21 March 2012
Don Banks Award to Jon Rose
© Jill Steinberg
The Australia Council Don Banks Music Award will be presented
tonight to Jon
Rose for his outstanding and continued contribution to
Australian music. For nearly four decades, Rose has been at the
sharp edge of new and improvised music in Australia. He is a
violinist, instrument maker, software developer, composer,
performer, provocateur and innovator. He has recorded a vast and
impressive body of work and has performed and exhibited around
'Jon's influence as a musical maverick and innovator is appreciated worldwide,' says Matthew Hindson, Chair of the Australia Council Music Board, who presents the $60,000 award tonight at the Museum of Western Australia. 'Jon has an uncanny ability to see the musicality of everyday activities, situations and objects. He finds music in everything and encourages us to see that the world is musical.'
Jon Rose started playing violin at the age of seven, but quickly disregarded formal training and has since spent his time exploring everything conceivable, and beyond, that can be done with a violin. His exploration of the violin is captured in his life's work, the Relative Violin Project which, beyond instrument making, has involved writing books, radiophonic works, films, the development of extended string techniques, the founding of a semi-fictional violin museum (the Rosenberg Museum), and a plethora of large-scale multi-media performances often placing the violin outside of the concert hall.
He is well known for playing wire fences, a talent that began with the premise 'instead of this great country of ours being traversed by millions of miles of fencing, it is in fact covered with millions of miles of string instrument, and we all just gotta get out there and play it!'
In 1977, he started Australia's first musician-run collective for
the promotion and recording of improvised music, Fringe Benefit.
In 2002 he set up the Australia Ad Lib website for the ABC, an
interactive record of, and guide to, Australia's diverse
music-making. He is also well known for his work with interactive
electronics, particularly with his development of the interactive
violin bow, or K-Bow. He has turned sports into musical and
mixed-media compositions such as netball games (Team
Music), pieces for kites and kayaks, a giant environmental
ball piece (Sphere of Influence) and developed a whole
chamber orchestra of bicycle-powered musical instruments,
Pursuit, which will have a revival in Australia in 2013
as part of the Centenary of Canberra celebrations.
Rose - AMC profile
' Jon Rose's Joyous Resistance' - Richard Toop's article on Resonate (21 March 2012)
'Larrikin par excellence' - Martin Wesley-Smith's article on Resonate (21 March 2012)
'The Ball project by Jon Rose' - a blog article on Resonate (31 March 2011)
'Jon Rose in pursuit of music with socio-political intent' - a blog article on Resonate (6 May 2009)
'Team Music, Kite Music and Digger Music' - a blog article on Resonate (17 October 2008)
'Listening to History: some proposals for reclaiming the practice of music' - excerpt from the 2007 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address by Jon Rose (Resonate 11 December 2007)
© Australian Music Centre (2012) — Permission must be obtained from the AMC if you wish to reproduce this article either online or in print.
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The Australian Music Centre connects people around the world to Australian composers and sound artists. By facilitating the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these creative artists, it aims to increase their profile and the sustainability of their art form. Established in 1974, the AMC is now the leading provider of information, resources, materials and products relating to Australian new music.
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