MATRIXSYNTH: Vintage synth featured in 1957 film "Different from You and Me."

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Vintage synth featured in 1957 film "Different from You and Me."

video upload by Robotussin Vintage Synths

"The dangers of electronic music, according to a film about the menace of homosexuality from 1957 called 'Different From You and Me'. It features the Trautonium, a synthesizer from the 1930s that was created by Friedrich Trautwein and used by Oskar Sala. The film, which was called 'The Third Sex' or 'Bewildered Youth'(!) when released in the US, is about a prosperous German family whose son is lured into a seedy world of gay men, nude wrestling and avant garde electronic music by an effete friend and a licentious antique dealer.

Terrified that their son is not into women, the teen's parents induce their cleaning lady to seduce him and awaken his more 'natural' desires. This ends in the month's arrest for arranging prostitution!

While the film is based on homophobic ideas, the original version has some nuance and depicts some of its gay characters in a relatively balanced light for the time. Being gay was still a crime in Germany and elsewhere in the 1950s. However, before it could be released in West Germany censors insisted on changes, weaving in more anti-gay rhetoric, making the gay characters more criminal and removing scenes that showed gay men in positions of authority and respectability.

For me, it's remarkable only for the scenes featuring the synthesizer, but it is interesting that even then electronic music was associated with same-sex relationships, given that 20 years later the gay communities would be such a driving force behind the foundation of the electronic music scene.

I have uploaded all the scenes from this film that feature the Trautonium to my YouTube channel, which is also called Robotussin Vintage Synths."


  1. Wow what a find.

  2. I can't think of any extensive gay support for electronic music until the rise of Disco in the late '70s, which was ten to twenty years after the start of widespread use of electronic music in rock and jazz. My guess is the Trautonium was used in the film simply because it was available and/or it helped give the film an air of outlandishness and alienation.

    1. I might add that "Different From You and Me" was released only a couple of years after "Forbidden Planet" with its alien soundscapes by Louis and Bebe Barron, and the earlier "The Day the Earth Stood Still" with its Theremin compositions of Bernard Herrmann, so, inspiration is more than possible.

  3. Quilcomm created a Trautonium simulation plugin called Trout, available from Plugins4Free and other sites.

  4. Mad! Is this what they call Circuit Bending?

    1. Well, unless you are trying to make a joke, then no, it is not circuit bending. Bending applies to modifying electronics that were already designed and built for a particular purpose, to bend them to a different purpose. The Trautonium was designed to be the Trautonium, not repurposed from something else. It is an original invention.


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