Nineteen years ago...................
From: Hampshire UK
From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as WaveCrafter.com . ...................................
19 years ago Lev died without his genius being fully recognised IMO - I have recently wondered whether he recognised it in himself - why, for example, he never did anything to rectify the misunderstandings around how his theremin circuitry operated.. Perhaps he had moved on, perhaps he couldnt be bothered - or perhaps he himself never saw how exquisite his designs were.
One thing which can certainly be said is that his life (or at least the dramatic stuff we are aware of) was not dull!
I am facinated by people like Lev - Their "real" life, their "inner" world, is almost completely hidden from most of us.. Who was he "on the inside"? - The generation/s who lived through the "great" wars, who grew up in the revolutionary times particularly in places like Russia, who played their parts/s in the cold war and international intrigue and who were at the forefront of the technology we now take for granted - How can we hope to get the tiniest glimpse of "them" - we may as well be on different planets!
So I am left with the few pictures and videos, and the book "Theremin - Ether Music and Espionage" and with analysing his designs - which I feel gives me better access to "him" - or at least to the one "world" where I feel we had some real overlap.
But I am left with the questions - Was Lev able to communicate his ideas without misunderstanding to the other engineers of his time - Were they more receptive in those days, more adventurous and open minded and less "Money/profit/production" focussed than we are today?
When I look at the rapid growth in capacitive sensing technology over recent years, driven by the availability of fast, low cost digital signal processing - And I look at the core idea behind the theremin, it is clear that this sensing "explosion" could have happened decades ago if Lev's ideas had been utilised fully.
Lev was underrated - Had it not been for interest in the theremin, he would probably be all but forgotten.. This is "unjust" .. He deserves to be remembered by the electronics industry as a great innovator and pioneer... And for all we know, perhaps as a brilliant part of the espionage scene, keeping the super-powers in balance and preventing either side from gaining too much advantage.
I'd no idea there was more to Lev than just the Theremin, which is kind of daft really given that this bloke comes from nowhere and dumps this 'thing' on us.
Going to get a copy of that book and see what it says.
Will report after but it won't be next week.