Jon Rose: An Aural Map Of Australia

May 12, 2011

“The Reach Of Resonance” explores (amongst many others things) the diverse ways in which certain artists have devised sonic maps which allow them to “listen” to their country, or state, as music.  Just as John Luther Adams has made a musical map of Alaska which perpetually translates its geophysical forces into sound, Jon Rose has been making his own musical map of Australia through years of turning 40,000 kilometers of its fences into musical instruments.

In the process, he met musicians living on both sides of these fences creating their own musical worlds unlike any other, including a chainsaw orchestra, a singing dog, an aboriginal women’s choir, a woman who makes music from DOT Matrix printers, a man who screams into (and chews on) amplified glass, and countless others.  To celebrate the discovery of this musical universe which had been effectively ignored, or obscured, by the gatekeepers of culture in Australia (and the world), Rose compiled this carnival of souls into a giant chamber orchestra, which performed at the 2005 Melbourne Festival, giving voice to the sonic map of Australia that emerged from Rose’s sonic map of the fences dividing them.

This clip of bonus material from “The Reach Of Resonance” documents Jon Rose’s journey discovering these musicians, and the “do-it-yourself” nature of music in Australia.  In addition to the artists in this clip, Jon Rose has assembled a massive online archive (Australia Ad Lib) devoted to more than 200 additional unique musicians otherwise obscured from Australia’s music history: http://www.abc.net.au/arts/adlib/.  Also, the fascinating Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address Jon Rose gave to shed light on Australia’s radically unique and vibrant contributions to human culture through music can be read here: http://www.newmusicnetwork.com.au/PGH/JR07.html

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