Turn on/off the embedded sound - an extract from 'The Museum Goes Live', Performance Space, Carriageworks, Sydney, 27-10-2016

the museum goes live

the museum that messes with your mind!

For the first time in Australia!

The Rosenberg Museum was exhibited as part of The Performance Space LIVEWORKS Festival Sydney 26th October - 6th November 2016, with 8 LIVE SHOWS and over 800 EXHIBITS featuring ENSEMBLE OFFSPRING and TESS DE QUINCEY.

Videos taken when the museum was live are available here and here. Some of the artefacts on display when the museum was in exhibition mode can be viewed here. And the kinky collection of seductive violin adverts can be winked at here.

Installations of The Rosenberg Museum have been featured all over Europe in its 30 year life, now it's finally home. The museum is the creation of violinist, composer, artist, inventor, writer, Jon Rose and houses a cornucopia of violin iconography - a cabinet of curiosities highlighting violin stories that are musically other, historically twisted, or culturally critical. The original and engaging surreal ZDF 1990 film about the Rosenberg Museum in Berlin can be seen here

Amongst the collection is featured a robot violin played live by very wealthy Wall Street traders, a player piano transcription of a Las Vegas casino where extremely poor people lose the rest of their money, a bowing machine, an automatic string quartet powered by Robbie Avernaim's SARPS, Cor Fuhler's Keyolin, a plethora of home-made instruments including The Fence, The Plectraphone, The Traveling Monochord, the 6 String Downpipe, the Bowing Wheel, The musical Coffin, a replica of Paganini's penis, an abandoned electric organ, the ultimate book of music criticism 'rosenberg 3.1', and violin iconography that is profound, humorous, bent, and often transgressively challenging.

The museum also celebrates a retrospective look at three Jon Rose projects - the world renouned Great Fences of Australia, The Pursuit Project, and The Relative Violins including a reconstruction of the triple neck wheeling violin.

The Museum Goes Live panorama view 2016

Jon Rose is the major philosopher and cosmologist in a violin-centric world. Through his work he has fashioned totally new ways for violinists to think of their bows and their instruments. He has given listeners freshly made dimensions to contemplate. When I think of Jon, I'm reminded of Leonardo. He has fearlessly and fancifully explored all the currently known parameters of the violin and discovered many previously hidden ones as well. Jon has led the way in using the violin as a tool to explore life. If all he had ever done was to give us the sounds and the image of the violinist bowing barbed wire fences throughout the world, it should be said that his work has placed the violin front and centre as a force for renewal and regeneration in a tired world.
David Harrington, Kronos Quartet, San Francisco, 8 March 2012

Industrial wheel violin 2016

The Rosenberg Museum is an obsessive monument to the violin in all its guises; as a musical instrument, as a visual and sonic object, as an iconic cultural artefact, as a symbol of taste, class and power. This institution resists any convenient definition: It could be seen as either a fiction built out of facts, or an actualisation of the manifold virtual possibilities of a string instrument, and though it once nominally resided in the town of Violin, Slovakia, it really inhabits a conceptual rather than a physical space. Fundamentally, the Rosenberg Museum is an expression of its creator Jon Rose's idea of the violin as an unfinished experiment, a counterbalance to conventional attitudes towards what a violin should look and sound like.
Erkki Veltheim, violinist, Composer, The Museum Goes Live Catalogue 2016


Claire Edwardes (fence), Robbie Avenaim (automatic Strings), Zubin Kanga (distressed organ), Cor Fuhler (keyolin), Julia Reidy (guitar, plectraphone), Erkki Veltheim (violin), Noam Yaffe (violin), Hollis Taylor (viola), Mary Rapp (cello), Clayton Thomas (double bass - not heard in these recordings), Alister Spence (distressed organ - not heard in these recordings), and Butoh dancer Tess de Quincey performing The Amplified Coffin!. With Jon Rose (violins, portable monochord, 6 string downpipe, mechanical violin, Fence, data violin, player piano, and non-functional electric sparks)

Music in a Time of Dysfunction1 was recorded at rehearsal on 25/10/2016 by the ABC (thank you Stephen Adams), and re-mixed by Jon Rose in January 2017. (The clicks are the sound of the musician's lights being turned on/off)

Music in a Time of Dysfunction2 was recorded at rehearsal on 25/10/2016 by the ABC (thank you Stephen Adams), and re-mixed by Jon Rose in January 2017.

The Gamble is from The Sound of Money Project. It was recorded at The Museum Goes Live on 30/10/2016. The player piano is driven by a MIDI derived recording from a Las Vegas casino, and the Data Violin is driven by live data from Wall Street traders. The relationship of very rich people making lots of money and poor people losing what's left of their money 'sound' connected because most slot machine jingles play in C and I have tuned the Data Violin to C in sonic sympathy.

The Rosenberg Chronicles trace biographical details amongst the museum's artefacts. The audience members were recorded at The Museum Goes Live 2016 by Jane Ulman and edited by Jon Rose in 2017.

What's New

April 2023
'Rock/Paper/Scissors' - first performance of a radical new interface between violin improvisation, composition, orchestra, and conductor. Highlights here.
KNM, Berlin
March 2023
'Beak' - Kronos Quartet plays the world premiere, a composition based on the song of a Pied Butcherbird by Jon Rose and Hollis Taylor.
Adelaide Festival
March 2024
'Night Songs' celebrates an interspecies multi-media engagement between the ancient music of a uniquely Australian songbird - Cracticus nigrogularis (the Pied Butcherbird) and Australia's premiere new music group Ensemble Offspring. Documentation here.
The Adelaide Festival
Latest Stuff
Amunition box violin Passchendale anon. 1915
The Gravity Feeding Violin 2016
Lovers Violin after Louis Spohr 2016
selection of paintings from the Rosenberg Museum
Sonata Stigmata 2007
Yia Nuka, Night Camp, Kathleen Buzzacott 2016
coffin, player piano, gravity, and violin clocks
Paganini's pickled penis
instructions for violin toy
website by jos berkers