Review: Christine Ott – Chimères (pour Ondes Martenot)

Christine Ott - Chimères (pour Ondes Martenot) - Cover

Label: NAHAL Recordings

A vitally important instrument in the development of electronic music, the ondes Martenot is nevertheless something of a curio; their distinctive sound is integral to the growth of sci-fi soundtracks in particular during the 60’s, but high cost (at around 12,000 Euros an instrument) means they would never be a common instrument. As such, it’s little surprise few records have been based around them, even if their use on parts of Radiohead’s Kid A might have brought their existence to the attention of a new generation. Yet that’s just what Christine Ott has done on Chimères (pour Ondes Martenot), with the album played entirely on an ondes Martenot, as the title suggests – the first time the instrument has been the sole presence on an album. It is a haunting, evocative listen, that inherently recalls classic horror and sci-fi soundtracks; but also demonstrates Ott’s own talents as a modern classical composer and musician.

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