The Theremin was born when Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin), a Russian scientist, was working with radio sets in the 1920's and noticed they would squeal and howl when placed close to each other. He was determined to develop an instrument that would allow the player to control both the pitch and volume. Hence the Theremin was born.
After vanishing into obscurity a few years later, the Theremin enjoyed a rebirth of popularity first by sci-fi movies that needed "scary sounds," and later by musicians of the '60s. Contemporary musicians using Theremins include Led Zeppelin, Hawkwind and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (above), whose Theremin Mark Keppinger custom built for them.
Come see where Theremins are in 2011! Demonstrations provided and questions gladly answered.
Mark Keppinger manufactures high quality tube theremins in Portland, OR. He has recently developed circuit boards for a new Theremin design that has been sent out to 14 boards to Theremin enthusiasts around the world (three in Europe). They will be building them up and sharing their experiences: what worked and didn't work, similarities—a Theremin experiment gone wild!