Mittwoch, April 12, 2006
Dr. Samuel J. Hoffman & Billy May - Music for Peace of Mind (1950)
The Theremin. One of the eeriest instruments ever invented. Hoffman, the foot doctor whose nervous theremin style defined the sound of ghosts, goblins and space invaders, started his musical career as a violin player in New York. Starting at the age of 14, Hoffman became the youngest musician to play at Loew's New York Roof Garden, and later formed his own orchestra. He studied podiatry at Long Island University and became a foot doctor by day and band leader by night. He obtained his theremin in a barter with another musician and integrated it into his act as a novelty. Hoffman played theremin in dozens of Hollywood films in the 1940's and 1950's, usually for scenes of fear, madness, drunkenness and emotional distress. He performed on three successful record albums for composer Harry Revel, one of them you can see here. Hoffman's theremin career ended in 1959 when trombonist Paul Tanner invented the mechanical Electro-Theremin which replaced the space-controlled theremin in movies, TV shows, and recordings.