On this day, July 18, Google is celebrating the 112th birthday of Oskar Sala with a special Google Doodle. He was a German physicist and creative electronic music composer. In this Doodle, he is composing music and creating his instruments.
Oskar is known for producing sound effects on a musical instrument called a mixture-trautonium. He shocked television, radio, and film with his musical pieces Rosemary (1959) and The Birds (1962).
Oskar Sala was born in 1910 in Greiz, Germany. Throughout his childhood, he was fascinated by music. His mother worked as a singer. His father was an ophthalmologist who had some serious musical talent.
At 14 years of age, Oskar began creating compositions and melodies for the piano and violin.
Sala shifted to Berlin in 1929 to study composition and piano under Paul Hindemith. Paul was one of the most talented composers and violinists of that era.
Oskar Sala was completely awe-struck when he first heard about the trautonium. He became fascinated by the tonal potential and the technology the instrument offered.
Oscar made a commitment that day. “He made his life mission to master the trautonium. He also wanted to develop it further. This encouraged his studies in physics and composition at school.” Google said in a post.
Sala and Paul Hindemith took part in a public performance on June 20, 1930. This performance aimed to introduce the trautonium at the Berliner Musikhochschule Hall.
“This new focus and enthusiasm inspired Oskar to make his own instrument. The famous composer named the instrument “mixture-trautonium”.
In his background as an electro-engineer and composer, he created a unique style of electronic music that was unheard of until then. The mixture-trautonium’s construction is so exceptional. The instrument was capable of simultaneously playing several sounds or voices.”
In 1944, Sala got drafted to fight in World War 2. Luckily, he survived the war but got injured during the battle. After the war ended in 1946, Sala returned to his Berlin laboratory.
Another instrument, called the Quartett-Trautonium, was also designed by Sala. He worked hard to create other unique devices. These include the Concert Trautonium and the Volkstrautonium.
His works in electronic music created the field of subharmonics. “With his devotion and artistic energy, he became a one-man orchestra,” the post added.
Oskar Sala was one of the most gifted people of the 20th century. He gave many interviews, met many artists and was honoured in radio broadcasts and films.
Sala received many awards for his work. These include the Merit Cross for a lifetime dedicated to music and the Best Music Award at the Industrial Film Festival in Berlin.
Oskar donated his original mixture-trautonium to the German Museum for Contemporary Technology in 1995.
Oskar was the type of person who did not care what he got from his talent and skill. Instead, his primary mission was to widen the musical community. Thus, letting people express their feelings more accurately.
A musical prodigy, an excellent physicist and a genuine soul. These are some words we can describe Oskar Sala’s life!