Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Rose started playing the violin at 7 years old, after winning a music scholarship to King's School Rochester. He studied violin with Anthony Saltmarsh (exponent of the Knud Vestergaard 'Bach' bow). He gave up formal music education at the age of 15 and from then on, was primarily self-taught. Throughout the 1970's, first in England then in Australia (from 1976), he played, composed and studied in a large variety of music genres - from sitar playing to country & western; from 'new music' composition to commercial studio session work; from Bebop to Italian club bands; from Big Band serial composition to Sound Installations. He studied jazz arranging and counterpoint with Bill Motzing at the NSW Conservatorium of Music (1977/78). He became the central figure in the development of Free Improvisation in Australia, performing in almost every Art Gallery, Jazz and Rock club in the country - either solo, with fellow improvisers like Louis Burdett, Serge Ermoll, Edy Bronson, Jim Denley or with an international pool of improvising musicians called The Relative Band. The collaborative LP 'Tango' in 1983 with Martin Wesley-Smith was a world first in violin and (Fairlight) sampling improvisation. In 1986, he moved to Berlin in order to more fully realize his on-going project (of some 25 years): The Relative Violin. This is the development of a total artform based around the one instrument. Necessary to this concept has been innovation in the fields of new instrument design (over 20 deconstructed violin instruments including the legendary double piston triple neck wheeling violin, environmental performance (eg. playing fences in the Australian outback using the violin as a bow), new instrumental techniques (tested sometimes in uninterrupted marathon concerts of up to 12 hours long), both analogue (built into the violins themselves) and the more recently inter-active electronics (3 bowing to Midi systems)... plus using the mediums of radio (over 20 major International productions for radio stations like ABC, BBC, WDR, SR, BR, Radio France, RAI, ORF, SFB, etc including 'Eine Violine fur Valentin', 'The Long Sufferings of Anna Magdalena Bach' and 'Brea dfruit'), live-performance-film, video and television to create a new, alternative, personal and revised history for the violin. Rose performs his group projects and solo music in upwards of 50 concerts every year - in North America, Japan, Australia, South America, China, Scandinavia and just about every country in West & East Europe. He is featured regularly in the main festivals of New Music, Jazz and Sound Art e.g. Strasbourg New Music Festival; New Music America; Moers New Jazz Festival; European Media Festival; The Vienna Festival; Ars Elektronica; The Northsea Jazz Festival; Dokumenta; Roma-Europa Festival; Festival D'Automne; Festival Musique Actuelle; The Berlin Jazz Festival, Tampere Jazz Happening, etc. Recently he has also been invited to curate Contemporary Music Festivals in Germany (e.g. Berlin Urbane Aboriginale) and Austria (e.g. Wels 'Unlimited'). Jon Rose curates his own on-going festival "String 'em up" of radical string players and their instruments, taking place in Podewil, Berlin in 1998 and Dodorama and V2, Rotterdam in 1999, Tonic, New York in 2000 and Mains D'Oeuvres, Paris in 2002. Rose has appeared on over 60 records and CD's; He has worked with many of the innovators and mavericks in contemporary music such as Derek Bailey, Butch Morris, Barry Guy, Fred Frith, Shelley Hirsh, Joelle Leandre, Connie Bauer, Johannes Bauer, Chris Cutler, Otomo Yoshihide, KK Null, Toshinori Kondo, Francis-Marie Uitti, Alvin Curran, Evan Parker, Paul Lovens, Phil Minton, Cor Fuhler, Steve Beresford, Eugene Chadbourne, Bob Ostertag, David Moss, Miya Masaoka, Barre Phillips, Roger Turner, Lauren Newton, Uli Gumpert, Christian Marclay, Richard Barret, etc). In 1989, in co-operation with New Music Festival 'Inventionen' (Berlin), he directed the first 'Relative Violin Festival' with over 50 violinists from around the world. In 1991, he directed "Das Rosenberg Museum", a surrealist satire commissioned by German Television's ZDF, this piece later became the first interactive video ever to be controlled by a violin bow. Other films/videos include 'Cafe Central' and 'Shopping' (both made for ORF, Austria). Rose is also the originator of 2 books - The Pink Violin and Violin Music in the Age of Shopping (both published by NMA, Melbourne). Jon Rose is currently performing The Hyperstring Project, one of a number of highly acclaimed works for violin and inter-active software. In addition there are performances of Violin Factory featuring large string orchestras and interactive video in Europe and Australia. His current group projects are the 9 piece string group Strung, Violin Music in the Age of Shopping (with the likes of Chris Cutler, Lauren Newton, Otomo Yoshihide, etc); the infamous Berlin Noise-Impro-Rock Band Slawterhaus (with Johannes Bauer, Dietmar Diesner & Peter Hollinger); The interactive 'Badminton' game Perks, based on the musical innovations and perversions of Australian freak composer Percy Grainger; and there are two straight out improvising trios which are currently performing... The Exiles (with Tony Buck & Joe Williamson), and The Kryonics (with Aleks Kolkowski & Matthias Bauer). Since 1985, Rose has worked regularly in conjunction with the Amsterdam Institute Steim developing interactive technology suitable for the violin bow (not to mention badminton racket).
A new duo Temperament was formed in 2000 with pianist Veryan Weston, specialising in improvisation with different tunings (Just, 19 tone, etc) for the keyboards and various scordatura for the violins. Other on going projects are Australia Ad Lib, an innovative website which documents alternative music practice in Australia and 'Great Fences of Australia', a collaboration with US violinist Hollis Taylor (for whom he has also written 2 string quartets based on jazz standards). 2003 sees Jon Rose again based in Australia.
Solo Violin Improvisations (1978); Decomposition (1979); Tango (1983); The Relative Band '85 (1985); A Room with a View (1986); Forward of Short Leg (1987); Kultural Terrorism (1988); Paganini's Last Testimony (1988); Les Domestiques (1990); Violin Music for Restaurants (1990); Die Beethoven Konversationen (1990); Slawterhaus: Slawterhaus Live (1991); Brain Weather, The Story of the Rosenbergs, (an opera pervers by Jon Rose, 1992); 2 Real Violin Stories (1992); Pulled Muscles (1993); The Virtual Violin (1993); Violin Music for Supermarkets (1994); Slawterhaus: Monumental (1994); Violin Music in the Age of Shopping (1995); Tatakiuri (1995); Shopping Live @ Victo (1995); Eine Violine fur Valentin (1995); Techno mit Storungen (1996); Perks (1996); Exiles 1. (trio with Tony Buck & Joe Williamson) (1996); China Copy (1997); The Fence (1998); Fringe Benefits 1977-1985 (1998); Sliding (1999); Strung (2000); The Hyperstring Project: Ne w Dynamic of Rogue Counterpoint (2000); Violin Factory (2001); Transgenic Nomad (2001); The Kryonics (2001); Temperament (2002); Double (2002)
Selected Publications about Jon Rose
2002 Violins in the Outback; Bushing New Music by Tos Mahoney, Sound Australia
2002 Hudobne Simulakra by Jozef Cseres, Hudobne, Slovakia (in Slovakian)
2001 The Contemporary Violin by Patricia and Allen Strange, University of California Press.
2001 Strung Out by Sam Prestianni, Jazziz magazine, USA
2001 Musical Fingerprints in a Digital World by Hollis Taylor, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Madrid (in Spanish)
2000 Free Jazz by Dr. Jeff Pressing, Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Jazz.
1999 Man maste anstranga sig by Guido Zeccola, Granlost magazine (in Swedish)
1998 Jon Rose by Yiren, Life Times Magazine, Beijing (in Chinese)
1996 A bevasarlas kora by Sores Zsolt, Feher Zaj magazin (in Hungarian)
1996 The Great Cabaret Swindle by Wolf Kampmann, JazzFest Berlin Catalogue (in German)
1996 Violin Characters; Jon Rose, Counteragent for Commerce by Rene Van Peer, Musicworks 65 (Canada)
1995 Violini Imprevedibili by Eleonora Sparagna, Frigidaire 13 (in Italian)
1995 The Total Art of Jon Rose by Harri Suilamo, Musiikin Aika (in Finnish)
1994 Experimental Virtuoso creates new history of the violin by Atsushi Sasaki, Music Today No 21. (in Japanese)
1994 Die Auflosung des Mythos Geige by Frank Gertich, Neuen Musik 21 (in German)
1993 Der Rosenberg-Faktor by Harry Lachner, Suddeutsche-Zeitung (in German)
1993 De Zoetgevooisde Bliksem by Nicholas Collins, Steim 25 years Catalogue (in Dutch)
1993 The Pink Violin, Musik Texte, (in German).
1992 The Pink Violin by Chris Blackford, Rubberneck Magazine, UK
1992 Jon Rose by Alessandro Achilli, Musiche 13 (in Italian)
1992 The Virtual Violin by Alfred Pranzel, Skug Magazin, Austria (in German)
1991 Fiddler on the Hoof by Robin Hill, SMH Metro, Australia
1991 Klange von Schnelligkeit und Schmerz by Raik Janneck, Berliner Zeitung (German)
1990 The Violable Tradition by John Corbett, Coda Magazine
1990 Alter Ego de Jon Rose by Olivier Masson, Revue Corrigee (in French)
1990 Wired to Fence with Strings by John Hyde, The West Australian
1990 Klangspuren; Wege Improvisierter Musik by Dr. Bert Noglik, Verlag Neue Musik, Berlin (German)
1990 Jon Rose Interview by Marion Delforge, ACME 109, Belgium (in French)
1988 Bop Along Paganini by Angela Bennie, The Weekend Australian
1987 Die Violine als Gesamtkunstwerk by Udo Jahnke, Taklos Katalogue, Switzerland (in German)
1987 "Jon Rose," The Oxford Companion of Australian Jazz, Bruce Johnson, Oxford University Press.
1987 The Relative Violin by Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy (in German)
1982 Interview with Jon Rose by Richard Vella, NMA magazine, Australia
1975-2001 Over 200 articles, concert and CD reviews, in newspapers and magazines from over 25 countries (see 'press' www.jonroseweb.com)
For a guide to the weird, the wild and the vernacular in Australian music: www.abc.net.au/arts/adlib
A website containing comprehensive articles, images, related concepts, information on violins and computers, sound, animations, violin radio, links and press is available at www.jonroseweb.com