New Music Monday: Thereminist May Roosevelt’s “Haunted” Album


According to May Roosevelt – “IT IS TIME FOR THE DEAD TO HAVE A WORD WITH THE LIVING” and she delivers through her album Haunted. Her web site describes the album:

"Haunted": The Strange Musical Case of May Roosevelt

May Roosevelt's new album "Haunted" opens doors to phantoms of the past. The work's eight musical compositions are supernatural entities of modern technology that hover in the air, bursting open the chest of rustic tradition only to be transformed into rhythms of Greek dances.

Following "Panda, a story about love and fear", composer and thereminist May Roosevelt uncovers a dark and reclusive universe defined by motion and dance. "Haunted" starts with the zeibekiko dance rhythm in 'The Unicorn Died', which was composed and presented for the first time in London at the Red Bull Music Academy in February 2010. The original idea evolved through an intense speculation about the place held by traditional Greek rhythms in the canon of Greek electronic music. This exploration subsequently led to the creative transformation of eight different Greek dances presented in "Haunted".

The Theremin, a very complex instrument yet absolutely submissive to the hands of May Roosevelt, was used to create a plethora of curious sounds ranging from wind and stringed instruments to an imitation of human voice. The Theremin's unique sound also shifted from a bagpipe (in 'Oomph') to a Pontic Lyre (in 'Mass Extermination'), and from a clarinet (in 'Vow') into a violin (in 'Dark the Night'). Through the use of electronic beats to form each rhythm alongside synthesizers and vocals, May Roosevelt attempts to embed anew Greek musical idioms within contemporary music while retaining all their respectable characteristics.

The title "Haunted" – inspired by the idea of hauntology, introduced by French philosopher Jacques Derrida – defines the concept and underscores the character of the compositions: The phantoms of the past and the spirit of future, mingled, haunt the music of May Roosevelt.

Here is two videos from her Vimeo channel featuring songs from the album to give taste.

If you like instrumental electronic music and you love theremin you are sure to enjoy this excellent album! I’m on my third listen already! Haunted indeed.



Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO

Music Monday New Electronic Music

Mark Mosher • Audio/Visual Synthesist | Boulder, CO View All →

Artist site:
Host of Sonic Encounters Podcast:
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1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. I bought the album right away, the videos really got me…
    I think it’s a great album, dark and mysterious, with great atmospheres. The Theremin is perfectly embedded into the sonic texture of the tracks, never sounding like a cheap retro fx. Thanks a lot for sharing!


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