German virtuoso thereminist Carolina Eyck made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic at the age of 15 and never looked back.

“It’s really hard to know where your notes are in the air,” German theraminist Carolina Eyck tells me. The theremin, whose ethereal electronic sound is often associated with ’40s and ’50s science fiction and horror films, was first unveiled by Russian physicist Léon Theremin in 1920. The instrument relies on an electromagnetic field, manipulated by the player’s hand movements – and is therefore the only instrument played without physical contact from the musician.

Eyck came across the theremin for the first time when she was young. “I started to play the piano when I was five and the violin when I was six,” she says. “Then the theremin came to our house when I was seven.”

“My parents – especially my dad – were playing electronic music,” she explains. “They had all these old Moog synthesisers.”

Thereminist Carolina Eyck, all photos by Christian Hüller

After a friend told them about the theremin, Eyck’s parents went out and bought one. “They realized that it’s not super easy to play and you...