As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been watching Midsomer Murders quite obsessively these past few weeks. When I say obsessive, what I mean is, I’ve watched all the little extras they include…cast biographies, ‘The Making Of…’ documentaries, cast interviews, even maps of the fictional County, several times over! You know – all the stuff that you wouldn’t watch unless you were a die-hard fan or just plain loony 😛 Me, I’m both 😀
That’s how I stumbled upon the Theremin, an amazing musical instrument that one plays without ever touching it with your hands! To a musical novice like me (I don’t play any instrument, unless vocal chords are counted ;-)) that just seemed…fascinating! I had to know more! I love the title music of the Series and have always wondered how that eerily haunting tune was made. I always assumed it was a human voice, some opera singer perhaps? Now, thanks to Wikipedia and Youtube, I know otherwise!
The Theremin is named after its Russian inventor, Professor Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928, the year my Grandma was born! Wonder if that has anything to do with the pitch of her voice 😉 The player moves his hands in front of two metal antennas (the main part of the instrument), that sense their position. The instrument produces a single note whose pitch is controlled by the player’s right hand & volume with the left. The electric signals from the Theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker. I’m still not sure how all this works, except I gather there’s physics involved, which I confess was never a favorite subject of mine! All I know is what I see, a musician making music by waving their hands in the air…Magical 🙂
I know now it’s been used in movie soundtracks, by Rock bands (Zeppelin, Rolling Stones), and in concert music over the years. This is the title track from Midsomer Murders that I love so well, played by Celia Sheen. So here’s to this weirdly wonderful musical instrument! Do let me know what you think!