JASON KAO HWANG & J.A. DEANE – “UNCHARTED FAITH” – Tone Science Music
By Dee Dee McNeil, musical memoirs
Jason Kao Hwang, Tucker Barrett solid-body electric violin with a Richard Barbera bridge, Atomic amplifier 12 multi-FX processor (overdrive, distortion, fuzz, wah-wah, phaser, whammy, pitch shift, delay); J.A. Deane, electronics (Sensei Morph touch controller, Spacecraft granular synthesizer software, Akai MPC Live Digital Audio Workstation).
When I heard this album, I felt as though I was being transported from Earth to outer space. It’s an Avant-garde production with emphasis on electronics. J.A. Deane was an electronic master. Unfortunately, he passed away before this album came to fruition. Dino (as his friends called him) had a long history of being in the music business, starting with a stint with Tina Turner. In the 1980s, he was playing with the Butch Morris Ensemble. More recently, after the death of his longtime partner, Colleen Mulvihill, J.A. Deane left Denver, Colorado and moved into a tiny house placed in a remote, rural field in Cortez, Colorado. His mission was to write and complete his biography. In December of 2020, he sent the finished product to his friend and fellow musician, Jason Kao Hwang. In return, Hwang sent J.A. Deane a couple of his duo albums, including one with Karl Berger. That was a recording Deane was particularly drawn to and he soon contacted Jason to suggest they record a duo project together. That’s how this album came to be.
“Despite the pandemic, we agreed to collaborate. I heard his zoom concert for the Red Room in Baltimore. Dino’s phantasmagoric symphonies, vivid and luxuriant, with unique sounds, were stunningly beautiful. … Dino proposed that I send him five to ten minutes of solo acoustic violin improvisations. He would work with it, then send me tracks to overdub. In March of 2021, I sent him my tracks. Every track on this CD, from both Dino and myself, are completely improvised,” Jason Kao Hwang reminisced.
I am completely in awe of Jason Kao Hwang’s lovely and quite unique approach to playing the electric violin. He masterfully incorporates his spontaneous creativity and technical abilities into the modern music that he and J.A. Deane have composed. Hwang’s most recent releases include “The Human Rites Trio” and “Conjure.” Both recordings have received critical acclaim. I completely understand why the El Intruso International Critics Poll voted him #1 for violin and viola music recordings in 2012, 2013, 2018, 2019 and 2020. His rich, sensuous sound punctuates this current production with beauty and surprise.
J.A. Deane was a pioneer of live electronics. He worked for some time with a popular San Francisco art/punk band called ‘Indoor Life.’ Deane originated the technique of ‘live sampling.’ He often incorporated this technique live and onstage. Today, live sampling permeates this generation’s music. Deane would record members of the band singularly while they were performing live, then manipulate the audio and play it back as though it were an instrument. He also created theatrical sound designs for many artists. He and his longtime love (Colleen) created over fifty works of musical art. Other artists who he collaborated with are Sam Shepard and Julie Hebert. In November of 2020, J.A. Deane published his book, “Becoming Music: Conduction and Improvisation as forms of QiGong.” In 2021, J.A. Deane transitioned from this world to the next, but he leaves behind a legacy of electronic music and innovation for us to enjoy.