Geisel Library (lower level), UCSD, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, 858-822-3472
On display through April 6
Recital on Wednesday, March 26, at 12:30 pm
Any university that names its library after Dr. Seuss has to have more than a little playfulness within its halls. Ergo, the Theremin exhibit now on display in UCSD's Geisel Library (lower level stacks, of course). If you didn't already know (and we sure didn't), the Theremin was demonstrated as early as 1920 by its inventor, Russian physicist Leon Theremin, as a uniquely creepy instrument that never actually touched the musician. The player controlled pitch by using one hand to manipulate the space near a vertical antenna, while volume was controlled by the other hand's proximity to a second, horizontal antennae. If that sounds weird to you, wait till you hear the weird-ass noises it makes.
As you might suspect, this contraption was actually the first of what later became known as... yep, the synthesizer-which, in the hands of a genius (Stevie Wonder, Billy Preston, Devo) was divine; but in the hands of progressive rock bands became a pernicious evil.