New Delhi: Google celebrated Clara Rockmore's 105th birthday with a musical doodle.
Clara Rockmore was a noted Theremin performer, who could produce music from thin air.
Trained from a young age as a violinist, Rockmore ultimately gave up the violin due to physical strain. This led her to discover the theremin, a gesture-controlled instrument named after its inventor, Léon Theremin.
Not only did Rockmore become the instrument's most well-known performer, she also influenced its development by convincing Theremin that the instrument could offer greater range of notes.
Google created today's interactive doodle by translating the movement used to play the theremin—one hand controlling pitch and the other volume—to an interactive module, where a point of light controls volume and pitch.
"To accomplish this, we worked with the Chrome WebAudio team and theremin expert Mark Goldstein to create smooth sliding between frequencies and scaling vibrato to simulate her masterful play style," shared engineer Will Knowles.
Today's doodle also celebrates the launch of Chrome Music Lab.
"Today's celebration of Clara Rockmore is a natural accompaniment to Google Creative Lab's launch of the Chrome Music Lab. In the words of designer Alex Chen, the Music Lab aims to "create simple ways for anyone, of any age, to explore how music works"," Google wrote in a post.