Iron In The Blood: Robert Hughes’ The Fatal Shore In Music


This recording now comes to life in September 2018 in the world premiere of the stage show.

Iron in the Blood is a captivating new album (ABC Classics 4796387) which explores the rich tapestry of Australia’s colonial past. Available on July 1 on CD and digital, it features music by award-winning saxophonist/composer Jeremy Rose. The album is inspired by Robert Hughes’ seminal work The Fatal Shore from which three-time Laurence Olivier Award winner Philip Quast and William Zappa (Mad Max 2; Dead Europe) read excerpts. 

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull whose wife Lucy is the niece of Robert Hughes and a prominent advocate of his work, says “Hughes’ account of Australia’s convict system, The Fatal Shore, is probably the best read Australian history. It exposed in Bob’s compelling prose the sadistic brutality bound up in our nation’s founding—a system that not only dispossessed and all but destroyed the native people but then flogged and tortured the prisoners it had brought to the other end of the world.” Iron in the Blood provides an opportunity to explore Hughes’ masterpiece with a musical narrative that creates a rich fabric of perspective, from evocations of Australian natural beauty to the folksong of the colonialists. Hughes was himself reportedly a fan of jazz, and the 17-piece orchestra brought together by Rose features some of the finest Australian musicians of their generation.

Sydney saxophonist/composer Jeremy Rose is at the forefront of contemporary jazz and creative music. He has performed throughout Australia and Europe with his projects including The Vampires, The Strides and the Jeremy Rose Quartet. His accolades include the Bell Award for Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year, and his compositions have been played by classical groups including Ensemble Offspring and SSO Fellowship.

The tracks:  1. The Marauder Within/ 2. Time Immemorial pt. 1/  3. Time Immemorial pt. 2/ 4. Tyranny and Van Diemen’s Land/  5. An Ineradicable Stain/ 6. Beyond the Seas/ 7. Bunters, Mollies and Sable Brethren/ 8.  A Strange Lottery/ 9. Norfolk Island/ 10. The Aristocracy Be We/ 11. The Melancholy Bush (Wild Colonial Boy)

The players: Jeremy Rose and The Earshift Orchestra, narration by Philip Quast & William Zappa. 

Music composed by Jeremy Rose/ Text from Robert Hughes’ The Fatal Shore

Album available 1 July 2016/ 1 CD digi | Digital Album | ABC 4796387

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