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For Jon Rose, one violin is not enough. Two violins barely cut it. On The Hyperstring Project, Rose works with his violins, a midi bow, and independently operable footpedals driving sampled instruments. Using this setup (and some extra electronics), he becomes a one-man improvising orchestra capable of playing three or four voices at a time. No edits, no overdubs: this material is played live.
There are two ways to approach The Hyperstring Project. One is to study the intimate technical details of Rose's personally developed electro-acoustic technology, which has enough intricacies to indulge hundreds of listenings. The other approach is to simply absorb the universe of sound as it expands in front of you. While some of the material involves conventional tunings and harmony, there's an abundance of odd intervals and dynamically evolving textures. When you press play, you must be prepared to take an abstract voyage through twisted human consciousness: the old rules no longer apply.
Either way, Jon Rose is a genius. This recording is a gifta masterpiece of technology and artistry. For one player to assimilate all these sounds and assemble them into a coherent whole (live!) is almost superhuman. While a recording with this kind of depth and abstraction is most definitely not for everyone, it's sure to satisfy the curious and challenge the openminded.
To excerpt a particularly "rogue" explanatory quote from the liner notes:
"Extreme bow pressure gives rise to some unlikely responses from the sampled string sounds... a bit like an opera singer being suddenly choked in mid phrase by an assassin's black gloved hand."
Track Listing: Siren; Oops!; Heads and Tails; Chuggalug; The Real Blow; Choral Prelude; Hammer Horror; Spikes; Broken
Bones; Tacit; Reversed Spam; Buzz Buzz; Schoenberg's Bow; Hitting the Wall at 100 mph; Son of Tacit; The
Pages; Whipped Cream; Spaghetti Machine; Il Tenore; Warriors; The Agony and the Ecstasy (Automatic Violin
Personnel: Jon Rose: violins, hyperstring, electronics.
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...