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When My Sorrow Died: The Legend of Armen Ra & the Theremin

When My Sorrow Died: The Legend of Armen Ra & the Theremin

Armen Ra is a renowned theremin player whose tumultuous adolescence informs his haunting, melancholy music. His family fled Iran during the Islamic Revolution, and he wound up in Boston, where he was bullied mercilessly by classmates; at 13 he hightailed it to New York City, where he ran around with the hard-partying Club Kids (of Party Monster fame) and became a fixture in the drag scene. Heavy drinking nearly derailed his musical career and ended his life, but a move to LA put him on the right track. This 2013 video documentary by Robert Nazar Arjoyan is rather straightforward aesthetically, but Ra's gregariousness and tenacity make him a compelling presence.

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