Theremin Pendulum

1st exhibition: 5th Parallel Gallery, University of Regina, Saskatchewan, 2008

During my research into Theremins, I discovered that a Theremin antenna could be made with a flexible wire of varying lengths. I then found out that the Theremin’s pitch changes as the wire antenna changes shape or contour. So I designed a mechanized chaotic pendulum, with the Theremin antenna wire being the pendulum itself, such that the Theremin changes pitch according to the swinging motion of the pendulum. The sound produced is multiplied by a delay system so that the viewer hears the sound of eight Theremins at the same time. This is mixed automatically by a mixing patch programmed in Max/MSP, and is broadcast into the gallery. Also attached to the pendulum antenna is an LED light that swings with the antenna, causing shadows to be thrown in the darkened gallery that synchronizes with the frequency wave changes in the Theremin.

©Gordon Monahan 2008

photos 1-4 by Charles Fox, photo 5 by Flora Fencl, photos 6+7 by Gordon Monahan