Jon Rose: The People's Music

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Jon Rose: The People's Music The People's Music is a wild surrealist fantasy that traces a rhythmic counterpoint in sound between the playing of a musical instrument, namely the violin, and the mass production of that instrument, according to the liner notes. What we have is in fact the musical element of a multimedia piece involving an interactive video installation, and as such we're missing at least fifty percent of the overall spectacle of the production in much the same way as any soundtrack album. The fact that the whole thing is presumably deeply ironic in its very celebration of the "People's Music" also means that any discussion of this music as such is rendered only more difficult.

As it is, this is a dose of pretty anonymous writing for strings with the occasional accompaniment of "industrial percussion" — presumably to symbolise the noise of the title in the case of "Working People" — which in its way might just be a celebration of wearying physical labour by people who will never have to do it.

"Some People" has some hectoring narrative, including a quote from Mao Zedong, and this has the effect of making the absence of a visual element even more pronounced. Here, as elsewhere, the music doesn't have enough character to stand on its own, although on "People Control" (oh the irony!), something distinctive does emerge, and it's here that we get closest to Rose's highly individual work both as an improvising violinist and as a sculptor and manipulator of sound; the absence of the visual element and the concept behind the work are both irrelevant, which is as it should be if the music is to be evaluated for what it is.

Ultimately, for all of its surrealism and wildness, neither of which are overtly detectable in the music itself, this disc has all the maddening aspects of the average soundtrack, and unless the listener is able to approach it without any prior information as to what the music is all about, the effect is the opposite of watching, say, Citizen Kane with no volume.

Track Listing: 1. Start The People 2. Wake Up People 3. Working People 4. No People 5. Your People 6. Some People 7. People Control 8. Big People 9. Odd People 10. Noisy People 11. Busy People 12. The People's Struggle 13. The People's End

Personnel: Members of the West Australian Youth Orchestra and the University Of Western Australia String Orchestra. Lindsay Gregory, Conductor. Hannah Clemen, Rachael Dease, Chris Cobilis, Industrial Percussion. Jon Rose, Accelerometer Powered Sampling, Conducting Arm.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: ReR Megacorp | Style: Beyond Jazz


More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Held" CD/LP/Track Review Held
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 13, 2016
Read "Positive Changes" CD/LP/Track Review Positive Changes
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 29, 2016
Read "Live at 5e" CD/LP/Track Review Live at 5e
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works" CD/LP/Track Review Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Special Night" CD/LP/Track Review Special Night
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Live At Umbria Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Umbria Jazz
by James Nadal
Published: March 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!