Jason Kao Hwang / EDGE: Crossroads Unseen
Jason Kao Hwang / Spontaneous River: Symphony of Souls
Review by Sergio Piccirilli
Oct. 28, 2011
(google translation from Argentinian Spanish)
Everything we are today is the result of what we thought yesterday.
The cycle of life is a succession fragmentary, chaotic and random days without direction or sense because, somehow, all that live in the present is something that we consciously or unconsciously created in our past deeds. This relationship between cause and effect that determines human existence has been explained throughout the story from different philosophical perspectives: Plato and Descartes placed in the context of soul-body duality, Henri Bergson spoke of a hypothetical force of evolution which he called élan vital or vital impulse, Nicolai Hartmann granted consistent with the phenomenology of knowledge, Immanuel Kant included it as an a priori category of the understanding which has a necessary and universal character, while Buddhism interpreted the relationship of cause and effect through cosmic law of karma or retribution. In short, everything that is happening in life is not the product of mere chance, but a permanent link between self-knowledge, the definition of the desired target (or goal), the path to follow to reach them (or plans ) and their respective concretions.
That illation between setting goals and plans also involves cognitive properties, behavioral and affective, as requires a mental representation of the target, a motivational power associated with emotions, an assessment of their capacity for development and, in Sometimes, the interaction of goals based on the so-called simultaneous multi-determination principle.
The truth is that currently the violist, violinist Jason Kao Hwang and composer is a faithful representation of the relationship linking cause/effect and the apparent analogy between setting goals, plans and results.
At the time of the interview he did in 2008, to a question regarding their future and where you saw medium to long term, Jason Kao Hwang we replied: "I will continue growing as a musician and composer. In the coming years will continue playing and recording with EDGE ... I would also like to compose for orchestra and so I started to organize Spontaneous River, an ensemble of improvisers with thirty strings ... The future is soon ..."
Well, the future is today, so be it, and congratulations. EDGE is not just "playing and recording", and constantly evolving, but also the Spontaneous River project is no longer just a wish of its author, it has become a reality richly embodied in Symphony of Souls, his debut album.
Offer a convincing and consolidated creative Jason Kao Hwang's/ EDGE is based on a constant alternation of intercultural influences sounds amalgam of East and West, all in strict balance with a dynamic, appealing to the collective dialogue, allowing the natural flow of jazz, blues, chamber music, free improvisation and a renewed reading of the traditional Asian music. In this aesthetic pilgrimage, the quartet built a consistent record in a balanced way that converge both written and improvised material such as natural convergence of the strong personalities of its members (all eminent leaders recognized performers and band) with the democratic sound temperament that identifies them as a group. EDGE's discography, while retaining the essence of his musical DNA primitive, has been showing a progressive artistic enrichment since his debut with the album Edgein 2006, later ratified Stories Before Within 2008 and now with the great Crossroads Unseen.
Elemental Determination in the effervescent find a complex stylistic kaleidoscope full of tension and fierce instrumental at the crossroads between the imaginative rhythmic patterns that drummer Andrew Drury provides, the monumental resources deployed with bow and pizzicato bass by Ken Filiano, the lyrical melodic intensity that draws Jason Kao Hwang violin and exploratory, unparalleled contributions of Taylor Ho Bynun flugelhorn.
The inputs of the instruments in canon, the inclusion of strategic ostinatos, sound effects resolved glissandos, the controlled rhythmic asymmetries and outstanding soloists interventions that distinguish the band are not just gadgets but an integral part of a creative discourse marked by originality and rigorous conceptual tie that binds. These collective virtues are used in The Path Around the House to transform, in a natural, exotic Asian folklore contours resolved in a climax swing and empowered for Transients angular initial stages mutate to quarters on the banks of the blues.
In Crossroads Unseen-the title track- viola and bass engage in an introspective melodic subtly ornate design by accents of exotic percussion and moderate use of extended techniques in horn that together, they end up giving the piece of nostalgic aura where they seem to live oriental music chamber music and gesture. Closure with One Day presents, with its undeniable strength melodic, complex harmonies, counterpoint and resolutions remarkable synchrony interpretive ruthless a vibrant and compelling closing argument.
If Crossroads Unseen is a confirmation of the validity and the constant evolution of EDGE quartet, the album Symphony of Souls Spontaneous River, because of its unusual features conceptual and aesthetic by high levels achieved, Jason Kao Hwang located on the threshold of that, in academic terms, is often called a Magnum Opus.
Jason Kao Hwang/Spontaneous River is a multicultural assembly and multi-generational, using an unusual timbre alignment consists of a percussion instrument and more than thirty-string interpolation is based on conducted improvisation and written materials intervals concatenated world music, jazz and contemporary classical music.
In the eleven movements that make up the work, find a dazzling sound-based catalog resonances created by the multiple combinations, sometimes simultaneously, in other random-of the different timbres of strings, alternating sequences deliberate ascetic introspective and dramatic passages or spectral and visually rich plastic that seems inspired by a mimesis of nature and human spirituality. This work, even in different climates and musical forms that cross, was conceived as a unit and this is manifested both in the indivisible amalgam of integral sound of the orchestra and the individuality of each of its members, as in abiding sense of narrative continuity that it transmits. In light of the results obtained, it would be unreasonable to assert that the sum of qualities mentioned this project located at the forefront of the art of musical improvisation of the new millennium.
In short: Jason Kao Hwang, the magnificent Crossroads Unseen and Symphony of Souls, while ratifying his undeniable talent and creative ability, reminds us that the work of artist-in cause and effect-as well as genius and inspiration is also a supreme value to achieve their goals in the tenacity, perseverance and work.
The genius and inspiration begins great works, but only the finished work. (Petrus Jacobus Joubert)
- Sergio Piccirilli, Elintruso.com, October 28, 2011