Another excerpt from my book The Book of Real and Imaginary Drugs.
The Magic Theremin
Today’s drug is a perfect vacuum cleaner, but without its brush roll –it gave me a headache last time. And my imaginary drug is a kind of hallucinogen: a magic theremin.
For those of you who don’t know what a regular theremin is, it is a musical instrument played only with hand gestures without touching it. So, somehow, it understands what it is supposed to do.
A magic theremin, on the other hand, interprets not only gestures of the player, but every movement and change in its range. When played, it creates a unique auditory hallucination and makes the audience hear nonexistent sounds which are supposed to be there. For instance, if you see a lightning during a magic theremin concert, you immediately hear its sound, no matter how far the lightning is. Or, if you sing the C major scale from C do B, you hear an additional C which completes it to the size of an octave to create that feeling of accomplishment. During sex, you hear your partner moan –or squeak, depending on your sexual orientation– even though he/she/it is not really having fun. When you sneeze, you hear a god bless you even if you are alone. Slapstick jokes are always followed by an appropriate drum sting. And after every magic theremin performance, there is applause.
Now I am playing the Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar with my theremin to solve its mystery. And, believe it or not, I am hearing its famous beautiful hidden theme. It is sitting among the other sounds in all its glory, looking me in the eye, telling me something I can barely hear: Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, difficulty is in the mind of the confused.