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Locked in a cabin, on a ship bound for Leningrad, Lev Termen types a letter to Clara, his 'one true love'. He recalls his early years as a scientist, inventing the musical theremin and other electric marvels, and the Kremlin's dream that these creations could help infiltrate capitalism itself. Instead, Manhattan infiltrated Termen - he fell in love with the city's jazz clubs and speakeasies, and with Clara, a beautiful young violinist. When Termen's spy games fall apart, he returns to find the Motherland t quite as he left it. Exiled to a Siberian gulag, with thing but his wits to keep him alive, Termen is drawn ever deeper into the labyrinth of Stalin's Russia. Only his feelings for Clara, passing through the ether like the theremin's song, seem to show a way out.
Montreal's Sean Michaels is a writer, critic and founder of the pioneering music blog 'Said the Gramophone'. Born in Stirling, Scotland, in 1982, he has toured with rock bands, scoured the Paris catacombs and contributed to publications including the Guardian, McSweeney's, Pitchfork and Plan B. Us Conductors is longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award 2016. @stgramophone usconductors.byseanmichaels.com