Synthesized music was once a hotly debated topic. In the 1960’s and 1970’s musicians stood at twenty paces over fondue pots, vinyl LPs in hand, arguing whether or not Moog music was “real” music. It rapidly became the soundtrack of our lives in our television and film themes and pop music as musicians bravely went where no muso had gone before. And apparently one of these sonic explorers was Jean-Jacques Perrey, a pioneer in the use of the Ondioline (after the theremin but before the Moog). Until last night, I did not know there was such a thing.
Gotye (Wouter “Wally” De Backer) has said he sometimes feels “less of a musician, more of a tinkerer” and his passion for this rare instrument and his admiration for the work of Perrey has led him to tinker with both. The result is the music of the Ondioline Orchestra, put together by Goyte to celebrate this boisterous, pioneering work.
It all happens in the round, meaning despite a large crowd, no-one is more than ten rows away from the circle of musos. It feels intimate, as though one is sitting in on a jam session. It becomes personal, as Goyte punctuates each number with stories of his own journey with the instrument and the life of Perrey whom he met in 2005, obviously a seminal moment for Goyte. It becomes a little like time travel with numbers like Spooks in Space and Passport to the Future transporting one to those evenings sitting cross-legged in front of a black and white screen watching a sci-fi serial of the time.
Leave your DeLorean (or Tardis) outside. This is a concert which will transport you to a time when music was wrenched from the purists and joyfully played with.
Kate Stratford – Theatre Now & On The Town
Photo: Anna Webber