ambient composer contemporary classical instrumental instruments Introducing... modern classical synth

Introducing… Joshua Van Tassel

How to manipulate sine waves into eerie symphonies

Composer and percussionist Joshua Van Tassel moves away from his usual percussive side to focus on an ambient project that centres around an instrument called the Ondea. The Ondea is a recreation of an Ondes Martenot synthesizer which takes a keyboard and gives it a vibrato like you are a stringed instrument. It is similar to how a theremin is made (the b-movie synth legend). Joshua has been inspired by this style of synth which blurs the line between keyboard and string and it creates a very unique sound.

The project has led to an album titled ‘Dance Music Volume II: More Songs For Slow Motion’ and its due out on the 11th of September. The lead single ‘Their Love Was Alive Before They Were Dead’ showcases the nuances the Ondea can give a composer whilst also creating a great music video at the same time. Two lovers simply look at each other for the duration of the song. In the current world where intimate connect is limited – this has really struck a chord with me. Enjoy the video and single below – they are both out now.

Similarly – the Ondes Martenot is a fascinating instrument to find out about. I’ve included below a musical guide to the synth by Cynthia Millar of the Seattle Symphony who gives a beautiful demonstration of it.

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