30 January 2023


SoundOut 2023 was the 14th iteration on this festival and duly it was well praised.  It's challenging and it's small, to some degree an expected pairing.  This is experimental music.  It claims also free jazz, but my guess is that free jazz is more tonal/atonal, whereas experimental includes more noise, as in outside a formal musical system.  Not that it is totally out of systems.  Some players make noise perhaps on invented or even established instruments and maybe have no formal connection with classical or jazz or other instrumental forms.  But there are others with significant connections, training, chops, even interests, that inform to some degree.   And the small number in attendance is not so significant.  As much as anything, this is a meeting of like-interests, coming from Sydney or Melbourne or other Australia, or NZ or even UK or more.  The importance is the playing together, the discoveries, perhaps also the recordings as posterity.  For Richard publishes select recordings from these sessions (26 to date).

This SO comprised  four sessions (Fri eve, Sat arvo, Sat eve, Sun arvo) and two workshops (Fri arvo, Sat morn).  Each session mixes various combinations, perhaps regularly playing together, perhaps first time at this SO or perhaps returning after an earlier SO or other event.  It's not a big community, so these people often know each other.  As for the two workshops, they were particularly well-known proponents, Jon Rose and Peter Knight.  I got to Jon Rose.

Jon has a long history in music, having started early with violin, then through other instruments and eventually returning to violin.  There were classical scholarship offers and more at young age, but Jon was adventurous and quite daring, getting into inventing instruments, discovering sound capabilities and the like.  The workshop was a visit to a few of these instruments but there's a string of others on his website.  We heard of Jon's thinking, his trials, his concepts and experiences and heard some of the outcomes as recordings.  Fascinating if challenging.  Think 5 string trapezoidal violin with revolving double speaker or 19 string violin (or cello, for that matter) or hysperstring (as I understood, an interactive violin with a midi bow powering some software) or Aeolian double neck violin (wind powered with sail).  We also heard of tales of Violin, a town in the Czech Republic, and a history of a violin museum there established.    It was a challenging bit of thought and musical play and something to test the dada in us all.

Jon Rose (violin and various inventions) gave a workshop at SoundOut 2023.

  • SoundOut recordings at Bandcamp
  • Jon Rose website
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