The Singing Line interrogates the fraught history of colonial Australia and its contemporary ramifications through live performance, radiophonic work and an interactive webpage. Jon Rose boldly posits that the first electronic music performed in Central Australia was generated by the operators of the Overland Telegraph, completed in 1872. The technology sounded Aeolian music (the singing line) as heard by Indigenous communities, but it soon brought about the dispossession of their land. The Singing Line will convert historic telegraph keys and sounders into bespoke MIDI instruments to fulfil musical functions in addition to their traditional telegraphic role. Songs by women and men of the Kaytetye Twerp (one of the Aboriginal countries over which the telegraph stretched) will illuminate the collision of Indigenous and colonial cultures.
Jon Rose is a violinist, composer, improviser, multimedia artist, writer, inventor of instruments and curator of festivals on the global stage.