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jon rose fence

FIDDLES ON THE FENCE

08.12.2014

It seems the definition of a musical instrument these days is pretty murky territory. Violinists Jon Rose and Hollis Taylor are another two musos who are playing something a bit more whack. These cats don’t quite play trees like Bartholomäus Traubeck, but they play fences. You know, those things that keep the dogs from attacking the neighbours kids? Yep, those kinds of fences.

Since 2002, this freaky-folk duo have travelled 35 000 kilometres mapping the vast spaces of Australia for their project Great Fences of Australia. They have been playing and recording the unique sounds of hundreds of fences in every state and territory ‘down under’ while also documenting the lives and histories of the people who built, look after or use the fences.

FENCE-LONGSHOT

By ‘sounding’ the recent history of the Australian landscape, the duo claim to be able to express musically a range of intense emotion tied up with boundaries of social and political systems. Pfff, it might also be a load of #hoo-ha, but either way, there’s no denying that it’s a unique take on division and musical definitions.

South Africans know a lot about fences; not only do most big houses in the ‘burbs have one but they’re also markers and metaphors for control, segregation, distance, barriers and mistrust…

Wonder what South Africa’s fences would sound like if they had a song to sing? More painful than this, ja/nee?

*Images © www.jonroseweb.com

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