Jonathan Hartman is a musical polymath, an accomplished composer drawing upon the traditions of film music, jazz, synthesis and 20th century minimalism to create compelling scores for film and television. He’s gained a reputation for his absolute commitment to communicating the heart of character and story to musically express the beautiful, the arcane and the profound.
Jonathan began his musical journey in the Jazz world. His grandfather was the Master Engraver at King Musical Instruments whose artists included Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. A young saxophone prodigy, Jonathan began performing professionally at age 15. His mentors included jazz greats Joe Lovano, Clark Terry, and James Moody. Jonathan was heavily influenced as a young composer by the string writing & postmodern sensibilities of Igor Stravinsky, Villa Lobos, and minimalist Steve Reich.
Jonathan was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his original score for DARK/WEB (Amazon Prime). The dark cyber thriller was a deep exploration into cutting edge analog synthesis. A complete bio for Jonathan can be found here.
We chatted with Jonathan on how he uses the Prophet Rev2 in his music:
What made you choose Sequential?
My journey into Sequential started many years ago with an obsession with Peter Gabriel’s classic recordings, as well as John Carpenter’s film scores. There were these elements of those recordings that fascinated me, and as I started exploring the liner notes on those records, I started seeing this common element: the Prophet-5. These were my earlier days, before I even scored film and television. Later, when I started working professionally as a composer I started exploring soft synths, and began finding my favorite “Go-To” patches, things I’d use ALL the time. When I started looking deeper into those soft synth patches, I consistently found that were inevitably derived and sampled from Prophets.
There’s a certain truth in the ancient phrase “Know Thyself”. It was clear there was a Prophet in my future. My first DSI/Sequential Instrument was a Prophet ‘08, followed by the Rev2. I’ve extensively used the OB-6 on my projects.
How are you using them in your projects?
I’ve been using Sequential synths throughout my composing process for film scores, and especially for television. There’s a presence to these instruments that often become the underpinning to all of my scores. There’s incredible warmth of the sound and I love the filters. The Prophet sound presents a sense of scale and huge impact especially when scoring action and science fiction projects.
When I’m scoring television, you have to compose and produce a lot of music at the highest level, typically under challenging and brutal schedules. I inevitably find myself going straight to my Rev 2 for inspiration. There’s always the start of a music cue waiting in those sounds!
What is one of your favorite things about them?
One of my favorite things about all of the DSI/Sequential Synthesizers is the ease of use. They are all designed with a tremendous amount of clarity. They’re accessible and easy to play right out the gate. When I explore the possibilities in them, I never feel confused or lost as too what I’m doing, or what’s happening in the architecture of these synths. You can also endlessly explore the depths of these synths, especially with their Mod Matrix. And there’s simply no greater Filter anywhere.
I’ve owned a lot of synths. A lot. My wife would argue too many… (Is such a thing possible?) However I always find myself going back to Sequential over everything else. It’s the SOUND. It’s unlike anything out there.
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