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March 12, 2007



Arg, non of that works on the lj feed. I'm not sure there's anything you can do about it, they block certain code. (And recently allowed code from YouTube.)


The music to "The Day The Earth Stood Still" is by the great Bernard Herrmann, and the score for "Spellbound" is by Miklos Rozsa. Samuel Hoffman plays theremin on both soundtracks.

There's also footage around of Clara Rockmore playing theremin. She was the first great virtuoso on this nutty instrument, working closely with Leon T. himself for many years. I don't have a URL handy... but Google would.


I thought some readers might like to know that the sounds on "Good Vibrations" are actually those of Paul Tanner playing the Electro-Theremin, an instrument he helped to invent. From Wikipedia:

"The Electro-Theremin is a electronic musical instrument developed by trombonist Paul Tanner and amateur inventor Bob Whitsell in the late 1950s to produce a sound to mimic that of the theremin. The instrument features a tone and portamento similar to that of the theremin (or thereminvox), but with a different control mechanism.

The instrument was custom-built at Tanner's request. Tanner appreciated the theremin's sound, but wanted greater control of pitch and attack. The Electro-Theremin uses mechanical controls, a long slide bar for the pitch (analogous to the slide of the trombone that was Tanner's main instrument) and a knob to adjust volume. This contrasts with the hand movements in space that was the original theremin's signal feature. The Electro-Theremin also produces a slightly less complex timbre than the original, because all sounds are created using a single sine wave audio oscillator rather than the theremin's mixture of two heterodyning oscillators. Few people, however, can detect any difference in the sound."

Had me fooled for years.


mein powerbook with firefox no likey.


come on
keep it downloadable!

p.s. works fine on opera

Station Manager Ken

Thanks for everybody's comments. vf - we will still offer videos for download, don't worry. I'd like to offer them both ways actually - as an embedded streaming video as well as a download.



It works perfectly on my iBook with Firefox.

Henry Lowengard

(Working on Safari)
"The Dying Swan" is a ballet using the music of "The Swan" from the Carnival of the Animals. Picky.

I also have one of those Theremaxs and they are hard to play because they drift in pitch a lot. WFMU blog fans will know to seek out the Theremin documentary made by Steven M. Martin (not the comedian):
Theremin - An Electronic Odyssey (1995). It features lots of obscure Theremin footage and Clara Rockmore meeting Leon Termin after about 40 years separation.

The Actually Does

Thank you!

A really great collection, and a really clean player!

I am going to check on ebay for a Theremin now.


What, no Mike Love??

Gordon charlton

The Lydia Kavina clip is from The James Whale Radio Show, on late night British TV.

James A. Gardner

One of the finest theremin-slingers around these days is a guy named Blake Jones. His last album (with the band Trike Shop) has a t'min rendition of Miserlou and their MySpace page ( has a monstrously cool t'min/bongos track, Astronauts In Trouble. That's some tasty hand-wavin'...

Kip W

That swan's not dying. He's getting better! I think perhaps you're confusing the 'dying swan' in Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" with the swan (just plain "The Swan") in the Carnival of the Animals.

Theremin's a great instrument, though. By coincidence, I was listening to a cut by Clara Rockmore just today. I've been allowed to play with the instrument a couple of times. In 7th grade, someone was demonstrating one in front of the whole school. I was in the front row, and when they asked for a volunteer, I didn't even raise my hand. I just stood up and took a step forward. The most recent time was last year. At my advanced age in life, I am now well aware of just how much I'd have to learn in order to attempt to play one of those bad boys.


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