sitting in my chair

Project | Live Electronic & Visuals (2001)
Elisabeth Schimana: composition, sound design, vocals, performer
Andre Smirnov: instrument design and nato programming
Yuri Spitsin: sound design and kyma programming
produced by Musikprotokoll in cooperation with the Theremin Center Moscow

14 10 2001 Musikprotokoll, Graz
16 04 2002 Melkweg, Amsterdam, organized by STEIM

The armchair addressed in the title is a very special chair, not a synonym for chairs in general, but exactly this chair whose characteristic screech was the beginning point for the musical design of “sitting in my chair”. The acoustic material consists of these screeches, which were recorded as audio data and then (re)played during the performance. In this very chair the sounds are manipulated simply through the movement of the hands. It’s not a coincidence that Elisabeth Schimana developed this piece in Moscow at the electronic Institute of the Tschaikovski Conservatory, an Institute with the proud name Theremin Center.

As Schimana discovered the theremin years ago, it wasn’t so much the sounds that interested her, but the body and stage presence of this antique instrument that is played without touching. What is the body doing on stage in the age of electronic music? This question with its area of tension between Kraftwerks Puppets and today’s expressively maltreated laptops is uncoiled again and again by Elisabeth Schimana in her work.

The Theremin surfaced as the perfect challenge: for what reason the thereminic antenna technology with its transparent magnetic field as interface are used - as direct sound control or as trigger for completely different mechanisms - it provides the electronic musician a necessity for a physical presence. The physical motion on stage as a category is again scrutinized if in “sitting in my chair” the artist sits almost motionless in her chair. With minimal finger, hand, and head movements, the dense snarl of chair screeches are erased while the stringent lighting is changed one field after the other with every erasing procedure. (nina ross )


Andrei Smirnov

is an interdisciplinary artist, independent curator, collector, writer, composer, researcher and developer of new techniques in computer music. He is a Senior Lecturer and a Head of the Sector for Multimedia at the Center for Electroacoustic Music at Moscow State Conservatory and a Lecturer at the Rodchenko School for Photography and Multimedia where he teaches courses on history and aesthetics of electroacoustic music, sound design and composition, new musical interfaces and physical computing. In 1992-2012 he was the founding director of the Theremin Center in Moscow. He has conducted numerous workshops and master classes in the U.S., Europe and Russia, and participated in various festivals and conferences. His collection of the historical documents and original electronic musical instruments has been combined with extensive research into the history of music technology with broad experience in composition, interactive performance and curatorial activities. | homepage

Yuri Spitsin

Her was educated at Moscow Institute for Managing in 1977-1982. In 1985-1994 he was working at several institutes and companies as a researcher and programmer, creating software for education, automatic control, information, computer graphics, medical tasks, music. Since 1992 he is the member of the Studio Board of the Theremin Center. He is working there as a programmer and composer.

  • Musikprotokoll 2001


    co Elisabeth Kopf

  • Musikprotokoll 2001


    co Elisabeth Kopf

  • score


sitting in my chair / part1 / musikprotokoll