The Theramin, an electronic instrument, is played without any physical contact! Invented in 1920 by Russian physicist Leon Theramin, it uses two metal antennas to sense the movement of the player’s hands in the air and control oscillators for pitch and volume. It evolved from Russian government sponsored research into motion detectors and was said to have greatly impressed Lenin. Robert Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer, credits his years studying the theramin as his inspiration.
The theramin produces an eerie sound used to effect in movie tracks and by psychedelic rock bands. Watch this strange, hands-off performance by Celia Sheen…she really is playing an instrument!
Sadly, Celia Sheen, an accomplished professional violinist, passed away last month.