Ghan Stories
ABC 2015
Radio inside a Violin: A gift to Jon Rose by the marketing department of WDR Cologne
  • A radiophonic version of the original GHAN TRACKS performance 2014 at Carriageworks, commissioned by Jeff Khan and The Performance Space.
  • Performers: Claire Edwardes - vibraphone (equal tempered): Eugene Ughetti - vibraphone (unequal tempered): Jennifer Torrence - percussion, cement mixer, wind machine: Lamorna Nightingale - piccolo, flute: Jason Noble - bass clarinet: Cazzbo - sousaphone: Clayton Thomas - double bass: Damien Ricketson - the plectraphone, wind machine: Lucy Bell - actor: Patrick Dickson - actor: Peter Paltharre Wallis - Arrernte Elder and story teller: Doris Stuart - Arrernte Elder and story teller: Jon Rose - composer, research, writer, multi-media, conductor: Aaron Clarke - production: Jeff Khan - executive producer.

Once, The Old Ghan famously arrived three months late in Alice Springs, the train having been delayed by floods in its cross-desert ramble from Adelaide. As we know now but did not then, rivers in outback Australia remain dry sometimes for decades, and then suddenly it rains - a lot. The original Ghan was notorious for washouts on one hand, and the bewildering and belligerent arrival of sand dunes over the track on the other; the flatcar immediately behind the tender carried spare sleepers and railway tools, so that if a washout or sand drift was encountered, the passengers and crew could work as a railway gang to repair the line and permit the train to continue.

Ghan Stories is above all a meditation on the notion of progress that underscores the Australian story with all its assumptions, optimism, conceit, miscomprehensions, and failures.

What's New

March 2023
'Beak' - Kronos Quartet plays the world premiere, a composition based on the song of a Pied Butcherbird by Jon Rose and Hollis Taylor.
Adelaide Festival
July 2022
'Fringe Benefits 1977​-​1985' - Historic glimpses of Improvised and Experimental Music in Australia; making available recordings from the original vinyl and cassette catalogue on Fringe Benefits.
May 2021
'State of Play' titles my double album featuring duo improvisations and recent projects with a cast of great collaborators...out now!
ReR Recommended Records, London
May - October 2021
'Whistling in the Dark' embraces a set of duets between various pied butcherbirds (from field recordings in outback Australia) and virtuosic human musicians (in home lockdown) performing transcriptions of this extraordinary avian music.
On Line Project available September
November 2021 - Premiere
'Mendel's Mix' - A commission for Brno Contemporary Orchestra. Finally after many Covid-19 delays, the work is performed. Inspired by the 'father' of genetics, Johann Gregor Mendel, and based on the structure of DNA, you can mix your own version here.
Brno, Czech Republic
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