Sunday, January 6, 2008

Oskar Sala - My Fascinating Instrument

In 1930, Dr. Friedrich Trautwein invented the Trautonium, the only instrument in the world capable of producing subharmonics, which are the mirror opposite of harmonics, or 'ghost' note like playing a string on a violin only half held down. Oscar Sala, a young student of Trautwein's, pioneered the development of the instrument and made the Mixtur-Trautonium, an improved polyphonic instrument which was used in the soundtrack of Alfred Hitchcock's film The Birds, as the instrument sounded more ominous than the sound of real birds. The Trautonium has advantages over a synthesizer giving freedom of intonation like a fretless string instrument to play microtones and continuous, unrestricted variations of pitch, tone and volume. The player makes contact with a wire stretched over a metal strip to create a circuit. It was a forerunner to the modular synthesizers of the 1960s. Nearly all knowledge of the performance and workings of the Trautonium has died with Oscar Sala in 2002, but the album My Fascinating Instrument, which is available today, is testament to Sala's musical genius. @

A lengthy article on the composer and the instrument, and a shorter one; по русски.

Oskar Sala - My Fascinating Instrument
REUP:320kbps, 143mb on mediafire
1. Fantasy In Three Parts For Mixturtrautonium Solo
- Demonstration
- Skala Nuova
- Farbmelodie
2. "Speech Of The Dead Christ From The Universe Saying There Is No God"
3. Largo
4. Fanfare
5. Impression Electronique
6. Electronic Dance Suite For Mixturtrautonium Solo And Mixturorchestra (Tape) in five parts
- Concertando rubato
- Espressivo
- Giocoso
- Strepitoso
- Furioso


  1. thanks for this nice post - I haven't had any luck tracking the record down in the U.S. so far. can you tell me about the image you use for your front page (african guy with AK47, lip plug & iPod?)

  2. I found it on the web and just thought it fits the name of the blog; here's what I could find about it

  3. thanks. I really do wonder what's on her iPod -staged or not.

  4. both links seem to be dead. re-up? thanks!

  5. thanks for the reup, hon

  6. DO you happen to have Sala's `Sound Effects from The Birds' album? Thanks for uploading!

  7. Could somebody post this up again? Perhaps?