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Jon Rose — The Hyperstring Project (New Dynamic of Rogue Counterpoint)
(ReR Megacorp ReR JR6, 2000, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2001-07-01

The Hyperstring Project (New Dynamic of Rogue Counterpoint) Cover art

I’m not even going to try to explain how this music was made – check out the web site for details. Just take it as given that Jon Rose has created a monster with violin ancestry, and forced that monster to perform for his amusement and our edification. Rose is an unquestioned virtuoso with an inventive and probing mind that doesn’t seem to acknowledge conventional limits. Is there a law about how many bows a violin can be played with, or how it should be tuned? The music is cacophonous, terrifying, and beautiful all at once, like the soundtrack to a dream that could turn to a nightmare with a split second’s turn. Much of it does not resemble sounds violins should make, and much of does not sound like it could possibly have been produced by a single musician without overdubs. If you take the liner notes as truth (and why should I not), both are the case. Rose has found a way to turn himself into an avant garde string quartet and electronic effects wizard all at the same time. Imagine the members of the Kronos Quartet locked in different rooms and asked to improvise. The results are then handed over to a cut-and-paste electronic editor with a penchant for really mangling his source material. It doesn’t have much of a beat, and you certainly can’t dance to it, but I’ll give it a 92 for being absolutely unique. It screeches to the top of my list of interesting recordings in recent memory.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 22, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): Jon Rose

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