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).


PDF (138 MB, no OCR)

Sounding Off! Music as Subversion/Resistance/Revolution (1995)

16 July 2017, dusan

Under the rallying cry of ‘Music is our bomb!’, this book collects thirty-eight articles and interviews with all sorts of practitioners of musicopolitical activism.

Edited by Ron Sakolsky and Fred Wei-han Ho
Publisher Autonomedia, Brooklyn, NY, 1995
ISBN 1570270589, 9781570270581
352 pages


PDF (16 MB, updated on 2017-7-19 to OCR version via esco_bar)

Cesura//Acceso: Journal for Music, Politics and Poetics, 1 (2014)

14 May 2016, dusan

“Publishing a mix of commissions and open submissions, Cesura//Acceso asks what it could mean to practice politics through music or think music through politics. Featuring contributions from musicians, writers, artists, theorists and poets, Cesura//Acceso explores, unfolds and encourages interconnected spaces of experimental thought and practice in politics, music and poetics.

It’s about: Cruel optimism in Bay Area punk, DJ Rashad and the ghetto thermodynamics of juke, the 1994 Criminal Justice Bill, dole autonomy and rave, Mary J Blige, Lyn Hejinian and lives un-lived, the poetics of turfing, forensic speech analysis, musings on Don Cherry in London, singing and factory work, the abject history of happy hardcore, poetry by Howard Slater and Martin Glaberman, an interview with Joe McPhee, incantations to de-harmonise the world, puking music and more…”

Contributors: Sean Bonney, Anne Boyer, Seymour Wright, Stevphen Shukaitis, Howard Slater, Dhanveer Singh Brar, Commune Editions, Alberto Savinio, Kev Nickells, Anthony Iles & Eve Lear, Johanna Isaacson, Matteo Pasquinelli, Martin Glaberman, Emma Robertson, Michael Pickering & Marek Korczynski, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Simon Yuill, Iain Boal.

Published in London, Oct 2014
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
ISBN 9780993024603
ISSN 2056-5631
253 pages

PDF (2 MB)

See also the journal’s Soundcloud page.