Maestro’s retro electro

ONE of the weirdest instruments in the world – the “trautonium” – will be played by Munich musician Peter Pichler in Perth this week.

The proto-synth was created by scientist Freidrich Trautwein in the Weimar Republic in 1929.

The most famous trautonium player was Dr Trautwein’s associate, professor Oskar Sala, who mastered the electronic instrument after training in classical piano and organ as a youngster.

• Peter Pichler and his unusual instrument, the trautonium.

It’s considered the “great grandfather” of the synthesiser, and the eerie sound was prominently featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic The Birds.

With Sala’s death in 2002, Pichler became the world’s leading trautonium player and is now bringing one to Perth, the first time he’s toured outside Europe. He’ll play a live soundtrack to the 1927 German expressionist film Metropolis at Northbridge Piazza, April 13 at 7.30pm.


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