World renowned thereminist, Armen Ra discusses his life as a young Armenian having moved from Iran in the late 70s and starting his life in America after a permanent holiday stay. Armen’s musical career came later in life after many years of clubbing in the era of the Club Kids in NYC, performing spectacular drag shows, making jewellery for stars like Siouxsie Sioux and studying witchcraft with the witch of Salem herself, Laurie Cabot. Armen also worked in Patricia Field’s (widely known as costume designer for Sex and the City) store at one point and shops at the NYC store Trash and Vaudeville to buy all of his pointed shoes and boots. It was only until one day after attending a party hosted by David LaChapelle, someone asked Armen what he did apart from model, to which he quipped, “I’m studying the theremin”. The words were spoken and although untrue at the time, became his destiny. In 2014 a documentary was made dedicated to Armen’s life titled ‘When my Sorrow Died’. It won multiple awards and is still being circulated and available for download in the link below.
Armen has performed around the world in places like Villa Petraia (Florence, Italy) and at events such as the Christian Dior Haute Couture Ball (Paris), being on tour with Nick Cave, Moogfest and many other events that are at the height of obscurity when it comes to electronic music and the theremin. Armen’s gothic influence he describes as organic and makes no excuses for being incredibly glamorous at all times. This interview was conducted on the 18th Anniversary of Armen’s first theremin.
Welcome to 2019 and we hope you enjoy my conversation with Armen Ra, Thereminist – Legend.