MATRIXSYNTH: ELECTRONDE (Theremin) of Martin Taubman

Friday, April 16, 2010

ELECTRONDE (Theremin) of Martin Taubman

YouTube via copperleaves — April 16, 2010 — "This is an archival news film from 1938, showing Martin Taubman and his "Electronde". If you look carefully, you can catch an occasional glimpse of the audio cutoff cable that runs from Taubman's left hand (which he keeps at his side) to the Electronde cabinet. The volume for this device is controlled by a pedal placed under Taubman's right foot. The pad under his left foot is there only for balance so that one leg is not higher than the other.

According to the 1939 CYCLOPEDIA OF MUSIC AND MUSICIANS (which was edited by, among others, Nicolas Slonimsky, a personal friend of Lev Termen, the inventor of the theremin), the absence of "attack" on the "space control" instruments was considered a serious limitation by many musicians of the 1930's. While a fast "dipping" motion of the volume hand of a thereminist can create the impression of attack, it is not instantaneous and cannot produce the true staccato of Taubman's ELECTRONDE.

You will notice that Taubman has placed his Electronde on top of his speaker, and turned the speaker so that it points to Taubman's right. This way, when he plays, his audience sees him only in profile and his left hand (which controls his audio cutoff switch) is hidden on the upstage side."

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