Listen

News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV
NV89 Discover Music
'Jazz'

an member station

Classical
Tiny Desk

Carolina Eyck and Clarice Jensen: Tiny Desk Concert

683951544_464213196.jpg

Carolina Eyck and Clarice Jensen perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 3, 2018 (Cameron Pollack/NPR)/
Cameron Pollack, NPR

Carolina Eyck and Clarice Jensen perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 3, 2018 (Cameron Pollack/NPR)/

How do you play an instrument you never physically touch? Watch Carolina Eyck. She's the first to bring a theremin to the Tiny Desk. The early electronic instrument with the slithery sound was invented almost 100 years ago by Leon Theremin, a Soviet scientist with a penchant for espionage. It looks like a simple black metal box with a couple of protruding antennae, but to play the theremin like Eyck does, with her lyrical phrasing and precisely "fingered" articulation, takes a special kind of virtuosity.

"I'm really playing air," she tells the Tiny Desk audience. "I don't touch anything while I play." The position of the hands influences electromagnetic fields to produce pitch and volume. Recognized as one of today's preeminent theremin specialists, Eyck writes her own compositions, such as the pulsating "Delphic" which opens the set, and she's got big shot composers writing theremin concertos for her.

Joining Eyck for this two-musician-in-one Tiny Desk is cellist Clarice Jensen. When she's not making gorgeous, drone-infused albums like last year's For This From That Will be Filled, Jensen directs one of today's leading new music outfits, ACME, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble. "Three Leos," composed by Jensen, offers her masterful art of looping the cello into symphonic layers of swirling, submerged choirs with a wistful tune soaring above.

Support comes from

The two musicians close with "Frequencies," a piece jointly composed specifically for this Tiny Desk performance. Amid roiling figures in cello and melodies hovering in the theremin, listen closely for a wink at the NPR Morning Edition theme music.

Set List

  • "Delphic"
  • "Three Leos"
  • "Frequencies"

Credits

Producers: Tom Huizenga, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Kaylee Domzalski; Production Assistant: Brie Martin; Photo: Cameron Pollack/NPR

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Our journalism speaks for itself, and we answer only to you. That’s thanks to the 11,000 members of Nevada Public Radio. Each of them made a small commitment and became members of Nevada Public Radio. They didn’t have to — but because they did, you are here now. So we extend a hand and say, “Come join us!”

More Stories