One Thing Leads to Another:

Last night I visited 63Mago where the topic was Sunday music and the featured artist was Rosalyn Tureck who was instructed by Léon Theremin who invented the Theremin. It’s one of my favorite weird instruments. So I commented on the article and asked if Mago was familiar with the work of Clara Rockmore one of the foremost practitioners of the Theremin. Which of course set me on a youtubes search for strange electronic music and it's pioneers which ended up being one of those, One Thing Leads to a Another moments.

First we have the eerie Clara Rockmore doing what she does accompanied by her sister on the piano, take it away Clara…

Then I noticed to the right of the youtubes the suggested videos and saw a mash up of, Clara Rockmore V/S Anna Karina.

Then I wondered who is, Anna Karina?

Anyway, back to the Theremin, one of the first Science Fiction movies to incorporate the new sound was The Day the Earth Stood Still which is one of my favorite film scores.

Then I wondered about the soundtrack to the wonderful movie, Forbidden Planet Which was scored by the then unknown team of L ouis and Bebe Barron. Coincidentally they were friends of Louise Huebner, The Official Witch of Los Angeles and her husband the talented Mentor Huebner a wonderful storyboard artist for such great films as Ben Hur, Blade Runner, and of course, Forbidden Planet.

It turns out that while the theremin (which was not used in Forbidden Planet) had been used on the soundtrack of Alfred Hitchcock's 1945 film Spellbound, the Barron's electronic composition is credited with being the first completely electronic film score; their soundtrack preceded the invention of the Moog synthesizer by eight years (1964). The Moog synthesizer was invented by Robert Moog.

It turns out that Robert Moog happened to be friends with Clara Rockmore and by chance here is video of a dinner between the two great musicians,

Then I wondered about the avant-garde "Laurie's" composers like Laurie Spiegel who made compositions on something she invented and named the concerto generator,

And then of course the other Laurie, Laurie Anderson who has somehow managed to make sense of all of these strange instruments.

Then I fell asleep.


  1. Let's not forget The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T.

  2. *Nudges Norma Desmond ever so gently*

    MJ-Don’t forget Barbarella and the Orgasmatron.

  3. Wow! Do ya have any left?
    I'd like a hit of that...
    Love the Theremin, but I'll have to visit a few times to go through this material.

  4. I like the unearthly sound of the Theremin too. One particular favourite piece which springs to mind is the Dr Who theme tune.

  5. I mentioned Bode's Melochord here, strange sounds and the Trautonium, but Mrs. Rockmore (!) and The Official Witch of LA had escaped my attention! Thank you very much, I have to work myself through these links!

  6. Miss J had no idea that's what a Theramin looked like...

  7. Sometimes, too much time is just enough.