Charlie Draper

WELCOME

CHARLIE DRAPER

 

About

I play Theremin and the Ondes Martenot, two rare early electronic instruments distinguished by their unique modes of operation and otherworldly sound.  These instruments are ideal partners: besides being among the earliest electronic musical instruments, they are capable of producing similar tones, rely on similar technologies, and demand comparably keen attention to pitch to coax voices from their delicate circuitry. 

Based in London, I've performed internationally for clients including the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the British Library, Bruce Woolley's Radio Science Orchestra, WOMAD Festival, the Welsh National Opera House, London ExCEL Centre, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, Joe's Pub, and Oxford and Cambridge Universities. I've performed many principal orchestral works with symphony orchestra, including Schillinger's "First Airphonic Suite", Rózsa's "Spellbound Concerto", Herrmann's "Suite from the Day the Earth Stood Still" and Elfman's "Mars Attacks!". My performances have featured on ITV, Channel 4, BBC 1, BBC Radio 3, and BuzzFeed, and I've recorded for independent record labels for television and radio.

A passionate and experienced music professional, I collaborate with composers, conductors, events teams, and others in need of these instruments' uniquely evocative tones. With access to a high-quality home studio, I routinely work remotely with stems, guide tracks or traditional notated music. My portfolio spans classical, contemporary and commercial music, and includes work as a soloist and ensemble player for live and studio performance.

For bookings and general inquiries, contact me using the link below.

For news of upcoming events, follow me on social media.

 
 

Theremin

The theremin is one of the most unusual instruments ever devised. Invented in 1920 by the Russian physicist and musician Leon Theremin (1896-1993), the instrument is distinguished both by its haunting tone resembling the human voice, and by its unique mode of operation, which involves no physical contact from the player. By moving his or her hands around two metal antennae, the player can - like the conductor of an orchestra - summon music from the air.

 
 

Ondes Martenot

The Ondes Martenot is among the earliest successful electronic musical instruments, patented in 1928 by French cellist, radio engineer and visionary Maurice Martenot (1898-1980). The most well-known iteration of the instrument is distinguished by three unique features: a laterally shifting keyboard (which permits vibrato), a ribbon control (which permits unlimited portamento), and special resonant speakers which imbue the sound with an otherworldly resonance. I play an Ondomo, a portable Ondes Martenot which is one of only 100 handmade by the Asaden atelier of Japanese master craftsman Naoyuki Omo  The evocative tones of the instrument can be reminiscent of a violin, cello, flute, or even a human voice.