News / Calgary

“One-woman Spice Girls” comes to Beakerhead 2015

After an Artist in Residency at Calgary’s National Music Centre, Clara Venice has made her way back to Calgary to showcase her futuristic sounds

Before launching her Calgary-crafted EP, Electric Dream, Clara Venice has brought her other-worldly instruments, like a Theremin that she plays without touching, back to the city for a performance at Beakerhead 2015.

Jennifer Friesen/ for Metro

Before launching her Calgary-crafted EP, Electric Dream, Clara Venice has brought her other-worldly instruments, like a Theremin that she plays without touching, back to the city for a performance at Beakerhead 2015.

The first time Clara Venice ever saw a Theremin being played, she was hooked.
Invented in the 1920s, the Theremin is the only musical instrument you can play without touching it. Waving your hands over the antenna produces a frequency that sounds almost like a violin.

Now, the Toronto-based musician is making the antique-style Theremin a part of her hyper-modern act, and she’s bringing it to Calgary to join in the Beakerhead celebrations.


Describing herself as the “one-woman Spice Girls,” Venice’s Beakerhead performances will be a futuristic show with four virtual bandmates – all different, multi-hair-coloured personas of herself.

Along with Clara Venus, Clara Vixen, Clara Volume and Clara Vegas, she’ll have Theremin-controlled lighting, planetary projections and music made from a collection of mostly unheard-of instruments, including a “magic” wand.

Venice discovered the historic recording equipment while taking an Artist in Residency at Calgary’s National Music Centre (NMC) last year. She said the experience gave her a whole new respect for her genre “as an electronic musician.”

“A lot of electronic music is now done on the computer,” she said.

“But a lot of the sounds can actually be created with the instruments at the National Music Centre. I went there and all of these sounds came alive – it’s the equivalent of seeing a photo of someone and then meeting them in person. It was so inspiring, it changed the way I approach everything.”

John Leimseider, and electronics technician at the NMC, said seeing music that their collection “made possible,” brings a new element to his career.

“It’s really nice to hear new stuff made on the old stuff,” he said. “You wonder what the point of any kind of museum organization is, and it’s to awaken people to all these other options.”

During the five days of her residency last year, Venice used 72 different instruments to record her latest EP, Electric Dream, which drops on October 15.
“I’m really excited,” said Venice. “It’s my favourite thing I ever made because it’s like a time capsule of all the things I experienced while I was here.”

Beakerhead performances:

Friday September 18:
The Rock’n’Roll History of Space Exploration
Webber Auditorium at 8 p.m.

Saturday September 19:
Beakernight
10 Street at 9 p.m.

More on Metronews.ca