El sonido del Futuro, desde el pasado

Una breve nota en el Guardian sobre "sonidos fu turísticos" de instrumentos tecnológicos del pasado, como el famoso Theremin.

“El futuro ha estado con nosotros mucho más tiempo que se ha creído comúnmente. El primer intento de hacer un instrumento electrónico fue hace 100 años y se llamaba el Teleharmonium. Pesaba 200 toneladas y estaba diseñado para tocar música funcional, vía teléfono, para restaurantes y teatros.”

Ver también este sitio: THEREMINVOX, y el fabuloso Synthmuseum.

Imagen: Leon Theremin tocando su instrumento

Aca va un video de un Theremin en acción

3 comentarios:

Andrés Hax dijo...

Back to the future

David Stubbs on the futuristic sound of the electronic instruments of the past

Saturday March 4, 2006
The Guardian

Leon Theremin with his ... Theremin

The future has been around longer than is commonly thought. The first effort at an electronic music instrument, the Telharmonium, was devised 100 years ago. It weighed 200 tons, and was designed to pipe in proto muzak by telephone to restaurants and theatres. Mark Brend's new book Strange Sounds is a history of such unconventional and electronic instruments that have found their way into popular music, as well as those that never quite did. There's a tragic magic about names such as the Clavioline, the Marxophone and the Ondioline, hybrid instruments which their devisers imagined would have transformed pop music by the 1970s, reverberating on the colonies of Mars and blasting from the quadro systems of every hovercar. Today, they constitute a rusty wreckage of abortive attempts at a music of tomorrow.

Of course, pop has also embraced and fed on such innovations. The ethereal ululation of Good Vibrations is generated by an electro theremin, deriving from Leon Theremin's invention, hailed by Lenin as a marvel of Soviet ingenuity and later used by Led Zeppelin. David Bowie's Space Oddity deployed the Stylophone, an instrument enthusiastically promoted by Rolf Harris, which perhaps hampered its further proliferation. Paul McCartney, the real experimentalist in the Beatles, almost worked on a project with Delia Derbyshire, cult heroine of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. And the first artist to popularise the drum machine was, of all people, the Bee Gees' Robin Gibb.
Meanwhile, the cash till effect on Pink Floyd's Money from their bombastically banal Dark Side Of The Moon was an early example of the tape loop, pioneered by French sound engineer Pierre Schaeffer (or did they nick the idea from the theme to Are You Being Served?). The Omnichord, a sort of electronic autoharp, has featured on records by both U2 and the Manic Street Preachers.

Here, then, is the problem, one fully realised now that the rocket exhaust smoke has cleared and we've finally arrived in the future: some of the instruments Brend celebrates still surface in modern pop and rock. Radiohead have dallied with the Ondes Martinot and Goldfrapp have taken up the theremin, if only to demonstrate there's more to their knowledge of pop history than old Alvin Stardust hits. However, despite today's level of technological sophistication - 96-track recording, podcasting, sampling - the result is a mainstream sound that has never been more conservative, locked-in and as safe and business-friendly as Fort Knox.

These are sadly postmodern, futureless times, in which astronauts die of old age and no one cares about the year 2525. Did any of those 20th-century dreamers imagine that in the 21st century we'd be saddled with lumpen retroids like the Kaiser Chiefs? Which is why Schaeffer, Theremin et al sound as unearthly as ever, perhaps more so. Parts of the 20th century remain a long way off.

· Strange Sounds is featured on Freak Zone, Sun, 5pm, BBC6 Music


Anónimo dijo...

Además, si quieres conocer en castellano mucho más y actualizado sobre el instrumento:

-Diario de un thereminista mexicano
-Diario de un thereminista español

The Tilcarallajta Herald dijo...

Es cierto lo que dice el artículo sobre el uso del theremin en Good Vibrations de los Beach Boys y en Whole lotta love de Zeppelin. Si quieren ver un Theremin en acción en tierras criollas, vean "La niña santa" de Lucrecia Martel, donde hay un theremin en pleno Salta.