For his fifth album for ReR/Recommended, violin connoisseur and composer Jon Rose has constructed a new concept work which takes as its theme THE FENCE, an age old man-made barrier which has successfully separated people (often for political reasons) throughout history, and in Rose's hands has now taken the form of a globe circling instrument.
Since the early 80s Rose has been busily building a series of very long string instruments. These creations, some 20 metres in length, were originally inspired by the wind triggered fences of the Australian outback, where air currents hitting the stretched out wires managed to create an aeolian harp effect. When bowed these fences were found to emit a large variety of sounds. Rose was also attracted to the high voltage hum of electric fences and how they could be transformed into powerful amplification devices when bowed with smaller portable string instruments... such as a violin!
In 1995 Rose built, and played, a barbed wire fence as part of the New Music Festival at Viitasaari, Finland. From this performance came the idea to make an experimental radio work which would musically illustrate various combat zones throughout the world, together with psychological scars that affect the people who live on either side of these artificial borders. Rose's world tour of fences includes Belfast's "Peace Line", "The Green Line" in Cyprus, the Golan Heights' "Shouting Fence" and the "Invisible Fence" on Potdammer Platz where the Berlin Wall once stood. The result is a piece which creatively and politically knocks down the barriers to step defiantly into the firing line.
The second piece on The Fence is "Bagni Di Dolabella" which the violinist describes as being, "a violinist's guide to the treatments and political intrigues of an ancient Roman bath... The Bath of Dolabella. Owned by a normal run of the mill corrupt politician, these baths are a state of the art health paradise for your average under worked, over stressed city bureaucrat with a big arse." Don't pull tha plug!
source: RéR promotional onesheet