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Wavemakers

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Since its triumphant premiere at the Paris Opera in 1928, the Ondes Martenot has generated fascination and inspired legions of musicians. Invented by the musician and educator Maurice Martenot (1898–1980), this rare and fragile electronic instrument has been widely featured in popular and classical music—from the first film soundtracks, to Hollywood classics, science-fiction TV series and the works of Olivier Messiaen, Édith Piaf and the rock band Radiohead. So extraordinarily sensitive is the Martenot that nearly a century after its invention, musicians, artisans and scientists are still trying to unravel its secrets.

Filmmaker Caroline Martel takes us into music studios, science labs, and workshops to tell the story of a group of Martenot aficionados who are pursuing the uncompleted dream of its inventor. Among them is Jean-Louis Martenot, who strives to keep his father’s musical and pedagogical legacy alive; Suzanne Binet-Audet, the “Jimi Hendrix of the Martenot,” who meets with Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead backstage; and Jeanloup Dierstein, an electronic instrument maker working on a new Martenot prototype, who “dreams of it day and night”—just like Maurice Martenot himself.

Integrating vérité and never-before-seen archives, this full-length documentary features a soundtrack that contains a rich repertoire of the Martenot’s haunting and lyrical sounds. Lend an ear: WAVEMAKERS is a journey into the very heart of the mystery of music.

 

2012, 97 min 16 s

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Golden Athena Award for Best Film in the Music and Film Competition
International Film Festival
September 18 to 29 2013, Athens - Greece

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