As part of its acclaimed Science on Screen series, the Coolidge Corner Theatre presents THEREMIN: AN ELECTRONIC ODYSSEY, the 1994 documentary about the unusual electronic instrument and the strange life of its inventor and namesake, Leon Theremin. Before the film, MIT Professor of Music and Media Tod Machover will discuss his pioneering work as a composer and inventor of new technologies for music. Machover will also be on hand for Q&A after the movie. In addition, this program will feature a short performance by orchestral thereminist Dalit Hadass Warshaw.
In 1918, using newly discovered vacuum-tube technology, Russian-born scientist Leon Theremin invented a musical instrument unlike any the world had seen before: one that utilizes electronic oscillation to produce its sound and is played entirely without human contact. Theremin toured the United States and Europe giving public recitals, and became the toast of New York City's artists and intellectuals during the roaring '20s. But in 1938, at the height of his promising career in the U.S., Theremin mysteriously disappeared. Decades later, it was discovered he had been abducted by KGB agents and interred in a Russian prison camp to be "rehabilitated."
Over the years, the ethereal, otherworldly sounds of the theremin became the backdrop to scores of science fiction and horror films (particularly in the ‘50s), and have inspired numerous musicians, from the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson to synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog.
While there have been no KGB abductions in his background (at least not that we know of), Tod Machover is himself a remarkable figure in the worlds of music and technology. He has pioneered many new technologies for music, most notably his Hyperinstruments that use smart computers to augment musical expression and creativity. He has designed Hyperinstruments for some of the world's greatest musicians, from Yo-Yo Ma to Prince, as well as for the general public, for children, and for use in a variety of healthcare contexts. In addition, the video game sensation GUITAR HERO was invented by two of Machover’s students, growing out of technology developed in his Lab.
Machover is widely recognized as one of the most significant and innovative composers of his generation. His music has been acclaimed for breaking traditional artistic and cultural boundaries, offering a unique synthesis of acoustic and electronic sound.
This program is part of the Coolidge's Science on Screen series, co-presented by the Museum of Science, Boston and New Scientist magazine.
Tickets are available in advance at the box office, located at 290 Harvard Street in Brookline, or on-line at www.coolidge.org/showtimes.
For more details, visit www.coolidge.org or call 617/734-2500.
Official Website: http://www.coolidge.org/science
Added by lonescribe on December 31, 2008