Andrei Strizek

Music | Musings

Us Conductors

Sometimes you'll have a weird convergence that almost forces you to read a book. One day, you catch a random tweet about a novel about Leon Theremin. The next, your dad is emailing you about a novel about Leon Theremin that just won an award. And so on. So you decide to buy the book and read it at the next opportunity. Fortunately, you weren't disappointed by the novel.

Us Conductors is a fictionalized account of Leon Theremin's life. Creator of the Theremin, he also ended up creating a lot of other useful technological devices, including one called The Thing, which bugged the US Embassy and remained undetected. He was also treated as a dissident and spent time in Russian work camps. Here, his life is told in a first person account, going between flashback episodes and letters to his former lover Clara Rockmore.

It's not exactly a thrilling novel, and there were times when I felt that it dragged on a little too long, but it was interesting and full of great writing. And while a lot of the events were fictionalized, there is a strong basis in truth and actual history; the biography of Theremin that was the basis for a lot of this information is now on my reading list.

Powered by Squarespace. Background image by Andrei Strizek.