George Antheil was an American avant-garde composer, pianist, author and inventor whose modernist musical compositions explored the modern sounds – musical, industrial, mechanical –of the early 20th century. Spending much of the 1920s in Europe, Antheil returned to the US in the 1930s, and thereafter spent much of his time composing music for films and, eventually, television. As a result of this work, his style became more tonal. A man of diverse interests and talents, Antheil was constantly reinventing himself. He wrote magazine articles , an autobiography, a mystery novel, newspaper and music columns. In 1941 he co-patented a 'Secret Communications System' with actress Hedy Lamarr that used a code to synchronise random frequencies, referred to as frequency hopping, with a receiver and transmitter. This technique, which is now known as spread spectrum, is now widely used in telecommunications.