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Video of the Day: Theme To Star Trek: TNG’s “The Inner Light” Played On A Theremin

Our video of the day is a musical interlude from a fan who has recorded his version of the theme from the fan favorite episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation "The Inner Light" on a Theremin. Check it out below.

 

The Inner Theremin

The popular Star Trek: The Next Generation  episode "The Inner Light" has one of the more memorable themes, originally composed by Jay Chattaway. This week musician and Trek fan Peter Pringle has posted a YouTube video of his rendition of the theme, using a Moog Ethervox Theremin, all against a spacey background. The result is something pretty cool…check it out.

If you want to learn more about the Theremin, Pringle sells a “How To Play The Theremin” DVD on his site.

More Star Trek Theremin fun

Here is a video from last year, with a Trekkie (inserted into a transporter room) performing Alexander Courage’s theme to Star Trek on a theremin.


 

Sort by:   newest | oldest
November 18, 2010 4:17 pm

EPIC WIN.

gingerly
November 18, 2010 4:22 pm

The theremin is my favorite instrument. :)

Smack Callahan
November 18, 2010 4:26 pm

THAT.

EST.

INCREDIBLE.

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire
November 18, 2010 4:26 pm

That is one of my Fav Tunes.

dmduncan
November 18, 2010 4:42 pm

Bravissimo!

Lancelot Narayan
November 18, 2010 4:49 pm

Wonderful.

Chadwick
November 18, 2010 4:54 pm

People who play the theremine are sad sad people, but I guess someone has to do it. I would much rather play an orchestral instrument (which I do). Its like saying you prefer playing table tennis on an oscilloscope over something on PS3. Thank god for the eccentrics? Sorry but I expect the characters on The Big Bang Theory to play theremines and well they are unique bunch.

Kevin
November 18, 2010 5:03 pm

Fantastic!

Another Q
November 18, 2010 5:34 pm

One of my very favorite compositions…ANYWHERE.
I’m just really glad that Trek created it. It was actually
performed in two shows: First “The Inner Light” and
then repeated in “Lessons”… just a reminder…

Dean Martin
November 18, 2010 5:49 pm

I played trumpet in High School and was 1st Chair for two years and I believe the Theremin would a very difficult device to play as the performer would have to have near perfect pitch to keep the thing in tune. I wouldn’t consider someone who played this to be sad, but rather gifted.

I love the video and respect the performance and artist. IDIC

November 18, 2010 6:04 pm

I gotta say Mr. Pringle your control and intonation are pretty impressive. Also a nice vibrato. I think I have a new appreciation for the theremin. Have a piece I wrote that I’d like to put a track of that on top.

Smack Callahan
November 18, 2010 6:46 pm

What’s sadder? To teach oneself to play an instrument, or anonymously tear that person down in a public forum.

Chadwick, congratulations to you. You exemplify the positive, supportive future Gene Roddenberry envisioned oh, so many years ago.

Anthony is right… unnecessarily cruel.

Rocket Scientist
November 18, 2010 6:50 pm

7. I play the cello, but i would LOVE to learn how to make a theremin sing! Please check out this movie and gain some respect for the artists and engineers who dedicated themselves to this unique instrument over the years.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108323/

Lukas Ketner
November 18, 2010 7:19 pm

Amazing!

Chadwick, go soak your head.

November 18, 2010 7:32 pm

Very impressive. I understand that the theramin is a notoriously difficult instrument to play well. Mr. Pringle did a wonderful job with Jay Chattaway’s beautiful theme.

Andrew Fortner
November 18, 2010 7:45 pm

Wow! That was cool!!!! Great Job!!!!!!

Chris Miles
November 18, 2010 8:53 pm

@7- Dude, what the hell?

Why be a hater?

It’s great and very appropriate for SciFi in particular.

I mean, If it was good enough for the great Bernard Herrmann to use with the Day the Earth Stood Still…

Here is a bit behind the scenes with more than one theremin I believe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzRb1OVpat0

Robert Wise knows his composers. Herrmann and later Goldsmith.

@12- Andy, I know you are a fan of Assignment Earth/Gary Seven- you should check out some of the way out gadgetry Theremin planted in the US Embassy way back in the day.

General Martok
November 18, 2010 9:09 pm

I love me some theremin.

November 18, 2010 9:19 pm

@7.
The Beach Boys used a Theremin in their recordings, and they were “real musicians”, so I don’t understand why if they took the device seriously enough to use on their recordings, you as a musician and understanding that an instrument is merely a tool used to communicate with have such a hard time with it.

Perhaps it’s the pompous, ignorant, arrogant ass in you.

Adam E
November 18, 2010 9:43 pm

I want a theremin. Gonna look up prices right now.

November 18, 2010 9:45 pm

The only Theremin I have played is an electronic one…well, two: one on my computer and the other on my itouch (the one with the little robot). I can only imagine it is much much different with a real Theremin. What I play is usually spooky stuff or things like 50’s sci-fi music.

Boozba
November 18, 2010 9:48 pm

Great stuff…by the way, in the second video, does anyone know wich ep of TOS this is? It gave me an idea for a video montage.

Vultan
November 18, 2010 9:51 pm

#7

Here, blow on this, Mr. Band Camp.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jds5q993yqs

cd
November 18, 2010 11:07 pm

16 – It looks like it would be very difficult to play to a theramin, but he did a good job. I love the “film dust” on the transporter room video.

Buzz Cagney
November 18, 2010 11:39 pm

Its clever but c’mon, its isn’t the best noise in the world is it!

Jeff
November 19, 2010 12:44 am

Can you download The Inner Light tune anywhere???

Captain Conrad
November 19, 2010 1:18 am

I’ve never really been a huge fan of that tune… never really got to me… until now

RTC
November 19, 2010 4:05 am

Before now, I would have said a steady diet of theremin music would not be my choice … but this guy might have changed my mind. Fantastic job!

Max B
November 19, 2010 6:31 am

That pitch drove my cat nuts!!!

United Earth Space Administration
November 19, 2010 6:38 am

For Mr. Pringle:

Maestro, you did an excellent, perfect job re-create “The Inner Light” with the Theremin Instrument. It is very rare for anyone to perfect a song but you sir, take the cake.

I only wish you made a CD out of it. Thank you for your hard work and putting a smile on my face on a rotten, lousy day.

————-

For #7 aka Chadwick:

In the famous words of Balok – “SHUT UP, SUSAN!”

From the famous words of the Fesarius Ship – “SCREW YOU!”

————–

For anyone else who is negative about Mr. Pringle’s talent on the Theremin:

From the famous words of DeForest Kelly’s character, Doctor McCoy – “Go To Blazes!”

—————

I have my own words but I do not want to dis-respect this forum or this website.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Take good care of yourselves. don’t forget to hug your family.

ensign joe
November 19, 2010 7:43 am

16. Mike Okuda – November 18, 2010

Whoa its Mike Okuda!!!!

Love your work sir!

November 19, 2010 8:29 am

@ 18

I have a song I call “typical sci fi theme song” that I’d like to put a real theremin track on some day. You can find it on my Gary Seven “Extras” page….which contains some unused Gary Seven theme ideas from our Assignment: Earth project. You can check out those on this link.

http://www.supervisor194.com/blog/?p=588

Crusade2267
November 19, 2010 10:20 am

Beautiful work. I usually associate the Theremin with cheesey B-movies about invaders from beyond, but you’ve used it in a very soulful way. Well done!

Also, this is the best piece of Star Trek Music ever, made more special to me by the fact that my wife chose to march down the isle to it at our wedding.

November 19, 2010 11:40 am

The Inner Light one of my all time favorites the theme song always brought tears to my eyes. This haunting tune was realy brought more tears when played on this remarkable instrument. Great job! A beautiful tribute to a great story and a great civilization God rest their souls

Jonny Nemo
November 19, 2010 1:42 pm

Okay – this wasn’t written for Nest Generation.. this is actually called ‘Speed Bonny Boat’, a scottish folk tune. It was adapted for and modified for the episode, but is NOT an original piece.

Phil
November 19, 2010 2:27 pm

30. Max B – November 19, 2010

Hey, my three legged cat went hyper when I fired up the video, too.

Got to the point where I could play “Inner Light” on the sax, but that was a while ago. Hate to say it, though, the Theremin is a bit on the annoying side.

keachick
November 19, 2010 2:45 pm

I don’t want to seem stupid, but I did not see any instrument being played. Is it something that a person can do with their voice? If so, that is so amazing. It does sound like some sort of Asian instrument. So, what is a theremin?

CmdrR
November 19, 2010 2:49 pm

Nicely done. But, I’m kinda glad it’s a big and varied orchestra.

Cpt Devlin
November 19, 2010 3:23 pm

I prefer the original. It’s a good performance, but the instrument is terrible.

Vultan
November 19, 2010 4:08 pm
StevenPDX
November 19, 2010 5:56 pm

I had never even heard of a thermin before this video, so I checked it out in Wikipedia. An instrument that you play without direct contact by manipulating frequencies between two antennas. OMG! I’m learning guitar and can barely play five chord with my fingers on the strings. I am SO impressed with Mr. Pringle’s video.

I underscore all of the comments about the comment made by #7. I admire any musician, no matter what they play!

Thanks for putting this up, Anthony. The Star Trek community has some amazing talent.

"Check the Circuit!"
November 19, 2010 6:21 pm

Nice blue screen/green screen work in the second video. And REALLY nice transporter effect. Seamless move from the old footage to the new. Sweet!

Dr. Image
November 19, 2010 7:17 pm

Best theremin ever, Mr. Pringle.
EVER.

November 19, 2010 7:41 pm

@ 24, @ 41

Thanks for the research Vultan. I really enjoyed the video with theremin and orchestra. Lush and gorgeous. I researched the piece. It’s music from the Hitchcock film, “Spellbound.” (1945) The music was written by the great film composter Miklos Rozsa. And it was novel for the use of the theremin. Rozsa won the Oscar for his score. By the way, the film featured a dream sequence designed by Dali! Now if I could just get TCM to screen it.

Dr. Cheis
November 19, 2010 9:14 pm

Would have been more impressive without the harp in the background in my opinion. It would have really shown off what the Theremin can do. Still, very, very impressive.

Michael Hall
November 19, 2010 9:58 pm

Just wonderful, being given another take on this marvelous episode and music after so many years. Star Trek only very occasionally rose to the level of “The Inner Light,” but when it did, getting through all those filler episodes (and movies) seemed more than worth it. Great job, Mr. Pringle.

Vultan
November 19, 2010 10:14 pm

#45

Thanks for that info about Spellbound. I had no idea Dali ever worked in Hollywood. And that just happens to be one of the few Hitchcock movies I’ve yet to see—darn it! Hopefully, Robert Osbourne is a follower of this site. {Hint-hint}

November 19, 2010 10:54 pm

@ 48

You can see the dream sequence from Spellbound on TCM’s website, but there’s no plan to rebroadcast it. You can here the theremin in the clip. Leonard Maltin rates the film 3 and one half stars.

Hat Rick
November 20, 2010 8:42 am

I am very saddened by comments that disparage the theremin.

I have never played it before, but I am a concert-trained musician in addition to a number of things I’ve done with my life.

I feel that music is a form of universal language, and it speaks to the soul.

No matter your instrument — your voice, your hands, your eyes, anything — your life can be a conduit to musicianship, and love for all things good.

We need more of the love of music, and not less. And certainly not disparagement of what is beautiful.

For, as Goethe and Beethoven would agree, there is but one thing that is true in life, and that is the life is beauty, and beauty is life.

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