Invisible Guy

Invisible Guy

Not enough comic strips use theramin as a punchline.

The sound is often imitated — by a human voice, a computer, a bow drawn across the blade of a hand saw — but the theramin isn’t used, or even necessary. I’ll occasionally read the back story of a movie, tv show or pop song and discover that the wailing glissando was an uncanny imitation.* It’s as if the sound, once created, is free to roam the Earth like a shared mp3.

The slippery, operatic, chilling cry is the theramin’s ghost; a noisy spirit with a life long after the host is dead. Which is probably why it suited the score for Dark Shadows so well.**

*The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” for example.

**though, offhand, I don’t know if the sound was the ghost of a theramin, or the living instrument.

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