You’ve likely heard of the theremin, an early electronic synth instrument once intended to replace the violin that has now been relegated to the sphere of novelty. You’ve also likely heard of the matryoshka, the Russian nesting doll. But have you heard of the Matryomin?
It’s the invention of Masami Takeuchi, who mastered the theremin in Russia, where the instrument was invented by Léon Theremin in 1920. He spread the word of the theremin by teaching and performing in Japan, eventually establishing a touring ensemble. To bring a little innovation and ingenuity to his theremin group, Takeuchi placed the frequency antenna inside a Russian nesting doll. Thus the Matryomin was born.
In this video, 167 matryominists play Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. As if that weren’t peculiar enough, after the first movement the ensemble breaks it down into a bluesy boogie-woogie rendition of the famous melody, topped off with a final, warbling “wooo!”
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