Gina Mei
June 10, 2015 6:52 am

In case you’re experiencing the mid-week slump, we have just what you need for the perfect cuteness break: A video of a cat playing the theremin — an obscure instrument that you’ve possibly never heard of. Yes, it’s very weird and very adorable and definitely worth a watch. But first, let’s give it some background.

For those less familiar, the theremin was invented in 1928 and is one of the earliest electronic musical instruments. The moog theremin is the industry standard, and has two antennae a performer plays by interrupting the electromagnetic fields around them. The closer your hand to the vertical antenna, the higher the pitch; and the closer your other hand to the horizontal antenna, the quieter the volume.

“I conceived of an instrument that would create sound without using any mechanical energy, like the conductor of an orchestra,” its inventor, Léon Theremin, said. “The orchestra plays mechanically, using mechanical energy; the conductor just moves his hands, and his movements have an effect on the music artistry.”

Watching someone play the theremin is truly a sight to behold, and obviously takes an incredible amount of skill. It’s probably also easier to understand if you see someone playing it for yourself. Just watch electronic music pioneer (and total badass) Clara Rockmore lay it down below.

Or, for something a little more modern, my immensely talented and multi-multi-instrumentalist buddy, Charlie Rosen, absolutely killing it to “The Days of Wine and Roses.”

So what happens when a cat tries to play a theremin, then?

. . . All kinds of amazingness. The cat more or less treats it like a very confusing toy, with hilarious results. Personally, the instrument has always inspired some major Twilight Zone vibes for me, but this cat just makes it sound like an angry, crying robot baby. As you can see, this cat’s theremin also doesn’t have a horizontal antenna — which is why the volume remains so uniformly loud. But hey: Practice makes purrfect.

(Image via video.)

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