Charlie Draper

WELCOME

CHARLIE DRAPER

 

About

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

Based in London, I've played internationally for clients including the RTE Concert Orchestra (playing the music of Danny Elfman), the British Library (playing with Bruce Woolley's Radio Science Orchestra), WOMAD Festival, the Welsh National Opera House, Oxford and Cambridge Universities, the London ExCEL Centre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, ITV, Channel 4, BBC Radio 3, the Whipple Museum of Science, and numerous independent record labels for television and radio recordings.

A passionate, enthusiastic and experienced music professional, I'm open to connecting and collaborating with composers, conductors, events teams, and anyone else in need of these instruments' uniquely evocative tones. My portfolio spans classical, contemporary and commercial music; I'm available for booking both as a solo artist (with or without piano accompaniment), and for live, studio and remote recording work.

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 (1898-1993), 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 forth 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 version of the Ondes Martenot which is one of only 100 handmade by Japanese master craftsman Naoyuki Omo for his company, Asaden. The evocative tones of the instrument can be reminiscent of a violin, cello, flute, or even a human voice.

I'm currently building a core performance repertoire and am starting work with orchestras, composers and other musicians.