Like the instrument that inspired it, the Ondes Martenot, Van Tassel’s Dance Music volume II is elegant and expressive, the score to a movie inside your head.
The Ondes Martenot (OHND mar-tə-NOH) is an elegantly intricate, deliberately complicated hand-built machine that lives with the theremin as one of the world’s earliest electronic instruments (c.1928). Its inventor, the cellist Maurice Martenot, was a radio operator in WWI and wanted to duplicate the accidental overlaps of tones between radio oscillators, but with the expressiveness and emotion of cello. The Ondes is a rare collectible now, but there is an option in the Ondea: Itself an exclusive membership, they’re Ondes modernized by Calgary’s David Kean.
Van Tassel, no stranger to concepts and themes, made the first Dance Music, 2014’s Songs For Slow Motion, as a gift for his dancer wife to play in her sessions as a craniosacral therapist.
“meditative, shifting chords, like sand reshaped by wind” – Aquarium Drunkard
“elegant and expressive, the score to a movie inside your head” – Headphone Commute
“if you’re able to lose yourself in Van Tassel’s compositions for even a few minutes, you’ll feel a bit lighter” – CBC Music
“undiluted gorgeousness” – PopMatters
“as soothing as ASMR” – The Coast
“a real gift” – Tom Allen, CBC Radio
“gradual and mesmerizing, leaning into the idea of sound in slow motion.” – The Road To Sound
“stylistic and visionary” (8/10) – Exclaim!
released September 11, 2020
Produced/recorded/mixed by Joshua Van Tassel at Dream Date Studio
String quartet arrangements and recording by Drew Jurecka at Small Dog Sound
Mastered by Joao Carvalho at Joao Carvalho Mastering
Joshua Van Tassel - Ondea, Therevox, piano, vibraphone, field recordings , electronics