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TED2002

Pamelia Kurstin: The untouchable music of the theremin

パメリア・カースティンによるテルミン演奏——触る事ができない音楽

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テルミンはSFだけじゃない——名手パメリア・カースティンが触れずに弾く電子楽器を演奏し、語る。曲は「枯葉」(Autumn Leaves)、「飲んだくれの人生」(Lush Life)、 「聞け 言葉が消えた」(Listen, Words Are Gone)。

- Theremin player
Pamelia Kurstin excavates a dusty artifact from the prehistoric strata of electronic music -- and demonstrates how to squeeze soul from an instrument you can't even touch. Full bio

(Music)
♪(音楽)
00:12
(Applause)
(観客の拍手)
05:20
Thank you. Ooh, I'm like, "Phew, phew, calm down. Get back into my body now." (Laughter)
ありがとう もうなんか「落ち着け自分 我に帰れ」って感じ(観客の笑声)
05:35
Usually when I play out, the first thing that happens is
大体演奏し始めて すぐ聞こえるのは
05:40
people scream out, "What's she doing?!"
「あいつ何やってんだ?!」っていう叫び声
05:44
I'll play at these rock shows, be on stage
ロックのショーで演奏するとき ステージで
05:47
standing completely still, and they're like,
全く動かずに立っていると
05:50
"What's she doing?! What's she doing?!"
観客が「あいつ何やってんだ?!」って言うの
05:52
And then I'll kind of be like -- (Vvvwow!) -- and then they're like, "Whoa!"
それで私が♫(ビュユ〜ン!)って鳴らすと 「おぅっ!」って驚くのよ
05:55
(Laughter)
(観客の笑声)
05:59
I'm sure you're trying to figure out,
皆さんはきっと「どうやって音を出すの?」と
06:01
"Well, how does this thing work?"
首を傾げているでしょう
06:05
Well, what I'm doing is
何をしているのかというと
06:07
controlling the pitch with my left hand.
音の高低を左手で操作しています
06:11
See, the closer I get to this antenna, the higher the note gets --
このアンテナに近づけば近づくほど 音が高くなって
06:18
(Portamento) --
♫(ピュ〜〜ン(下がる音))
06:23
and you can get it really low.
とても低い音も出せます
06:26
And with this hand I'm controlling the volume,
右手で音量を操作しています
06:28
so the further away my right hand gets, the louder it gets.
右手が離れれば離れるほど 音が大きくなります
06:31
(Tones)
♫(ピーピーピー(大きくなる音))
06:35
So basically, with both of your hands
簡単に言えば 両手で
06:38
you're controlling pitch and volume and kind of
高低の調子と音量のコントロールをして
06:40
trying to create the illusion that you're doing separate notes,
一つずつ音を出しているかのように弾きます
06:44
when really it's continuously going ...
実際は 音が出続けているんですけどね
06:48
(Flourish ... Beep)
♫(ビュユユ〜ンビュ〜ンピッ)
06:50
(Laughter)
(観客の笑声)
06:54
Sometimes I startle myself: I'll forget that I have it on,
たまに電源が入っていることを忘れて
07:03
and I'll lean over to pick up something,
何かを拾おうと体を前に倒すと♫(ビッ)と鳴って
07:05
and then it goes like -- (Blip) -- "Oh!"
「うわっ!」って驚きます
07:08
And it's like a funny sound effect that follows you around
電源を消さないと 後を追ってくる
07:11
if you don't turn the thing off.
変な効果音みたいになるの
07:14
(Laughter)
(観客の笑声)
07:16
Maybe we'll go into the next tune,
何の話をしたかったのか忘れちゃったから
07:21
because I totally lost where this is going.
次の曲に行ってみましょうか
07:25
We're going to do a song by David Mash called "Listen: the Words Are Gone,"
デビッド・マッシュの「聞け 言葉が消えた」という曲を弾きます
07:29
and maybe I'll have words come back into me afterwards if I can relax.
落ち着いたら 言いたかったことを思い出すかもしれないしね
07:34
(Music)
♪(音楽)
07:38
(Applause)
(観客の拍手)
10:32
So, I'm trying to think of some of the questions
人によく聞かれる質問を考えようとしてるんだけど
10:44
that are commonly asked; there are so many.
たくさんありすぎて
10:47
And ... Well, I guess I could tell you
ええっと とりあえず
10:49
a little of the history of the theremin.
テルミンの歴史を話そうかな
10:52
It was invented around the 1920s, and the inventor, Léon Theremin
テルミンは1920年代頃に発明されました 発明家はレオン・テルミン
10:54
-- he also was a musician besides an inventor --
彼は発明家であり音楽家で
11:00
he came up with the idea for making the theremin,
たしか 短波無線の研究をしているときに
11:05
I think, when he was working on some shortwave radios.
テルミンを思いつきました
11:10
And there'd be that sound in the signal -- it's like (Screeching) --
無線信号のキュキュキュって音を聞いて
11:14
and he thought, "Oh, what if I could control that sound
「あの音をコントロールできたら 音の高低を利用して
11:17
and turn it into an instrument, because there are pitches in it."
楽器が作れるのでは?」と思ったんです
11:21
And so somehow through developing that,
そして試行錯誤しながら
11:25
he eventually came to make the theremin the way it is now.
現在のテルミンまでたどり着きました
11:28
And a lot of times, even kids nowadays,
テルミンと言えば 最近は子どもでさえ
11:35
they'll make reference to a theremin by going, "Whoo-hoo-hoo-hoo,"
ヒュ〜ルルル〜って真似するでしょ
11:39
because in the '50s it was used in the sci-fi horror movies,
1950年代にテルミンはこういう音がする
11:43
that sound that's like ... (Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo)
SFホラー映画に使われてたからね ♫(ヒュ〜ルルルルルルル〜)
11:45
(Laughter)
(観客の笑声)
11:49
It's kind of a funny, goofy sound to do.
ちょっと変な ふざけた音ね
11:52
And sometimes if I have too much coffee,
たまにコーヒーを飲みすぎると
11:58
then my vibrato gets out of hand.
ビブラートが大変な事になっちゃう
12:00
You're really sensitive to your body and its functions
この子の前に立ってると
12:02
when you're behind this thing.
体と体の働きに敏感になるの
12:05
You have to stay so still if you want to have the most control.
きちんと音を操るなら じっとしてないといけない
12:07
It reminds me of the balancing act earlier on -- what Michael was doing --
さっきマイケルがやってたバランス芸を思い出すわ
12:10
because you're fighting so hard to keep the balance
だって演奏と音の調子合わせのバランスを
12:15
with what you're playing with and stay in tune, and at the same time
保とうと 必死に戦っているんだもの
12:18
you don't want to focus so much on being in tune all the time;
でも 調子を合わせることばかりに集中しちゃだめ
12:24
you want to be feeling the music.
音楽を感じたいからね
12:27
And then also, you're trying to stay very, very, very still
でも ほんの少しの体の動きが
12:30
because little movements with other parts of your body
音を左右するから じーーっとしようとしてるの
12:34
will affect the pitch, or sometimes if you're holding a low note -- (Tone rising out of key) --
低音で長く弾いているとき ♫(ブ~ン(調子がはずれる))
12:38
and breathing will make it ...
息をしちゃうと…
12:45
(Laughter)
(観客の笑声)
12:48
If I pass out on the next song ...
次の曲で気を失ったら…
12:49
(Laughter)
(観客の笑声)
12:52
I think of it almost like
どんなにちょっとした動きでも
12:54
like a yoga instrument because it makes you so aware
体の動きに敏感になるし
12:58
of every little crazy thing your body is doing,
避けたいことも意識的に敏感になるから
13:01
or just aware of what you don't want it to be doing
テルミンはヨガ用の楽器みたいだと思ってる
13:05
while you're playing; you don't want to have any sudden movements.
急な動きは一切したくないの
13:10
And if I go to a club and play a gig, people are like,
あと クラブに仕事で行くと
13:14
"Here, have some drinks on us!"
「一杯おごるよ!」って言われるけど
13:17
And it's like, "Well, I'm about to go on soon;
「ええっと そろそろ出番なので…
13:19
I don't want to be like -- (Teetering tones) -- you know?"
うぃうぃ〜んってなりたくないじゃない?」って答えるの
13:22
It really does reflect the mood that you're in also,
自分の気分がそのまま音にでるからね
13:26
if you're ...
こんなだと…
13:29
it's similar to being a vocalist, except
歌手と似ているけど
13:31
instead of it coming out of your throat,
音が喉から出るんじゃなくて
13:34
you're controlling it just in the air
空中でコントロールしているだけ
13:36
and you don't really have a point of reference;
あと 基準点があんまり無いから
13:38
you're always relying on your ears and adjusting constantly.
常に自分の耳に頼って調整するの
13:41
You just have to always adjust to what's happening
臨機応変に音を合わせながら
13:46
and realize you'll have bummer notes come here and there
ときどき期待はずれな音が出ることも理解して
13:48
and listen to it, adjust it, and just move on,
音を聴き 正して ただ弾き続ける
13:52
or else you'll get too tied up and go crazy. Like me.
そうじゃないと こだわりすぎて頭がおかしくなっちゃう 私みたいにね
13:55
I think we will play another tune now.
もう一曲弾こうと思います
14:04
I'm going to do "Lush Life." It's one of my favorite tunes to play.
「飲んだくれの人生」を弾きます 大好きな曲です
14:09
(Music)
♪(音楽)
14:12
(Applause)
(観客の拍手)
19:02
Translated by Ai Taniguchi
Reviewed by Takako Sato

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About the speaker:

Pamelia Kurstin - Theremin player
Pamelia Kurstin excavates a dusty artifact from the prehistoric strata of electronic music -- and demonstrates how to squeeze soul from an instrument you can't even touch.

Why you should listen

The theremin, the first electronic instrument ever invented, was on the brink of historic oblivion when it was rescued from obscurity by director Steven Martin's classic 1994 documentary Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey . And while a few brave souls have sought to master this temperamental instrument since then, none have done so with more sly effervescence than Pamelia Kurstin.

From the rock-steady composure she assumes behind the instrument (necessary lest her breathing drive the sensors out of tune), one might presume a shrinking conservatory personality, but a quick glance at the MySpace page of the self-described "bird-punching rollerskating thereminist" will quickly dash any of these quaint notions. Far from being a quirky curiosity, however, Kurstin is a sensitive, emotional stylist capable of coaxing sublime melodic content out of an instrument usually doomed to B-movie sci-fi soundtracks. (And her walking bass imitation is pretty cool too.)

Born in Los Angeles, Kurstin currently resides in Vienna, and performs with her latest project Blueblut, among many others. Her latest solo CD, Thinking Out Loud, was released in 2007 on John Zorn's legendary Tzadik label. She'll bathe your dog and give you a haircut ("if you're daring," she warns) in exchange for a six-pack.

More profile about the speaker
Pamelia Kurstin | Speaker | TED.com