The Telharmonium with palm fronds as accompaniment
The electrical signal from the Telharmonium was transmitted over wires; it was heard on the receiving end by means of “horn” speakers. The Telharmonium used “tone wheels” to generate musical sounds as electrical signals by additive synthesis. Cahill built three versions: The Mark I version weighed 7 tons. The Mark II version weighed almost 200 tons! (In other words, it wasn’t exactly an instrument suited for marching band.) Some of the first performances were heard at “Telharmonic Hall” at 39th and Broadway in New York. Here is an original Telharmonium blueprint:
No recordings exist of the Telharmonium, and because of its immense weight, size and power consumption, it fell into obscurity. Another interesting tidbit:
“problems began to arise when telephone broadcasts of the Telharmonium were subject to ‘crosstalk’ and unsuspecting telephone users would be interrupted by strange electronic music.” (Wikipedia)
Sounds like John Cage to me.
“Lumia as conceived, was a self contained and silent art, not to be combined with music or dance. Wilfred, being a pragmatist, would occasionally experiment or collaborate with other artists and disciplines (most notably for a performance with Maestro Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Symphony at Carnegie Hall) (Wikipedia).
Seattle’s AJ Epstein is currently in the process of restoring a Clavilux, and I’m hoping to create an interdisciplinary duet for the ‘lux and the ‘horn (as I, too, am a pragmatist).