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The Musical Saw and Theremin Page

The Musical Saw and Theremin Page.
posted by hama7 on Mar 21, 2004 - 13 comments

Leon Sergeivitch Termen, born in Russia and later a US resident, is best known as the inventor of The Theremin, the first real electronic instrument. The Theremin is played by standing and wavings one's hands. It was used to give a futuristic sound to classic sci-fi films and still looks plenty sci-fi when played[quicktime clip] and the music it produces is strange and beautiful[real player].
Old Leon himself ended up getting kidnapped by Soviet agents and sent to a Siberian prison camp. After his release, he continued to work for the KGB, creating one of the first "bugs" -- then used to eavesdrop on the American Embassy. He was mostly unaware of the fate of his eponymous instrument. Meanwhile, his former lover, Clara Rockmore, went on to try and change the thermin from novelty to serious instrument, she even had her own unique playing style (heard in the real player clip above). Want to play? build your own, or download your own, and join the whole odd subculture.
posted by malphigian on Aug 11, 2002 - 25 comments

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