A popular form of theremin
is the light-sensitive variety. As the name implies, this type of
instrument reacts to changes in light levels (i.e. brightness) just
as the spatial proximity-based theremin reacts to changes in capacitance.
Professor Scott F. Hall of Cogswell Polytechnical College, Sunnyvale,
California, has used this idea in the creation of his Optivideotone,
an assemblage of audio and video electronics combined to produce
an object that is sculpture, musical instrument / composition tool,
and projected video art exhibit in one.
The Optivideotone sits on the floor reacting
in sympathy with moving video images it projects onto the ceiling. Professor
Hall composes for the Optivideotone by piecing together bits of video
from either pre-existing footage from the public domain or from frame-by-frame
animations of solid color screens.
As the video footage changes, the audio
circuit of the Optivideotone reacts audibly with wild buzzes, howls, and
weird microtonal synthesizer-like chords.
The Optivideotone was recently
displayed at Cogswell College in the faculty art exhibition.