… The Violin Factory is one of Jon Rose’s most accomplished works, full of multilevel symbolism, groundbreaking originality, and stunning emotional power. An ode to factory workers, especially Chinese violin makers, this piece presents a deep reflection on mechanization versus humanization, repetitiveness versus inventiveness. Its origins reside in Rose’s fascination with the big factories that mass-produced cheap violins until the turn of the century. The original performance took place in Vienna, was stretched over two hours, and included a 25-piece string ensemble playing a score conducted by Rose; a Suzuki children’s violin class from Vancouver broadcast via the Internet; and violinists Jim Munro and Parmela Atariwalla, also in Vancouver. Kaffe Matthews was in Vienna, sampling the orchestra and mixing in the Internet material in real time, while Tom Demeryer was blending images of the performing orchestra with film footage of an old Chinese violin factory provided by Ying Li Ma.
The CD is elegantly packaged in a cardboard box.