Three Theremins... One Guitar... All Heart!
The Lothars is a three-theremin-and-a-guitar ensemble formed in late 1996 after member Jon Bernhardt saw Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey, the critically acclaimed film documenting the life of Leon Theremin and the instrument that he created. The Lothars is electronica dragged kicking and screaming back to its origin points in Leon Theremin's laboratory. On this release, Kris Thompson and Brendan Quinn of another Boston four piece, Abunai!, and Ramona Herboldsheimer round out the membership.
But in opposition to what might be expected, they create quite tuneful and accessible mini-symphonies on their cantankerous instrumentation, with interweaving flights of oscillator inspiration wheeling around over Ramona Herboldsheimer's precise rhythmic foundation. Pieces range from rock-outs like "Dust Mah Space Broom", to the Ennio Morricone tribute (complete with cool horse-whinny sounds) "Cowboys Lament", to the distinctly tone-poem-ish "The Cat and the Mean Old Man". Most impressive of all is "The Coronation of King Lothar", which the New York Press said sounded like "a traditional English folk song emanating from beyond the gates of hell." On the latter track, the hauntingly skewed theremin sounds are effectively supported by a bleak violin motif from Brendan Quinn.
The Lothars are also an active live performance entity, having appeared at both prestigious Terrastock festivals, the highly-rated Deep Heaven events, and opened for bands such as The High Llamas, Luna, and Pere Ubu.