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 Hollis Taylor & Jon Rose, Twin Lakes, NSW Hollis Taylor & Jon Rose, Twin Lakes, NSW
photo Jon Rose
AUSTRALIAN VIOLINIST, COMPOSER AND INSTRUMENT MAKER JON ROSE’S PASSION FOR BOWING FENCES GOES BACK TO 1983. BARELY INTO THE ‘LET’S LIVE TOGETHER STAGE’ OF HER RELATIONSHIP WITH ROSE IN 2002, AMERICAN CLASSICAL VIOLINIST, CHAMPION FIDDLER AND COMPOSER HOLLIS TAYLOR FINDS HERSELF CHAUFFERING HER PARTNER ACROSS AUSTRALIA, ATTACHING CONTACT MICROPHONES TO THE WIRES AND POLES OF FENCES THEY WILL PLAY—NEW AND OLD, TAUT AND COLLAPSED, IN LANDSCAPES PUBLIC, PRIVATE AND RESTRICTED, WIND-BLASTED, COOKED AND BEAUTIFUL, IF ALIEN. TAYLOR HAS DOCUMENTED THE EXPERIENCE IN A FASCINATING BOOK.

Rose and Taylor stroke and tap fence wires gently and aggressively. They shorten and extend lengths with spare hands, bending and damping wires to yield a remarkable sonic range. The resulting layers of metallic squeal, mellow hum and strange harmonics sound nonetheless like kin to the sounds the wind draws less extrovertly from these remote fences. The book’s accompanying DVD provides numerous examples of the fences, landscapes and playing with occasional striking images of Rose’s head swathed in gauze (amidst a plague of flies) and Taylor a gothic figure in black against ochred or ghostly, bleached landscapes and battered fences.

The book is a funny, frank, finely written account of an artistic adventure and a personal and intellectual relationship in formation—there’s a liberal supply of Jon Rose’s ideas and observations too. Taylor’s evocations of the Australian landscape as witnessed by an outsider are vivid, so too accounts of the demands on the body, not least the hands. Post Impressions offers the pleasures of a good travel book (rare locations plus the hell that becomes fun in retrospect) and an informative account of the wider reaches of music. RT


Hollis Taylor, Post Impressions: A Travel Book for Tragic Intellectuals, A TwiSted Fiddle Production, 2007, order from www.hollistaylor.com

RealTime issue #82 Dec-Jan 2007 pg. 40

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