Allen Farmelo is a record producer and engineer, and he curated the "Odd Harmonics" show at the Judith Charles Gallery in New York City. "Odd Harmonics" also featured performances by Mikael Jorgensen (Wilco), German classical theremin virtuoso Carolina Eyck, performance artist … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Five disappointing things about the iPhone 5S.
- Why I'm gladly spending $100 more on the iPhone 5S over the iPhone 5C.
- Here comes a gold Lightning cable for your gold iPhone 5S.
- Apple has only increased the iPhone's battery capacity by 12 percent in six years.
- Apple stock tumbles following debut of new iPhones.
We really love the theremin. Its strange, synthetic, alien sound was miles ahead of its time. Invented in the 1920s by Russian Léon Theremin, well before digital synthesizers were born, it's the only musical instrument in the world that can be played without physical contact from the player.
It consists of two antennas attached to a device, inside of which a system of vacuum tubes, oscillators, coils, and wires creates an electromagnetic field around the antennas. When the player's hands enter this field, sound is produced, with one antenna controlling the pitch and the other controlling the volume.
Enter the Matryomin -- a one-handed theremin invented in 2003 by 46-year-old Japanese theremin player Masami Takeuchi. For some reason, he's packed it all inside a matryoshka doll. It still counts as a theremin, though, which means that when Takeuchi's company Mandarin Electron put together an ensemble of 272 Matryomin players (plus a conductor) on July 20, they managed to score a Guinness World Record for the world's largest theremin ensemble. … Read more
Some things just go together like peanut butter and jelly. Like "Star Wars" and theremins and bras. An Instructables member built such an undergarment using LEDs and an Adafruit Flora wearable microprocessor.
The bra includes a photocell detector and an ultrasonic range sensor. Wave your hand in front of the bra to affect the sound. It's designed to react like a theremin, so the sound changes with how close you are to it. Yep, it's a beep-boop bra; though, it sounds a bit more musical than typical R2-D2 noises.… Read more
If all robots were musicians, the best instrument for them to play would be the theremin. This is because it creates delightful scenarios in which the robot can play its own space-age soundtrack music.
Take Lev, for example. The theremin-shredding bot, built by Ranjit Bhatnagar at Moonmilk Laboratories, is featured in a couple of mesmerizing videos below. Both are "Crazy"--one by Patsy Cline, and one by Gnarls Barkley in which Lev is accompanied by a robot drummer called Thumpbot.
Lev's been playing the theremin for a while; according to the Moonmilk site, the robot played a … Read more