Tuesday, 29 April, 2008

Jon Rose - Perks (1996)

"Space is not the final frontier, nor is it cyber-space... it's the brain, or at least, our understanding of how it actually works. Jon Rose presents a simple analogy, the Badminton court represents the brain, the two Badminton players play out the roles of the left and right hemispheres. The brain belongs to one time Australian musical genius and deviant, Percy Grainger, a man who created some of the most inspired and beautiful innovations in 20 century music while at the same time being capable of the most depressing racial bigotry. This piece is a satirical celebration of the 'Jekyll & Hyde' in his mind... and perhaps in all of our minds. The 'thoughts' of the players are heard periodically loud and clear throughout the performance (the voice belonging to Elise Lorraine). They react to each other (as sports people do) with personal comments, spurious philosophical assertions, occasional abuse, and observations on the evolutionary struggle.

On each of the rackets and the net are mounted contact microphones and accelerometers, these access musical material. The movements of the rackets then further control tempo, rhythm, panning, volume, etc. The information from each racket confronts, complements or cuts off the material generated by the previous racket stroke.

The role of Percy Grainger is taken by a midi controlled player-piano. There are parts for Hurdy-Gurdy (Stevie Wishart) and other improvising guest musicians (in the CD version Phil Minton & Butch Morris are the extra Badminton players and Grainger's Free Music machines are realized by Rainer Linz). Texts and video images are derived from recently discovered (?) letters by the composer and pianist.

When not providing a violin commentary on this piece of revised music history, Jon Rose umpires the way through Grainger's musical pre-occupations. PERKS celebrates the technology and physicality of music; from the latest interactive technology developed at STEIM, Amsterdam to original 1908 Grainger field recordings of Rarotongan music. Like Grainger himself, PERKS deconstructs a wide range of music vocabularies based on often disparate elements... from a traditional Irish melody to a chaotic version of the Grieg piano concerto. The interactive sounds used in PERKS are digital representations of keyboard, percussion & homemade electronic instruments found (or imagined) in the Grainger museum, Melbourne.

umanity's brain seems to remain fundamentally flawed".

Jon Rose
concept, composition, texts, samples (based on instruments found in the Grainger museum), violin, 19 string cello, voice, arrangements

Elise Lorraine
piano & harmonium sequences, voice, sung samples.

Stevie Wishart
hurdy gurdy

Phil Minton

Butch Morris

Rainer Linz
additional research & realization of Graiger's Free Music with computer controlled analogue synth.

Tiame Te Tupé, Ngeri & Nawina Hane Kamu
raratongan songs, recorded by Grainger in 1908.

Frank Baldé & Tom Demeyer
steim software design, badminton players.

Jorgen Brinkman
interactive badminton rackets.

Matsubara Sachiko
japanese badminton samples.

Recorded at Steim, Amsterdam, in 1996.
Released by ReR in 1996.

link [megupload@320]
link 1 : link 2 [rapidshare@320]


Anonymous said...

thx, bravo! never heard this one - the description doesn't really tell me much of what i had to expect, but rose always does HIS thing (and i love MOST of it). the instrumentation looks very unique with hurdy-gurdy, badminton samples... i have some problems with computer music, i'll see what they make out of it.

blog-look: your new header is pretty and clear. the visited link color is a bit too dark, imo - the dark blue is hardly visible (well, i have a pretty DARK screen, maybe that's why...).


bravo juju said...

The review is more of a concept note. I'm not such a big fan of the man (some of his stuff just bores me) but this one, imho, is one of his best.

Glad you liked the new blog-look. Like everything in life, it should be temporary.
Now, have I seen you complaining about dark blogs before? If so, maybe you should really get a new one.. If not, I either predicted the future (again) or I just had a déjà vu (again).

exilestreet said...

Thanx for this, never heard it before and a big fan of Mr. Minton.
Have linked your blog at mine

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site bravojuju.blogspot.com
Is this possible?

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