The Ondioline was the sound of the future in the 1940s. The French-made, vacuum tube-driven keyboard was an early precursor to the modern synthesizer, and by deftly manipulating its knee lever, laterally moving keyboard and complement of timbre-changing switches, it made a wide range of sounds that were previously impossible.
The greatest practitioner of the Ondioline was medical student turned keyboard whizz Jean-Jacques Perrey. His joyful, sound-effect filled recordings struck a chord with Beck, The Beastie Boys and the makers of Sesame Street. They’re also cited as daily inspiration for Australia’s own multi-instrumental savant Gotye, who celebrates Perrey’s life and work in this unique theatre-in-the-round event, intimately showcasing the work of his “spiritual grandfather”.
Gotye’s Ondioline Orchestra also features leading thereminist/keyboardist Rob Schwimmer, former Psychedelic Furs keyboardist Joe McGinty and members of acclaimed US alternative band Zammuto. The set includes Perrey’s more familiar works as well as super rare cuts made with Dick Hyman and Twin Peaks composer Angelo Badalamenti."[Gotye] led a group that included painstakingly restored Ondiolines and a chamber ensemble to recreate some of Perrey’s piquant compositions and novelty hits" New York Times
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