why?
Eri II: I knew about the theremin from Beach Boys and Led Zeppelin’s music. Then in October of 2002, I bought my first theremin, joined the Japanese Friends of the Theremin association and attended Mr. Masami Takeuchi’s courses.
Mr.Takeuchi learned the theremin under the guidance of Ms. Lydia Kavina and introduced the theremin in Japan. I was impressed by his playing… the movements of his hands were not futile and the pitch was perfect.
My method of playing is the same as Mr. Takeuchi and Ms. Lydia.
Saggini: Are there affinities between your singing voice and your theremin playing?
Eri II: Theremin’s expressive method resembles vocal music. Loud voice and low voice. There is refreshing fluctuation. Since I can understand vocal exercises, I can play the theremin, adapting to it.
Moreover, I love the sound of a beautiful Cello. I like the Cellist Mischa Maisky. I went to his concert and listened to many of his CDs. His concert has been a source of inspiration and I adopted his expressive method as a model to follow.
Saggini: Have you recorded any cd’s?
Eri II: There is a work but not a Theremin one. Currently, my theremin recordings are available only as streaming audio on the web so they can be heard all over the world. I will release a cd one day or another.
Saggini: Do you play other instruments?
Eri II: I play a little keyboard, guitar, and drums.
Saggini: Tell me about your repertoire.
Eri II: I play pop music. My theremin performances are fine and bright. My aim is to make people happy. However, the power of expression aims at a dynamic thing which is classic.
Saggini: I see from your site that you own three theremins: a Moog Music Etherwave, a Kees and a tVox tour. Which is your favorite and why?
Eri II: The Moog Etherwave is a complete musical instrument. It’s easy to transport and very easy to tune. The raising of the volume is smooth. Adjustment of the apparatus is also easy. Moreover, I like the sound of Etherwave. It is very obedient and powerful.
Listen to Eri II’s audio clips in the Thereminvox.com Audio Library