Science Sounds Strange: Ether Waves, Espionage, and the Theremin’s Odyssey

The Undiscovered Science Lecture Series

Little did Léon Theremin realize that his Soviet-sponsored spy research into electromagnetic waves and proximity sensors would lead to the creation of a new and strange musical instrument. Classical music composers—as well as Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones—have written for the eerie-sounding theremin, a musical instrument that plays without ever actually being touched. Come hear a performance of this “out-of-this-world” instrument and the cautionary tale of a physicist-turned-electronic-music-pioneer, whose inventions got steeped in politics and whose life story reads like a spy novel. A performance by Dorit Chrysler, commentary by John Huth, and a Q&A session will follow the lecture.

Free and open to the public.


  • Dorit Chrysler, musicologist and composer; director, NY Theremin Society; founder, KidCoolThereminSchool
  • John Huth, Donner Professor of Science, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences 

This event is part of The Undiscovered Science Lecture Series.