MoMA Exclusive: This Calder Plays Theremin Vinyl Record features the music of Berlin-based composer and sound artist Dorit Chrysler. MoMA commissioned Chrysler to create a sound piece by having Alexander Calder’s sculptures interact with a theremin, her primary instrument. (Patented in 1928, the theremin is an electronic instrument controlled without physical contact by the performer.) Chrysler identified two of Calder’s mobiles from MoMA’s 2021–22 exhibition Alexander Calder: Modern from the Start to activate: Snow Flurry, I (1948) and Man-Eater with Pennants (1945). Over the course of a fall evening, Chrysler, working with MoMA conservators and art handlers, recorded the sounds and images of the sculptures’ interactions with her instruments, and from the footage she gathered composed Calder Plays Theremin, a multi-movement orchestra for the theremin “performed” by Calder’s artworks. The Calder Plays Theremin Vinyl Record contains approximately 20 minutes of music.
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