anatomy of the violin
ABC 1986
Radio inside a Violin: A gift to Jon Rose by the marketing department of WDR Cologne
  • The Anatomy of the Violin poses an alternative panopticon of this iconic instrument and was first broadcast on ABC FM in 1986. The original indulgence lasted over 90 minutes, this newly edited version from 2022 using the original recordings runs for just is too short.
  • The sonic investigation into the darker, duplicitous, and dadaist sides of the violin was created by Jon Rose and John Jacobs in the old analogue studios of the Forbes street ABC studios in Sydney. Jane Ulman was the producer and the executive producer was Roz Cheney.
  • The material was mostly recorded on cassette during a European tour in 1985, with the exception of an interview with legendary violin maker Harry Vatiliotis, an anonymous busker, and the documentary Violin Making In Broken Hill with which the original broadcast ended.
  • Those taking part were Tiziana Simona, Elke Schipper, Amanda Stewart, Harry Vatiliotis, Tenko, Marguerite Pepper, Kaye Mortley, Cathy Peters, The Suzuki Method Violin School of Sydney (wicked!), The Canberra School of Music Junior String Orchestra (even more wicked!), Dot Strong (the ABC's last tea lady), and some delightful residents of the old people's home in Broken Hill.
  • The solo Violin, 19 string cello, aeolian violin, and long string installation were played by Jon Rose.
  • Thanks to J.U. for locating and making the original recordings available

Subjects dealt with in this broadcast were - the eating habits of the violin (musicians need to be fed first), how to play authentic Brahms (his timing was not the best in later years), strict education, history of the violin, street busking (for some reason our violinist is standing in a particularly noisy street), violin making, fake violins, study violin with Leopold Mozart (father of the other one), violin health, rigorous violin training, perspiring fingers, sheep (don't ask), violin making in Broken Hill. Some information in this production might be less than reliable.

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
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