Uncharted Faith

By Leonid Auskern, jazzquad

Read at jazzquad

Google Translate from Russian 

If the American avant-garde violinist of Chinese origin Jason Kao Hwang is already known to our readers for his latest works, then the electronics artist J.A. Deane, better known as Dino, appears on our pages for the first and, alas, for the last time: he died in 2021. Uncharted Faith is his latest work. If you can read about Kao Hwang on our pages, having found reviews of his other works, then you need to tell about Dino in more detail. 

He started out in the 70s as a trombonist and toured with the Tina Turner Ensemble. In the 80s Dino became interested in electronic music and became one of the pioneers of the so-called "live electronics" (with the group Indoor Life, with John Hassel - with the latter they released the important album Power Spot on ECM). Later, he worked constantly with his lifelong friend, choreographer Colleen Mulvihill. Since 1995, he led the group Out of Context, and in 2020 he published the book Becoming Music - Conduction and Improvisation as forms of QiGong. After Mulvihill's death in 2019, Dino moved from Denver to a remote rural area in Colorado and led a secluded life there. 

Jason sent him some of his notes. Dino really liked Kao Hwang's duet album Conjure (2019) with Karl Berger and the musicians decided to work together. Dino asked to send him a few five to ten minute improvisations on acoustic violin and began to work with these recordings. So the musicians began to intensively exchange the results of their work at every stage. It was March 2021. In May, Dino mentioned health problems for the first time in one of his letters. In early July, Jason sent Dino a version of the recording with overdub and electric violin sound. On July 11, he received a response: “I avoided talking about this because I didn’t want it to negatively affect your contribution to what will probably be the last project of my life. I am proud to do it with you. I have stage 4 throat cancer. Please follow your heart in how you want to play in this last project for me." They also exchanged letters. Dino encouraged Jason to complete the project, gave important advice, asked him to take over the composition of the titles for the six songs that made up the album. July 23 he was gone. He was in his 71st year. 

And the Uncharted Faith album is in front of you, if you want to hear it, plunge into the electronic sea, in which the sounds of the electric violin are splashing. They may not always be identified as the sound of a violin, but at the heart of this music is pure and inspired improvisation. According to Jason Kao Hwang, he vouches for this.