Weird scenes inside the goldmine

Dorit Chrysler
Bar 25 29/6/07

There were weird scenes inside the goldmine as Dorit Chrysler, queen of the Theremin, all the way from New York City, serenaded Bar 25 on Friday night.

In a red a-symmetric dress Miss Chrysler apologised for the failing battery and caressed the air around her unusual instrument eliciting strange Star Trek whoops, bleeps and falsetto ululations.

The Theremin, much beloved of Alison Goldfrapp (to whom’s voice Miss Chrysler’s bears a frail resemblance) is notoriously difficult to play. Invented in 1919 by Léon Theremin, the device’s two antennas control, respectively, pitch and amplitude. Whilst the instrument found a devoted following in the avant-garde it achieved little commercial success for its creator who disappeared to Moscow under mysterious circumstances and was later responsible for the development of the first electronic surveillance devices.

In a month in which the weather has been characterised by long hot days and sudden violent downpours what better instrument to provide an eldritch soundtrack, what better venue than Bar 25 (a ramshackle wooden hut on the bank of the Spree) in which to hear it? The shear oddness of the performance was matched by the febrile, surreal imagery of Chrysler’s lyrics and the fragility of their delivery.

Ably assisted by DJ der Samtbody, laying down minimal beats beneath her exotic electronic warblings, Miss Chrysler crooned “I shower your expectant eyes tender in gold” (Sustain Me) in a faux mittel-European accent sounding a bit like the deranged sister that Bjork has kept locked in the attic all these years.

The Ouija sounds summoned the ghost of Glenn Miller for “Chinatown” as Miss Chrysler’s fingers trembled in the air with the precision of a Balinese dancer’s.

An Alsatian in a neckerchief wandered curiously about the room during the encore which, in keeping with the cinematic theme of the evening, comprised an instrumental version of “You only live twice”.