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Watch the earliest known video of a theremin in action, demonstrated by Léon Theremin in 1954

By 2017, most of the world would be in tune with the sound of a theremin. The warbling sound it produces has wormed its way into countless soundtracks, hit songs and SFX bites.

But back in 1954, it would have blown your fucking mind.

leon theremin 1954 demonstration

Soviet inventor Léon Theremin wasn’t only the inventor of his eponymous instrument, he was pretty darn good at playing it too.

Léon Theremin, if you haven’t pieced it together, was the instrument’s inventor. In the below video you’ll see him demonstrating the new piece of technology, presumably causing the world to think he was some kind of black magician. What do you mean, you don’t have to touch it?

Theremin is the rare, appreciated case where the line between scientist and artist blurs. Think the Bob Moogs and Suzanne Cianis of the world; pioneers, inventors and musicians.

A theremin was famously used throughout Led Zeppelin’s touring career, as well as in a ton of film soundtracks such as The Day The Earth Stood Still. The most often-cited use of a theremin is actually in Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys… yet a little-known fact is that they used an electro-theremin, a mimic instrument invented in the late ’50s.

Via Open Culture.