If you search for the word theremin on youtube, Thomas Grillo is the first to pop up. He has mastered this incredibly unique instrument and has been someone I have wanted to meet for years.
I always knew that someday I would make the trip out to Mississippi to meet him and make a movie about his life.
So I finally decided to do it.
I bought a new camera for the trip and got my super close film maker friend, Isiah Flores, a ticket to join me on this trip.
Out of pure luck, the last cheap car on the lot was taken, so we ended up getting the best car on the lot. A 2012 convertible Mustang. Or something like that.
I’m a secret new ager and I felt at that moment that I was in the right place at the right time. I’m also very insecure about my plans so my secret new-age side helped to reassure me.
We got the grand tour right off the bat. Thomas invited us in and gave us a concert and showed us all his awesome stuff.
Thomas had some awesome Star Trek scenes that he set up.
His knowledge on gear surpasses mine a thousand times. He owned a 20 foot jib arm that he would set up for us since we didn’t know how to use it. He was the star of the film as well as the grip.
He even helped set lights up at his house for the main interview.
After a long day of shooting, Thomas would continue to play for us on his theremin. It’s a very soothing sound.
Everyone is soothed by Thomas’s music, even his pet dog name Rosita. Rosita gets stir crazy if Thomas doesn’t play his theremin everyday.
See, Rosita is nice and relaxed now. Relajado, as Rosita would say.
The animals in the neighborhood all pick up on Thomas’s higher sound frequencies. They stand alert. Maybe Thomas is communicating Rosita’s thoughts to the other animals on the block.
Thomas finds inspiration from his surroundings in Jackson, Mississippi. Sounds of nature paired with sounds of the future, present, and past.
Isiah and Thomas became great friends. I became great friends too but I had to take the picture this time around.
Isiah picked up on the theremin quite fast. With a teacher like Thomas, the theremin’s learning curve shortens.
Thomas’s old trekkie gear fit Isiah perfectly.
When not performing at Petra Cafe, the local Lebanese restaurant, Thomas enjoys hookah and trying out new gear.
Isiah performed with Thomas at Petra Cafe on our last night in town. They were a awesome pop up band.
We knew we had left Mississippi with a special documentary and a special experience.