Saturday, March 2, 2013
Paradigm presents ... Fences and violins: a Jon Rose introduction
“My aesthetic in purely musical terms is the idea of counterpoint. This is the one invention of Western music that is truly incredible, and counterpoint is the fundamental business of improvisers, too... When you're playing on stage, there are bizarre things going on, and I couldn't tell you what is happening, even though I programmed it. The audience certainly can't. I think in terms of pure musical phenomenon.” –Jon Rose interview
Jon Rose is an Australian violinist born in the UK in 1951. Rose began playing violin at age 7 after winning a music scholarship to King's School in Rochester. For over 35 years, Rose has been at the sharp end of new, improvised, and experimental music and media. A polymath, he is at much at home creating large environmental multi-media works as he is playing the violin on a concert stage.
His works merge history, environment, sound and improvisation to create provocative pieces. He has lived in England, Australia and Germany and preformed around the world.
Central to this practice has been 'The Relative Violin' project, a unique output, rich in content, realising almost everything on, with, and about the violin and string music in general. Most celebrated is the worldwide Fence project; least known are the relative violins created specifically for and in Australia.
From a variety of sources.
Fences- an overview
Fence 2 at whitecliffs
An aural map of Australia
In this video Jon Rose gives an overview of some of the different sounds and types of music that he has heard in his journeys travelling around Australia playing fences. From the Western Australian Chainsaw Orchestra which begun as a protest against the logging industry in that state to fruit and vegetable instruments this is an aural introduction to the other sounds of Australia.
Playing in NY
Pedal powered bicycle
More videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/user/violinspeak
Not quite cricket
Talking back to radio
More radio works here: http://www.jonroseweb.com/h_radio_list.html
Aural map of Australia- Steve Elkins
Perhaps in the sonic map Jon Rose has made of Australia’s fences, we have a clue, a picture, of why music affects all of us so deeply. Perhaps our personal distinctions between music and noise reflects (and affects) our internal map of the borders we cultivate within ourselves and then project back upon the world we experience. Perhaps music is not just a movement of air that triggers emotional reactions in us, but a magnifying glass which makes us stand in relation to our notions of “self” and “other,” value and worthlessness, transcendence and the mundane, and re-evaluate them. Perhaps music compels us to rethink the maps our lives make out of the complex phenomena of the world around us. More here: http://www.steveelkins.net/Writings/Aural-Maps/23337840_nSKxjT
The great fences of Australia
Fences can be seen as analogies for the old binary battle between our species and nature, or our culture(s) and the wild. The desire for exploration, control, and exploitation of resources are fired by fences - indicating a frontier history of extreme hardship, violence, and getting. They also mark the notion of belonging, friend or foe, certainty and uncertainty, knowing and unknowing. Fences mark the boundaries of cultures and political systems, the perceived civilized and the great unwashed, a sense of the private and public, a hierarchical statement that says "I exist" and the rest - eh - somewhere over there on the other side. In a few places, the fence today is even used to protect the natural world from our own excesses the rest can be read here: http://www.jonroseweb.com/f_projects_great_fences.html
For nearly 40 years Jon Rose has been at and the sharp end of experimental, new and improvised music both in this country and on the global stage. He is a violinist, instrument maker, software developer, composer, performer, provocateur, innovator and inspiring mentor to three generations of music explorers.
Central to his practice has been ‘The Relative Violin’ project, realising almost everything on, with, and about the violin – and string music in general. Most celebrated is the worldwide fence project, but there are more than 20 relative violins, experimental string instruments created for and in Australia. Beyond instrument making, the project has involved writing books, making radiophonic works and films, the creation of the fictional Rosenberg family, and many multi-media performances.
His recent projects have included interactive ball projects and ‘Pursuit’, an orchestra of mobile, bicycle-powered musical instruments combined with wireless transmission technology. These are some manifestations of Jon’s desire to create music which can be considered democratically as belonging to everybody – anybody can do it. Read and listen to the rest here: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/summerfeatures/summer-features-jon-rose/4363608
Fences of Israel
Over three days I played a total of eight fences in Israel. The old 1967 border fence with Syria, suitably perched on the edge of an uncleared mine field, attracted the first police interest. I was informed that the mines were sliding down the slope, under my feet, and would blow me to kingdom come. Udi and Victor, my Israeli guides for the day, thought it was nonsense too. However nothing would have persuaded me to play the fence from the other (mined) side.
Also on the Golan Heights, a performance on a Kibbutz fence had the owner in a panic; a neighbour had telephoned to say that someone was sawing down his fence (saw, bow - it's all the same you know.) After Victor had explained what I was doing, the guy walked slowly backwards away from us, speechless, got in his car, drove off at speed. This is all very different to playing fences in outback Australia. In over 35,000 kilometres of playing fences here, only one person has ever complained. On the contrary, there is usually advice as to where to go and get even better sounding fences (even from the Coober Pedy police). The rest can be read here: http://www.jonroseweb.com/f_projects_israel_fences.html">http://www.jonroseweb.com/f_projects_israel_fences.html">http://www.jonroseweb.com/f_projects_israel_fences.html
language of improve
The history of Improvisation however is something other than jazz and has not run into a dead end. In fact since Free Jazz, the practice of improvisation (free or otherwise) has exploded into a myriad of styles and languages. A veritable Tower of Babel.
Improvising musicians talk about language and vocabulary in the context of musical style. The old axiom about music starting where language stops can easily put a stop to debate and understanding about the processes going on; a reluctance to debate doesn't help in trying to understand the wealth of differences in sonic material generated by the contemporary improviser.
In any discussion of music as language, there are a number of issues that can be taken as general context, common notions within which all music operates - although applying universals to styles of music is often too simplistic.
Read the rest here: http://www.jonroseweb.com/c_articles_lang_of_impro.html
More writings and his works can be found at Jon Rose website: http://www.jonroseweb.com/
p.s. Hey. This weekend, writer and artist and d.l. Paradigm concentrates the blog on the work of the fascinating musician and improvisational artist Jon Rose, and you're in for a rich and enlightening couple of days if you're game, which I hope you will be. Please dig, tell your guest-host what you're thinking, and thank you all. Biggest thanks, naturally, to Paradigm, for his mastery of Rose's mastery. ** Misanthrope, Oh, yeah, that makes sense: The Undertaker's likely trajectory. Did you get your paycheck? Is a new car just a matter of decision making and forking out dough now? Man, continued hugs, and tangled fingers that it doesn't nix your trip over here. ** David Ehrenstein, Modesty Plays ** Schlix, Hi, Uli. Yeah, I think I've felt you out there in the near distance. Happy I was right. Dentist horror, ugh. Some dentist out there has a longstanding IOU of horror just waiting for me to claim it. I'm good. In Paris: a bunch of stuff, work and entertainment and a too gradually dispersing winter. All is well. 'The Pyre' seems like it'll be all over the place, and our pieces tend to get better as they play, so you should be set, although it would have been really great to see you, duh. ** Steevee, Hi. Excited to read your interview with the 'Leviathan' guys. Everyone, go here to read Steeve's interview with the directors of the highly anticipated, buzz-exploding film 'Leviathan'. ** Cobaltfram, Hi, John. I don't know, my novels don't suck for me usually, but I don't know if that's odd. Or not once I've finished them. They often have disastrous periods while in progress, but not seemingly incurable periods like I'm dealing with in this case. I've never had much of any interest in writing about myself other than in a heavily transformed way. I've never thought that I was particularly interesting. I don't really believe that what I think or feel or do is of much value to anyone other than myself. I'm always amazed and confused when people are interested in me. I can talk about myself casually and briefly and express what I think/feel when the occasion seems to warrant that, but when I take myself seriously enough to think it deserves to be written about, the task seems both impossible and boring. I don't think I have the talent and sensibility and aesthetic interests and ego or something to do that. And the failure of this only serious attempt at memoir/self-exposure seems like proof positive. I hope the meeting of the minds aka you and Mr. Dankland today goes as well as I imagine it going, which is pretty fucking well. David W. was a friend of mine. I was the first person to ever publish his work, in my Little Caesar mag, very lucky for me. I only know John Adams' operas a bit. I don't think I've ever actually seen one in person or anything. I've heard at least parts of them and watched some video documentation. Great weekend! ** Will C., Yes, yes, wrapping it up! That's so exciting! 'Zero Hour', no. All I know is that it stars that guy from ER and that a friend of mine has a small recurring role in it and that, according to the morning 'papers', it got cancelled today. Sounds way horrid. Guess I'll never see it since it existed too barely to get a home on DVD. Man, yeah, sounds bad. ** Scunnard, No secret handshake, nope. I don't even get return emails re: my emails. Oh, cool I'll go get the broader picture of that guy's work. Nice, thank you. Weekend plans? ** Lizz Brady, Hi, Lizz! I essentially live here full time. I go back to LA a few times a year to stay in my real or 'real' apartment and see my old friends, but, yeah, I guess I'm basically a weird Parisian who doesn't speak French now. Oh, but yes, I can't recommend Paris as a stop on your voyage highly enough. I've lived here for-practically-ever now, and I still walk around here like a guy in the early throes of love. Paris rules, absolutely. You should come. I'll show you stuff. You'll be glad. I've never heard of Howard Buten. Interesting. I will go find out more about him this afternoon. Thank you so much, Lizz, and have a sterling next couple of days. ** Chilly Jay Chill, Nice about the Destination: OUT article. I'll go pore over it, of course. Everyone, writer and d.l. Chilly Jay Chill is also, if you don't know, one of the masterminds behind an incredible website and resource re: free jazz called Destination: OUT, and you can/should learn more about it, not to mention visit it in time, by reading this article in Charlotte, NC's wing of the arts/events weekly Creative Loafing. Highly recommended. Haven't streamed the new Bowie yet, no, but I will, probably post-haste. How is that Chelsea Light Moving album? The opinions I've heard thus far seem very polarized. I'm taking my time with the MBV, I guess 'cos it's demanding, and I'm trying to concentrate on something. I still think it's pretty incredible. ** Billy Lloyd, Hi, Billy! Oh, that's okay about yesterday. I don't know what 'Black Mirror' is, so, no. Things on television are my great weakness. I hardly ever watch TV. Nothing against it, it just isn't a habit these days or something. I'll have to watch it online, if I do, this being France, but I'll hunt it down today, if I can. Thank you for your dreamy hopes! I know they will help! Whoa, that is the lightest sleeping I've ever even heard of. Wow. Yeah, it's the same Zac. He's a truly phenomenal person. Okay, Billy, enjoy everything until Monday, okay? ** Sypha, Sure, I was a serious, obsessive Mad Magazine reader when I was growing up. It was Bible-like. Oh, shit, bleah, on the malady, but I'm glad that you went to Urgent Care and are on your way up, side-effects and all, if they have to ride along. Yay, a copy of 'TMS' sold, ha ha! Thanks. ** Dynomoose, Hi, A. Ooh, tech goodie, let me go look. Hold on. Weird, interesting, hunh, ... I'll read the rest in a bit. You so nice! How's your weekend looking, pal? ** Statictick, I hear you on Tin Machine's meaning to you. That's all that matters. Def. Try to have an awesome weekend if you possibly can. ** Rewritedept, Forward progress, good, the simple but all-important thing in life. Do enjoy the time off. There's still time for a lightbulb full of celebratory something or other to illuminate above your head, and I hope it does. I'm entering my busy-meets-out of town a lot week right now, so, probably, Skype-wise, it'll have to wait until after next weekend when I'm back from my second of two trips, but I look forward to it! ** Postitbreakup, Thanks, Josh. I was hoping somebody would love the post 'cos I kind of did, so thank you! So, how was the first work week apart from the related exhaustion? ** Bill, I know, the mind molester, me too, although for purposes unknown. LA had a spy gear shop for a while too, kind of near the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip, and it was the same weird deal once one was inside the store. Oh, thanks about 'MLT'. That's really, really nice to hear. Here's hoping it doesn't get the famous Bill 'too long' comeuppance by the end, ha ha. Do check about the possible live stream or a recording or anything. That would be cool. Great weekend! ** Right. I think it's time for the weekend full of Jon Rose and the interventions of Paradigm to officially debut, if it hasn't already. See you come Monday.
Posted by Dennis Cooper at 12:01 AM