The brutality and beauty of Australia’s colonial experience is the theme Iron in the Blood, which receives its world premiere later this month.
This powerful musical exploration of Australia’s colonial past, inspired by Robert Hughes’ The Fatal Shore was created by jazz saxophonist and composer Jeremy Rose. Iron in the Blood includes text from Robert Hughes’ The Fatal Shore, read by two narrators. One of the most influential works of popular Australian history, The Fatal Shore is a bestselling account of the colonisation of Australia.
Conducted by Rose, the piece is performed by the 17-piece Earshift Orchestra which includes some of the most creative improvisers of the next generation. Together, they weave modern musical magic with Rose’s inspiration to create a work that calls audiences to engage with our collective history and national identity.
Iron in the Blood explores Hughes’ masterpiece with a musical narrative that creates a rich fabric of perspective, from evocations of Australia’s natural beauty and the folksongs of the colonist to the dispossession and subjugation of the colony’s peoples, both indigenous and imported.
“This work reflects my conflicted feelings about this country,’ said Rose. ‘Its dark history, its conformist, yet highly sceptical people, its unforgiving landscape and its timelessness. The Fatal Shore had a profound effect on me, undoubtedly changing the way I viewed Australia. I felt that I had been denied the real truth of Australia’s history which had often been romanticised during my school years, particularly involving the cultural experience of Australia’s early settlers.”
Iron in the Blood was released on ABC Jazz in 2016 and received The Bells award for Best Produced Album in 2017. Rose has achieved local and international acclaim in jazz, classical and world music genres with his projects The Vampires, The Strides and the Jeremy Rose Quartet, as well as his record label Earshift Music. Rose’s compositions have been played by esteemed classical groups including Ensemble Offspring, Acacia String Quartet and SSO Fellowship. His many accolades include the APRA Professional Development Award and The Bells award for Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year.
The performers: The Earshift Orchestra; Narration – Patrick Dickson and Narration – Michael Cullen/ Conductor, saxophone – Jeremy Rose/ Woodwinds – Tim Clarkson, Scott McConnachie, Michael Avgenicos, Karl Laskowski, and Paul Cutlan/ Trombones – Mike Raper, James Greening, Eleanor Shearer and Colin Burrows/ Trumpets – Patrick McMullin, Tom Avgenicos, Charles Casson and Ellen Kirkwood/ Guitar – Ben Hauptmann/ Piano – Joseph O’Connor/ Bass – Tom Botting/ Drums – Danny Fischer
Tickets: Adult: $44, Concession: $39, Under 30: $34 via
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