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2023Do30März20:00EmpfehlungSound & Lecture N° 21: Jon Rose & Richard Barrett / Colophony20:00 exploratorium berlin, hallBühne:sound & lectureDenkraum:sound & lecture


Donnerstag, 30. 03. 2023 | 20:00


exploratorium berlin, hall


Concert + talk in English

Guests for talk:
Jon Rose (AU) & Richard Barrett (GB/RS)
Moderation: Mathias Maschat

Jon Rose (AU): violin
Richard Barrett (GB/RS): electronics
Meinrad Kneer (DE): double bass

Colophonium (rosin) is derived from the resin of coniferous trees. It is applied to the bow of string instruments to increase friction between the bow and strings. Colophonium is also used in the manufacture of lipsticks and nail varnish, although this trio is not known for either of these applications.

Colophony is a hard core improvising trio of Jon Rose, Richard Barrett, and Meinrad Kneer. They first played together as a trio in early June 2012 in Berlin. Instantly they decided to go on working together in this trio setting. The high energy and intensity of their interplay and the spontaneous interweaving of strings and electronics give them a unique voice and place within the genre of free improvised music. The acute sensitivity to timbre and form brought to the music by all three performers produces a music which can explore meticulously the microscopic life inside a texture, or veer between fine nuances and rough collisions of sounds almost instantaneously.

The sound of the group is determined by amplified strings and samples of string instruments manipulated by Richard Barrett. He and Jon Rose met in the 1990s at STEIM, Amsterdam, where they were both working on interactive software to incorporate in their concerts. Rose had by then developed a functional interactive violin bow and Barrett was combining his interests as a “new complexity” composer with the role of a performing improviser. They both utilized a recently developed piece of STEIM software called LISA.

Before the concert, Barrett and Rose will deliver two short lectures on their practices dealing primarily with the nuts and bolts of developing a personal language and the building of specific virtual and acoustic instruments to accommodate and facilitate that process.


The interplay is dynamic and often rapid, taking unexpected twists and turns, from silent moments to wonderfully controlled chaos. All three are extremely experienced improvisers, and the depth of conversation is remarkable and joyful. That the trio maintains interest to the listener throughout is a testament to the skill and creative powers of these artists, making this a highly recommended release.” (Squidco)

Not choosing safe for accessible, purged minimalism, or Teutonic impressive volumes. Instead, they are constantly sitting together on the skin until they are almost tripping over each other. The result is a full and furious sound that never becomes heavy. However, it all sounds without obligation, because in the maze-like layers are arranged alliances – heard but then decomposing quickly.” (Kwadratuur Jukebox)

“Such a combination of violin and tenor violin (Rose), bass (Kneer) and live electronics seem unorthodox, but in terms of sound-picking or pricking, long sustains and percussive effects are the tools just fine for this line. A division of roles between the musicians is not observable… The musicians show themselves through their experience immensely flexible, with a striking vibrancy as a result.”  (Jazzism)

“The first day opened with the biggest blockbuster of the festival – Colophony trio in the cast of Jon Rose (violin), Meinrad Kneer (bass) and Richard Barrett (keyboards and electronics). Rose returned to the stage after a protracted illness in phenomenal form, a constellation like this for him is literally living water. Unfortunately this trio set the bar too high, thus more stars of the evening remained somewhat in the shade of a supernova.” (The Voice)


Recording: https://youtube.com/live/CXkvaTkMns0

© Hollis Taylor, Milana Zarić, Bärbel Schnellen