Albert Glinsky: Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage (2000)

15 November 2017, dusan

“Leon Theremin led a life of flamboyant musical invention laced with daring electronic stealth. A creative genius and prolific inventor, Theremin launched the field of electronic music virtually singlehandedly in 1920 with the musical instrument that bears his name. The theremin-–the only instrument that is played without being touched-–created a sensation worldwide and paved the way for the modern synthesizer. Its otherworldly sound became familiar in sci-fi films and even in rock music. This magical instrument that charmed millions, however, is only the beginning of the story.

As a Soviet scientist, Theremin surrendered his life and work to the service of State espionage. On assignment in Depression-era America, he became the toast of New York society and worked the engines of capitalist commerce while passing data on U.S. industrial technology to the Soviet apparat. Following his sudden disappearance from New York in 1938, Theremin was exiled to a Siberian labor camp and subsequently vanished into the top-secret Soviet intelligence machine, presumed dead for nearly thirty years. Using the same technology that lay behind the theremin, he designed bugging devices that eavesdropped on U.S. diplomatic offices and stood at the center of a pivotal cold war confrontation. Throughout his life, Theremin developed many other electronic wonders, including one of the earliest televisions and multimedia devices that anticipated performance art and virtual reality by decades.

In this first full biography of Leon Theremin, Albert Glinsky depicts the inventor’s nearly one hundred-year life span as a microcosm of the twentieth century. Theremin is seen at the epicenter of most of the major events of the century: the Russian Revolution, two world wars, America’s Great Depression, Stalin’s purges, the cold war, and perestroika. His life emerges as no less than a metaphor for the divergence of communism and capitalism.”

Foreword by Robert Moog
Publisher University of Illinois Press, 2000
ISBN 0252025822, 9780252025822
xvi+403+[30] pages

Reviews: Irina L.Vanechkina (Leonardo, 2001), Hans-Joachim Braun (Tech Cult, 2001), Mark Polishook (Notes, 2001), Ann Warde (Comp Music J, 2002), Kyle Gann (Am Music, 2003).

Author
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (138 MB, no OCR)

Für Augen und Ohren: von der Spieluhr zum akustischen Environment. Objekte, Installationen, Performances (1980) [German]

6 November 2017, dusan

Catalogue for a large-scale exhibition of sound art and mechanical and electronic music devices. Curated by René Block and Nele Hertling for the Akademie der Künste, West-Berlin, the exhibition included seven large gallery halls of sound sculpture, early electronic devices from the 1930s and 1940s, and sound environments.

With essays by Dieter Krickeberg, Siegfried Wendel, Wolf D. Kuehnelt, Juan Allende-Blin, Billy Klüver, René Block; chronology by Helmut Danninger.

Edited by René Block, Lorenz Dombois, Nele Hertling, and Barbara Volkmann
Publisher Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 1980
ISBN 3883319147
312 pages

Documentary directed by Detlef Michael Behrens, 1980
German language
33 min

Radio report (Charles Amirkhanian, KPFA-FM, 1980, EN)

WorldCat

Documentary: MP4 (107 MB, Vimeo)
Catalogue: PDF (88 MB, no OCR)

Peter Shapiro (ed.): Modulations: A History of Electronic Music: Throbbing Words on Sound (2000)

29 July 2017, dusan

Modulations contains several large essays written by music critics and musicians that provide historical and critical survey of electronic music by genre, discussing labels, sub-genres, stylistic developments, musicians, and records.

Chapters by Rob Young (Pioneers), Simon Reynolds (Krautrock), Peter Shapiro (Disco, Post Punk), Kodwo Eshun (House), David Toop (Hip-Hop), Mike Rubin (Techno), Chris Sharp (Jungle), Tony Marcus (Ambient), Kurt Reighley (Downtempo), and Michael Berk (Technology).

Project director: Iara Lee
Publisher Caipirinha Productions, New York, 2000
ISBN 189102406X, 9781891024061
255 pages

Film reviews: Stephen Holden (NYT, 1998), Tony Ramos (Hyperreal, n.d.).

Wikipedia
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (39 MB, no OCR)
See also film documentary, dir. Iara Lee, 1998, 75 min.