A new instrument is born: the polyphonic theremin

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

I won't lie -- my heart skipped a beat when I saw this one. Esteemed synthesizer manufacturer Moog Music has invented the first polyphonic theremin.

What is the theremin, you might ask? It's that quirky sci-fi sound in the background of The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations." It's an electronic musical device that produces a sine wave tone. The pitch is determined by where the musician places her hand in relation to the antenna. The theremin has been around since the late 1920s, but it's only ever been able to create one pitch at a time.

Now, with this polyphonic theremin, a musician can create up to five notes at once. That means that, with some practice, a theremin player could essentially do what a pianist does. Mind-blowing.

If the idea of the theremin intrigues you, try your best to find tickets to the sold-out Explosions in the Sky and The Octopus Project concert next Saturday, April 9, at Outland Live. Octopus Project member Yvonne Lambert rocks out on the theremin better than pretty much anyone out there today.

Except that... the new instrument is just an April Fool's joke courtesy of Moog. But for real... The Octopus Project's theremin player is amazing. Check them out.