Jonny, the Martenot & Wavemakers
Wavemakers’ production began in June 2006 when we filmed the encounter between Suzanne Binet-Audet, one of the world’s Ondes Martenot virtuosos, nick-named “the Jimi Hendrix of the Martenot”, and the multi-instrumentist and composer Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead).
Jonny Greenwood claims the Ondes Martenot as one of his favourite instruments, and is largely responsible for bringing it international exposure through his music. He says: “When I was 16, our teacher played us the Tarangulîla Symphony, and I could hear this electronic sound playing with the strings – I became obsessed with the Martenot just from that recording… I wanted to follow the Turangalîla Symphony everywhere it was played, like one follows someone one loves.” Since that time, Jonny has composed contemporary classical pieces for the Martenot (Smear, as the composer in residency of the BBC Orchestra – integrated in the soundtrack of There Will be Blood), had a Martenot-inspired interface built to play his keyboards (the French Connection). He acquired a rare digital Martenot from the 90’s, and recently got a brand new instrument built by Wavemakers’s character Jeanloup Dierstein.
The meeting between Jonny and Suzanne took place during Radiohead’s concert stop at the Place des Arts in Montreal – Jonny humourously likened their encounter to “Elton John meeting Glenn Gould”! In the summer of 2012, when back on tour in Montreal, Jonny took part in the cast & crew first screening of Wavemakers and was enthused – “Amazing! A film as beautiful and tender as the instrument itself.”