Theremin Artist Shueh-Li Ong

Today’s post is about an interview with Shueh-Li Ong who is a Nashville, TN. based composer, producer, thereminist synthesist.   From her website, she states “Hi, I’m Shueh-li (pronounced Shelley)—an Australian-born Singapore recording artist living in the U.S.A. I write, record, perform, produce my CDs and shows, and promote and manage my career. I cover it all!”  Be sure to check her out online. 

We were fortunate to have met her at a NAMM show in Nashville a few years ago.  So we thought it would be a great topic for discussion for anyone interested in this unusual instrument.  And learning more about synth music creation or sound design this interview is for you.

So what is a Theremin you say?

Well, in 1928 Leon Theremin created an electronic musical instrument, he patented and named this instrument after himself.  (Anyone who plays the Theremin can be referred to as a thereminist).  The interesting part of this instrument is that it is played without it being touched.  The thereminist stands in front of the instrument and uses their hands in the proximity of two metal antennas. (Check out the video below to see how Shueh-li plays one).  You’ve probably already heard a Theremin, but just didn’t realize you were listening to one like the theme to Star Trek.  It’s spacy and ethereal and one of our favorite TV shows and a great watch to see someone actually playing it.


Recording a Theremin

In a recent interview with Jim of Slick Audio. Shueh-li discusses her recording techniques, and thoughts about recording, and review of music production of a Theremin.

More Than TV Shows

The Theremin has been used in music for quite some time for its space-age synthetic sound not just for Star Trek, it’s also inspired many famous musicians.  Like, The Beach Boys, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin to name a few.  If you want to learn more about a Theremin check out the Wikipedia Page.