Giant Theremin in Melbourne

What sound do tourists make? This installation sets a different tone to your leisurely boardwalk stroll.

This is one of the reasons why I love living in Melbourne, Australia.

People here, particularly the creative ones, can’t get enough of their “festivals”. With a new event or festival on every other week, our urban landscape is continually challenged and stimulated in ever-evolving celebrations of creativity.

Bursting onto the North Bank of the river is this Giant Theremin from audio-visual artist Robin Fox. For three months (strangely enough, as a part of Melbourne Music Week), passers-by will find themselves immersed in the musical wonder of proximally generated sci-fi sound effects.

For those not familiar, a Theremin is a device conceived in the 1920s that utilises the electromagnetic interference of the human body to create (and control, in varying degrees) sound. Think of the ghostly wail that accompanies cheesy mid-century horror films.

Robin Fox wanted to bring the immersive experience of the Theremin to the public on a grand scale. Due to the sheer size of this incarnation he has had to alter his device, for safety reasons, from the original instrument – however the process of interaction and musical outcome remain much the same.

Complex technology is such a big part of our daily lives, but I’m interested in creating experiences that use simple ideas and technology, to engage imagination.

Workshops and performances incorporating the installation are planned as a part of the festival. You can hear Robin’s thoughts on the project as well as some of the music that it makes in this audio clip.

ABC Melbourne via Engadget