leo theremin playing a, er, theremin. Residents of Island Bay, do not be alarmed. Those weird, spacey tones reverberating around your suburb next week will not be signalling the impending invasion of Wellington by aliens, but will be, in fact, The Synth Birds of Dawn.

Local composer/producer Nic McGowan is co-ordinating a three-piece theremin ‘band’, who will be located one-a-piece on each of three hill-tops around the suburb to create…

…subtle creature-like electronic tones [that will] softly resonate across the valley; eerie and otherworldly.

‘Synth Birds of Dawn’ will be performed using three vintage synthesizers known as theremins. Theremins are a special instrument which can be played without being touched. Invented in 1919 and one of the very first electronic instruments, the theremin consists of a box with two projecting radio antennas around which the user moves his or her hands to play. The sounds created are ethereal and highly expressive.

‘Synth Birds of Dawn’ will be performed live from three hilltop locations in Island Bay on Tuesday, February 14th and Thursday, February 16th between 6.30 and 7.00am, and will have a duration of approximately 30 minutes.

Synth Birds is part of the Island Bay Festival, other events we’ll be giving a heads up on as they draw closer. Like the Ribble Street Soapbox Derby.