Ensemble Offspring Hatched new work

by Jeremy on November 22, 2014

Border Control

Border Control is a work for piccolo/flute, bass clarinet, trumpet, and vibraphone. It is an extension of Rose’s investigations into cross-cultural music paradigms. The work utilises material from a recent field trip to Bali, Indonesia, where Rose studied at the Cudamani Gamelan school in Ubud, and from a workshop with traditional Korean musicians and Sydney drumming icon Simon Barker at the Australian Art Orchestra’s Creative Music Intensive in Cairns. The impetus for the piece draws from two sources – the dissemination of musical stylistic borders and the ongoing movement of people over national borders. The work is in three movements – fast, slow fast.

In particular, the work acts as a response to the Australian government’s asylum seeker policy. Unfortunately this time will be looked upon in years to come as a dark period of Australia’s history in which many of its policies towards its refugees are unnecessarily hard-hearted. It will be morally condemned alongside Australia’s ‘White Australia’ policy and the stolen generations of Indigenous children. Asylum seekers who risk their lives to travel to Australia by boat are moved to off-shore processing centres where they wait with indefinite detention and no certainty of their fate for themselves or their families. The inhumane treatment of them in these facilities also include stories of rape, malaria and a sense of desperation that has led some refugees to sow their lips together in hunger strike.


Rites is a work for trumpet with vibraphone and microtonal pitched percussion. The parts exhibit a series of deformations of rhythm, pitch and timbre, and the dialogue between the trumpet and percussion is explored in a number of ways that unite and juxtapose against one another. The piece carries a meditative quality that is often trance-like, and introspective. The utilisation of micro-tuning is an attempt to explore a world beyond equal temperament, diffusing our expectations of pitch.

The creation of the work undertook a reverse engineering approach. The trumpet part was written using material from a series of recorded improvisations by the composer. These utilised chromatic and quarter-tone improvisations based on a shifting limited range. The vibraphone and percussion part was then written to accompany this material. The work was then deconstructed and restructured to develop and juxtapose a number of melodic and rhythmic ideas.



Time Immemorial: ABC video

by Jeremy on November 22, 2014

I’m happy to release the video of my performance with the Sydney Conservatorium’s Modern Music Ensemble, performing music from my major work Iron in the Blood: Music inspired by Robert Hughes’ The Fatal Shore. 

The full recording of this work, which will be performed by a jazz orchestra, will take place in January 2015.

Music composed by Jeremy Rose

Guest soloists: Jeremy Rose – soprano saxophone
Steve Barry – piano and harpsichord
Peter Koopman – guitar
Narration performed Michael Cullen
Text used with permission from the Hughes estate

Program notes for Iron in the Blood – II: Time Immemorial

Robert Hughes’ (1938-2012) The Fatal Shore is the most well known book on Australia’s founding. It details the story of how England forcibly removed an entire criminal class to the far perimeters of the known world to establish a slave labour camp and the near destruction of the aboriginal population. It’s extensive use of excerpts and quotes from letters, diaries, songs and poetry portray the pain and tragedy of the system from the people themselves. Combined with Hughes’ excellent and gripping narration, the book is a seminal masterpiece in which its entirety is greater than the sum of its parts. The book was first published in 1986 at a time when Australia was attempting a forced amnesia of its past and numerous myths were circulating as to the reasons for the founding of the continent.

With the passing of Hughes in 2012, Iron in the Blood serves to commend the courage and detailed research that went into his mission and bring to this powerful piece of history with a musical narrative. Combining composer Jeremy Rose’s distinctive jazz composition background, the music navigates the difficult path to freedom for the convicts. Doris Downes, Hughes’ widow recently told the composer that Hughes was an avid jazz fan, and so this work is an apt vehicle for shedding light on his work. The piece combines music and narration from the book and forces us to recalibrate our perspective of this country as we consider the truth behind the forces that shaped modern Australia.

Originally scored for jazz orchestra in a work lasting over an hour long, today’s version of the second movement II: Time Immemorial has been re-orchestrated for the Modern Music Ensemble and features the composer performing, along with special guests.



2014 Cairns Creative Music Intensive wrap-up

October 21, 2014

Music is often said to be the universal language. This phrase has been used so often, but is it entirely true? Unlocking common ground between musicians from different backgrounds can be challenging when their musical languages are rigidly defined. This week we were faced with such challenges in a meeting of cultures, musical styles and […]

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Iron in the Blood: music inspired by Robert Hughes’ The Fatal Shore

August 12, 2014

Sydney Conservatorium of Music Music Workshop – Level 2 Friday 29 August – 6.30pm Tix – Adults – $20/ Seniors – $10/ Pensioner – $10/ Full -Time Student – $10 Book online at: https://tickets.cityrecitalhall.com/single/SelectSeating.aspx?p=2339 or purchase from City Recital Hall – Angle Place Sydney – ph: 8256 2222 (booking fees might apply) media enquiries/interview requests […]

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Lawn bowls, improvisation and musical games at Sizzle 2014

July 6, 2014

This is taken from the Ensemble Offspring website Lawn Bowling Clubs are an icon on the Australian suburban landscape. Black shining balls gracefully roll down their well manicured lawns. Our competitive nature rises to the surface in games that excite and bring a smile; the casual sharing of stories and catching up with mates over […]

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Ubud Gamelan studies May 2014

July 6, 2014

Earlier this month I spent a week studying Gamelan Music in Ubud in the mountains of Bali at Cudamani Music School. I watched rehearsals and performances of their orchestra and took lessons with a Balinese musician – Pasta – at the school. I learnt one of the songs played by the orchestra, taking time to […]

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Oneirology (Compass Quartet with Jackson Harrison) CD Reviews

September 13, 2013

John Hardaker – AustralianJazz.net  “Oneirology  is a beautiful album from The Compass Quartet, a group who continue to amaze as they explore deeper and deeper into the possibilities that can bloom from the conversation between four saxophones.” Read more on AustralianJazz.net > John McBeath – The Australian SYDNEY’S Compass Quartet, led by award-winning altoist Jeremy Rose, […]

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New Choral Work: Scenes of Wild Solitude

July 26, 2013

The second movement of my new choral work ‘Scenes of Wild Solitude’ will be premiered by Leichardt Express Chorus at the Italian Forum Theatre, Leichardt, on Sunday 4 August at 2pm. The new work takes its libretto from Watkin Tench’s account of the first colonial settlement in Sydney in 1788. More info from their website: www.espressochorus.com.au

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Australasian Sax and Clarinet Conference Lecture ~ Oneirology

July 14, 2013

This presentation formed part of a lecture I gave at the 2013 Australasian Saxophone and Clarinet Conference at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. The lecture discusses my suite for Compass Quartet with pianist Jackson Harrison, which was featured in a performance at the conference. Compass Quartet, as the name suggests, takes the compass as an […]

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New work: ‘Between Worlds’ for string quartet and saxophone

April 4, 2013

Well done to saxophonist Nick Russoniello (pictured above) and Sydney Camerata Quartet on doing a great job of performing my new work ‘Between Worlds’ last weekend on ABC Classic FM. If you missed out and want to hear it (or want to listen to it again!), it will be available online for the next three […]

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