Google Doodle Features Playable Theremin Today!
Heads up! The Google Doodle of the day is all about the Theremin! It has an interactive feature, and it’s super cool! Check it out:
Clara Rockmore made music from thin air. Trained from a young age as a violinist, Rockmore ultimately gave up the violin due to physical strain. This led her to discover the theremin, a gesture-controlled instrument named after its inventor, Léon Theremin. Not only did Rockmore become the instrument’s most well-known performer, she also influenced its development. She convinced Theremin that it should be made more responsive and offer a greater range of notes (5 octaves instead of 3). Though electronic music was uncommon in formal music settings in the 1930s, Rockmore performed as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony.
Today’s interactive Google Doodle was created by artist Robinson Wood, interaction designer Kevin Burke, and engineers Will Knowles and Kris Hom (with support from the larger Doodle engineering team). The team translated the movement used to play the theremin—one hand controlling pitch and the other volume—to an interactive module, where a point of light controls volume and pitch. Sound designer Manuel Clément helped with the button sound effects.