Jeremy Rose: lawn bowls, improvisation and musical games at Sizzle 2014

Hatched Academy participant Jeremy Rose

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 a glass of cold beer.

In a sense, it is an improvised game in itself with certain parameters; the journey of the game seems familiar but the results are uncertain – a void between expectation and predictability. Where will the ball stop? How does the grass and wind effect the ball? Will the next player hit your ball out of line?

Improvised music provides a similar context for this scenario to develop. A collaboration of musicians, friends, mates, breaching new ground from a bedrock of familiar and extended musical language.

Although I am working as a composer as part of the Hatched Academy with Ensemble Offspring, I thought it would be nice to participate as a performer for this event, playing my primary instrument: saxophone. I’ve taken this opportunity at Sizzle to form a new improvised collaboration with old friends – drummer Laurence Pike and pianist (here on keyboards) Jackson Harrison. The group’s music defies convention and classification by creating enjoyable grooves whilst exploring our more experimental nature. Patterns of sound unfold, react and undulate over sustained periods of intensity.

Laurence Pike is drummer from the internationally acclaimed experimental rock band PVT. His improvised duo work with legendary jazz pianist Mike Nock was featured on their album Kindred, and performed at this year’s Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

Jackson Harrison is an award winning jazz pianist/composer and long time collaborator of mine. He has released two albums on the prestigious German label Hat Hut, one set for release late 2014, and has performed throughout Australia and Asia. Jackson was featured with myself in a recent collaboration with Compass (Saxophone) Quartet on the album Oneirology. Jackson’s playing has a subtle mystery to it that works incredibly well in an improvised music format.

I will also be joining fellow Hatched participant Callum G’Froerer and members of EO for a version of John Zorn’s Cobra. This is the ultimate game piece in which a member uses cues to direct the ensemble, working their way through an entire system of musical parameters that creates music like no other.

Funnily enough I used to hold my birthday parties at lawn bowls clubs and did surprisingly well at these annual celebration games. We will see how I fare after a few years away – hope to see you there for some music and a game!

Jeremy Rose


Sydney – Petersham Bowling Club, 3pm Sunday 29th June*, FREE entry

Hosted by mad MC, Katia Molino, the program includes:
Jon Rose – Singularities (for saw orchestra)
Elle Knox – Ovation (screening)
Pike/Rose/Harrison Trio
Eric Dolphy – God Bless this Child (for bass clarinet
John Zorn – Kol Nidre (excerpt)
John Zorn – Cobra