Tannerin '99
Commissioned by The Wondermints for the 1999 Brian Wilson Tour

The Tannerin is an electronic instrument that produces a pure sine wave, variable over three or four octaves.  It is played by sliding a knob along the length of the instrument, starting and stopping the tone with a contact switch located on the pitch knob and operated by one's forefinger.

Like the theremin, the Tannerin is a portamento instrument. Unlike the theremin, the Tannerin has fixed reference points on a dummy keyboard so the musician knows exactly where notes can be found.  Also, unlike the theremin, the Tannerin's contact switch allows for stacatto notes, which can be played as fast as the forefinger can move.  The attacks are naturally hard, but can be softened by quick rotation of the volume control.

Below is the instrument that was used on the 1999 Brian Wilson solo tour.  It was commissioned by the Darian Sahanaja, leader of the Wondermints, Brian's back up band.


  This is the side the audience would see.  The volume control knob is at the right.  The paper keyboard can be exchanged for one of other tunings or scales.
  The nameplate was added after the above picture was taken.  It covers the two screws at the mid-right of the front panel.
  The performer sees this (photo was taken before the keyboard was added.)

  The pitch knob is visible on the brass rail just to the left of the flash reflection.  Attached to the pitch knob, you can see the needle that points to the notes.  The contact switch is the little bright silver horizontal bar that forms an inverted cross with the needle.

For more information on Tannerins, click HERE.  Feel free to email me.

Email to Tom Polk, CRS


Counter added July 28, 1999