is my jazz quartet featuring Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet, flugelhorn), Andrew Drury (drum kit), Ken Filiano (string bass) and myself (composer, violin). Nested in the urban mountains of New York City, EDGE embraces both past and future with musical tales celebrating life and loss. Their instruments, resonant with human and animal overtones, sing through sharp lines vibrating between histories, cultures and genres. Our first CD "Edge" (2006, Asian Improv Records) reached #14 on the national CMJ radio charts and Stories Before Within (2008, Innova Records), recently released on Innova, hit #9 this past March. "Stories" was selected as one of the Top Ten CDs of 2008 by both Coda Magazine and All About Jazz. Our third CD is currently in production, to be released in the fall of 2011.
Spontaneous River is an orchestra of over 35 string improvisers plus drum set performing the music of composer/violinist Jason Kao Hwang.
Commitment, the cooperative quartet featuring violinist Jason Kao Hwang, reed player Will Connell, Jr., bassist William Parker, and drummer Zen Matsuura, released only one album during their five-year life as a working band between 1979 and 1984. This forgotten masterpiece of the Loft Era showcases one of the most original and unjustly neglected ensembles of the period, a New York free jazz group that played a seminal role in the development of Asian American music. Now Commitment: The Complete Recordings 1981/1983 brings together a newly remastered version of their sought-after collectors item, along with nearly 90 minutes of previously unissued music recorded live in Europe in 1983. Aside from their enormous historical significance, these recording contain music brimming with ideas that sound as fresh and radical today as they did more than 25 years ago.
is my chamber opera, with librettist Catherine Filloux that was presented by the Asia Society, Music From China, the Museum of Chinese in the Americas and Meet the Composer/New Residencies, in the fall of 2001. Inspired by my experiences performing in Anthony Braxton's opera, Trillium R, Shala Fears for the Poor and Henry Threadgills's oratorio Run Silent, Run Deep, this opera is based upon both personal and community history. New World Records released the double-CD of The Floating Box this past April.
is a collective, cross-continental trio featuring Francis Wong (soprano sax, San Francisco), Tatsu Aoki (string bass, Chicago) and myself (violin, Jersey City). In 2005, we performed at the Chicago Cultural Center, as part of Chicago's Asian American Jazz Festival, to celebrate the release of our CD on Asian Improv Records.
The compositions of Jason Kao Hwang (violin, viola) inspires cross-cultural improvisations with Sang Won Park (kayagum, ajeng, voice), creating an American music that is there Local Lingo.
Bending Duration, Breathing Distance (erhu, accordion, cello, vibraphone) and Interior Migrations (erhu, viola, pipa, bass clarinet) were through composed works exploring ideas later incorporated into The Floating Box. Both works, along with the opera, were created with the support of Meet the Composer/ New Residencies. Flight of Whispers composed for Music by Homemade Instruments, employs both notation and improvisation.
Unbroken Thread and Wake Up Call were both commissioned by the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company.
At the rough-cut stage, the director, editor and I develop concepts for the score. Then, with sequencing software, as the editor locks "scenes spotted" for music, music is composed, timed precisely to picture. A demo using sampled sounds is produced for each cue, allowing revisions to be considered before the final recording that employs musicians.
is a poetic documentary film inspired by ideas about Asian American identity developed from my experiences at Basement Workshop, and numerous conversations with my mentor at that time, Will Connell, Jr.
Burning Bridge was composed upon a Burning Bridge. The nature of this music consumes temporal illusions while enveloping the concurrence of life and death. On this Burning Bridge, the tinder of history and culture feed flames that vibrate within the core of both instinct and identity. The fire, often ignored, has always existed, with bridges burning each moment of our ever-changing lives. For Burning Bridge, the various traditions of each instrument, Chinese, Jazz and Classical, are united into a single musical voice resonant with distinct cultural overtones. With the poetic complexities inherent to this sound, the music possesses all the attributes of any human being. Burning Bridge is the experience, not the representation.