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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