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There he invented, for one, an ingenious eavesdropping device that was planted in the US Ambassy in Moscow and functioned for a number of years until, with great difficulty, it was finally found.

I think this was the bug that was hidden in the Great Seal of the United States, a big one hanging on a wall. I remember watching Henry Cabot Lodge on B&W TV speaking in the UN, thrashing the Soviets bitterly for this piece of (as he pronounced it) esSPYonage.
 

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I think this was the bug that was hidden in the Great Seal of the United States, a big one hanging on a wall. I remember watching Henry Cabot Lodge on B&W TV speaking in the UN, thrashing the Soviets bitterly for this piece of (as he pronounced it) esSPYonage.
Correct - the story is told in Spycatcher Peter Wright a former MI5 officer's Autobiography- its a great read, got it when in first came out. We Aussies were lucky, it got published first in Australia, when others tried to ban the book.
 

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As Argus said, Good Vibrations featured the instrument he mentioned; pitch was controlled by moving your finger along a "ribbon controller," a flat strip.

I've got a Moog Theremin, designed by Bob Moog (mine's black, like Sheldon's). I found it in a pawn shop for $230, and did a lay-away. It's a great instrument, and very flexible. The oscillator's pitch-range can be changed with a knob, and the degree of volume-sensitivity can be determined, so you can customize the settings to your desires. It mounts on a mike stand.

Put a little reverb or echo on it, and it can provide hours of fun.

The guitar/theremin mentioned by Mark Harwood was originally developed by Randy California (of Spirit), and he turned-on Jimmy Page to the idea when Spirit toured Britain. Page's use of it can be heard during the "space section" of "Whole Lotta Love," where the "zipping" sound of the Theremin is run through an echo unit.
 

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If you're interested in the theremin, please have a look at the theremin-based chamber ensemble I play in here: http://www.youtube.com/user/DivineHandEnsemble

I play vibes and marimba in the group. The videos with glockenspiel in them are from before I joined; I'm NOT the guy playing glock (he's our guitar player now).

Our thereminist believes that the theremin should be treated as just another musical instrument rather than a source of sound effects or a novelty. I totally agree with him; when played tastefully (and in tune) it's a wonderfully expressive instrument. When played poorly (which unfortunately happens too often), it's another matter entirely....
 

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I need to put in some practice on the Theremin...I haven't touched it in months! :lol:

My callouses are getting soft! :lol:
 

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If you're interested in the theremin, please have a look at the theremin-based chamber ensemble I play in here: http://www.youtube.com/user/DivineHandEnsemble

I play vibes and marimba in the group. The videos with glockenspiel in them are from before I joined; I'm NOT the guy playing glock (he's our guitar player now).

Our thereminist believes that the theremin should be treated as just another musical instrument rather than a source of sound effects or a novelty. I totally agree with him; when played tastefully (and in tune) it's a wonderfully expressive instrument. When played poorly (which unfortunately happens too often), it's another matter entirely....
Very cool! Currently studying the theremin; always neat to hear about thereminists in chamber ensemble.

I can see where he's coming from, but the use of the theremin for sound effects must be commended and has brought some major pieces in itself (as well as balance to Rockmore's inaccessibility to masses). Plus, using it as novelty was what got us the "Spellbound Concerto", which is brilliant and beautiful to me. Then again that's my opinion... :p Guess I fall between Rockmore's and Hoffman's theremin worlds.

Here's a great read on Hoffman, which also brings up Spellbound.
 

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The thereminist I work with (the guy in the videos I linked to) did a performance of Spellbound Concerto with the New Jersey Capital Philharmonic (with whom I have also performed, as a percussionist) on New Year's Eve. Great piece! Rosza was a great composer, whether for movies or concert stage.
 

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Just listened to this new recording:



Kalevi Aho: Concerto for Theremin and Chamber Orchestra "The Eight Seasons" (2011), paired with his horn concerto (2011) - far less interesting.

Amazing! The composer exploited all different possibilities of the instrument...sometime it sounds like a violin, some other time like a human voice...

This is taken from the CD booklet, Aho's words:
I composed the concerto in the autumn of 2011. The work is dedicated to Carolina Eyck and bears the title Eight Seasons - and its eight movements, played with out a break, are just like a musical year; since ancient times the Sami people (the original inhabitants of Lapland) have divided the course of the year into eight sections.
My choice to use an electronic instrument to depict the course of the year in the far North reflects the shamanistic aspect of the instrument. To hear the theremin as a solo instrument can be a magical experience for the listener. The soloist is like a magician, a weaver of spells, producing music just by moving his hands without touching the instrument at all.
 

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I'd love one of these, amazing device. There was one being set up in Durham Cathedral last time I was there but I was unable to attend the concert.
 
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I've tried...and tried...and tried again, but absolutely cannot get used to the Theremin sound. It tends to grate on my ears and nerves. I was brought up on classical music - heading towards becoming a concert pianist at one point in my life, then switched to the vocal arts - including opera. To me, there's something unnatural about the sound it produces. Does anyone else feel that way? Or...am I t total outsider?!?!?!
 
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