The German physicist and composer, Oskar Sala, died Tuesday,February 26. He was 91.
Born in the eastern German town of Greiz, Sala is known fordeveloping and mastering the trautonium, a tube-based electronicmusical instrument invented in 1929. He performed on the trautonium, aprecursor to the synthesizer, with the Berlin Philharmonic many times,as well as for German ads of the '40s and '50s.
Perhaps the most well-known use of the trautonium was in AlfredHitchcock's 1963 film "The Birds," where the instrument was used toelectronically create the calls of the birds themselves. In 1995, Saladonated his original Mixtur-Trautonium to the German Museum forContemporary Technology in Bonn.