Tanner's involvement with electronic musical instruments began in the '50s, when he was drawn to the sound of the theremin, with its eerie, sliding notes. (It was notably present in the film scores for "The Lost Weekend" and "Spellbound.")Much as I understand the ease of the keyboard, I love the hand waving used on the original Theremin, which you can see played here by its inventor Leon Theremin:
Fond of its unique tonal qualities, he was bothered by the theremin's playing technique, which required the performer to control it by waving one's hands. Working with inventor Bob Whitsell, Tanner designed an instrument that initially he called the electro-theremin. Eventually, it also received the name Tannerin, although Tanner preferred the title Paul's Box. Unlike the theremin, its method of playing was closer to that of traditional keyboard instruments.
Here's a terrific documentary about the Theremin. And here's how it looked when The Glenn Miller Orchestra played "In the Mood":
Not an electronic instrument in sight. This was my parents' favorite music, and I wish I had videos of the arguments I had with my father in the 1960s in which he took the position that if the instruments were electrified, it was — as a matter of definition — not music at all, and I got extremely exasperated, staunchly refused to submit to the playing of his old records, and repeatedly asserted that I liked rock and roll because of "the sound." The sound? Define your terms!
Here's a 10-CD set of Glenn Miller music for less than $20. You'll have to use electricity to play it, but I think my father would approve.