Rob Schwimmer & “The Best Playing Of An Electronic Instrument Maybe Ever”

This video, via synthesist Anthony Marinelli, captures a live performance by Rob Schwimmer at Superbooth 2024 of Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time.Schwimmer is a virtuoso keyboardist and thereminist, and as he demonstrates here, he’s one of the leading performers on the Haken Continuum, considered by many to be the most expressive electronic instrument ever made. The Continuum gives you precise continuous control over pitch, volume and timbre, with independent polyphonic control.Schwimmer has arranged the fifth movement of the Quartet for Continuum, showcasing both the capabilities of the instrument and the beauty of Messiaen’s composition.

What Marinelli has to say about the video:

“I walked into the Haken Audio bungalow at Superbooth ’24 and heard maybe the best playing on an electronic instrument I have ever heard. Rob Schwimmer’s performance of Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time” (arr. for Six Ondes Martenot) performed on a Haken Continuum truly amazed and inspired me.

I’m so happy to show all of you how far expressive synthesis has come along. This level of expression, until recently, was never possible with electronic instruments.

I can’t wait to see how today’s revolution to create expressive musical instruments will effect music in the future!”


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