Given the seeming lack of interaction with the theremin, he demonstrated that its sonic potential was on a par with the expressivity of the piano, even when appreciated as a solo instrument, unaccompanied by other instruments or sounds. It's tempting to project that Schwimmer's autodidactic competence on the theremin has bled over into how he makes sound on the piano. Perhaps the theremin's propensity for sounding melodramatic in response to the physical movements in the performerso less tactile than the player's engagement with a keyboard to produce soundhas increased Schwimmer's attention to the manner in which he addresses the piano keyboardcaressing, coaxing, stroking it to ensure the most eloquent response.
Whether it's the result of his listening to pianists from Bud Powell to Herbie Hancock, or to the music of classical composer Frederic Rzewski, or of being awed enough after seeing the late Clara Rockmore perform on the theremin to learn how to do it himself, the mystery of how Schwimmer's music comes together is a story that writes itself as the music unfurls. What Schwimmer produces matches his self-description: "a lover of beautiful sound."
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.