Here’s a fascinating and bizarre Soviet synthesiser from 1932

17 January 2017, 08:00

old russian synthesiser

Proof that the likes of Robert Moog and Karlheinz Stockhausen had their roots in Soviet Russia, this 'Variophone' photo-electrical synthesiser busts out some Rachmaninov.

Invented in 1932, the 'Variophone' photo-electrical synthesiser is what you might call a prototype of the modern synthesiser. It was put together by Evgeny Sholpo and Nikolai Voinov, and it sounds a bit like a jazz-fusion experiment gone delightfully wrong.

So what music would you play on it? Obviously, Rimsky-Korsakov and Rachmaninov:

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