JWQ Showcase 2017

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

USA:Jason Kao Hwang New CD "Voice" + Upcoming Live Appearances


VOICEmy new CD will  be released
by Innova Records on January, 29, 2016.

Pre-release sale has begun at Innova Records. 

VOICE Music: Jason Kao Hwang

Poetry: Lester Afflick, Fay Chiang, Steve Dalachinsky, Patricia Spears Jones, Yuko Otomo,and Davida Singer
Musicians: Tom Buckner, Deanna Relyea – voice, Joe McPhee - tenor sax/pocket trumpet, William Parker, Ken Filiano - bass, Piotr Michalowski – sopranino saxophone/ bass clarinet, Taylor Ho Bynum – cornet/ flugelhorn, Andrew Drury – drum set,  Sang Won Park - kayagum, Jason Kao Hwang – violin/viola



Liner Notes by Yuko Otomo
Each of the poems I chose had a personal resonance. They felt like my voice speaking words of my own to express essences that I could not bring to consciousness before. I also heard music in them. All the poems have an inherent and unique flow of rhythms, textures and colors that would challenge and engage music. Aware of this dynamic, I composed sonic spaces that allowed each poem to fully resonate. These spaces created were always infused by improvisations, orchestrated for the unique voice of each musician & vocalist, and developed in direct correspondence with the poems’ evolution. Throughout each poem’s sonic architecture Deanna Relyea and Thomas Buckner were fully empowered to improvise so that the poems would truly become their words, which they chose to sing or speak. In this recording, each word is a sound and each sound is a poem. I am grateful for these indivisible vibrations that offered me lifelines to grow.
Jason Kao Hwang

There are voices that speak our thoughts, emotions and needs. They vibrate the air to deliver the contents. We speak and talk. We hear and listen. And there are other kinds of voices that are alive but mostly unheard. Some loud and intense, some soft, almost mute, all saying something that needs to be heard. Although heard by no one yet, they are definitely and clearly there. A poet gives them actual voices using their instrument: words. Poems come alive, when written, to be heard by all, including poets themselves. Every poem speaks a different story, creates a different landscape and brings in a different idea since everybody is unique.

And then, there are musicians and vocalists. They do a similar thing to what poets do. They hear unheard music, alive and well, but not yet shared with anyone. They make music to cause the unheard music to come alive using their  voices and instruments, alone and collectively. The music they create gives out vibrations to the air by dispersing the actual particles of sounds in it. This way, they deliver the story, the landscape and the idea once unheard to us as a living  breath.

This VOICE project is a very personal one in the most profound sense. It is a “first person” experience not just for Jason, but for everyone involved. That is why I prefer to call all the participating artists by their first names here. Jason heard his own voice that he could not express in words in the poems created by Davida, Patricia, Fay, Lester, Steve and myself. When something “personal” goes deep enough to a certain degree, it reaches a tipping point where the “personal” changes itself into the “universal”.  He heard the voice and the music in these poems. So, he composed a sonic space inspired by his personal experience and invited his musician friends, vocalists, Deanna and Tom, instrumentalists, Joe, William, Sang, Piotr, Taylor, Andrew and Ken to share his experience. And this was the last recording his EDGE quartet (Jason, Taylor, Andrew & Ken) did before going on hiatus. How amazingly beautiful it is to see our personal voices once unheard being shared as universal voices with others in such an organic and empathetic way despite different backgrounds and personal histories!

VOICE has its own unique history. First created and premiered as “Words of Our Own” for Larry Ochs’s Words and Music series at the Stone NYC in March 2010, it was later performed again at A Gathering of Tribes in April 2010 and for the Interpretations series at Roulette in January 2012. “Lifelines” came into life soon after inspired by the Roulette performance. Commissioned by Edgefest, it premiered there in November 2012 and again was performed at the Stone in December that same year. “Words of Our Own” was recorded in 2012 and “Lifelines” in 2014. VOICE is the resulting creative development of these projects.

VOICE is also a community project. It grew out of the shared garden called New York City. Like a tree or a wild flower, it grew out of our commitments to our creative lives.  As for the poets and musicians involved here, we’ve all known each other one way or the other over the years through joys, struggles and a shared spirit to make the world a better place. Some of us met at various creative spaces such as Basement Workshop and A Gathering of Tribes, crossing the borders of genres and cultural differences. We all are extremely happy to have our beloved friend, Lester Afflick, who passed away much too young, as an integral part of this project. The poems included here are from his book of poetry: “I Dream about You Baby” edited by Marci Goodman and published by Steve Cannon’s Fly By Night Press posthumously with the support of his close friends.

Now, the voices, once unheard and impossible to reach, are here with us, welcoming us all to listen to them with open arms. Let us listen to them from every corner of our streets, memories and dreams. Here VOICE speaks to us in the most humble, personal and genuine timbres and tones, as we walk together or alone in this landscape called LIFE.  - Yuko Otomo
Here's a preview announcement of VOICE in El Intruso.

My quintet Sing House, featuring Andrew Drury (drum set), Ken Filiano (string bass), Chris Forbes (piano), Steve Swell (trombone) and myself (composer/violin/viola) just completed recording our next CD.  Look out for a release in 2016!
Saturday, December 12, 4pm Oliver Lake and the Aljira Center for Contemporary Art Presents

Jason Kao Hwang/ AMYGDALA
Rami Seo - gayakeum
Michael Wimberly - djembe/percussion
Jason Kao Hwang - composer/ violin/ viola

Aljira Center for Contemporary Art
591 Broad Street, Newark, New Jersey
973 622 1600
Suggested donation: $10
 

Aljira is proud to present “NO Boundaries”, a series of four concerts curated by world-renowned jazz saxophonist, Oliver Lake. The second performance in the series coming up on Saturday, December 12 features Jason Kao Hwang (composer/violin/viola) and his trio Amygdala with Rami Seo (Korean zither) and Michael Wimberly (djembe/percussion).
Biographies Rami Seo is an accomplished gayakeum artist whose expansive musical repertoire spans the traditional and the contemporary, as well as current and cross-cultural compositions from across the globe. With an impending Master’s Degree in Ethnomusicology from Hunter College, Ms. Seo is a bona-fide scholar, musician, and performance artist. Winner of multiple performing arts competitions, she has graced many renowned stages throughout the U.S, Panama, Nicaragua, Korea and Japan, both as a soloist and in collaboration with other famed artists.
Michael Wimberly is a percussionist/composer/arranger/producer currently based in Harlem, NYC. Wimberly has recorded and toured internationally with Charles Gayle, William Parker, Sabir Mateen, Cooper-Moore, Borah Bergman, Steve Coleman, Roy Campbell, David Murray, John Blum, Sirone, Vernon Reid, Kidd Jordan, Cooper-Moore, Henry Rollins, Blondie, Mickey Hart, Teramasa Hino, Onaje Allen Gumbs. Oluyemi & Ijeoma Thomas and many others. As a percussion soloist Wimberly has been featured with Europe’s Rundfunk and Tonkuntsler Symphony Orchestras, International Regions Symphony of Europe, Yakima Chamber Orchestra,Yakima,WA., Sage City Symphony, Bennington, VT. As a composer Wimberly’s compositions appear in dance companies Urban Bush Women, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Philadanco, Forces of Nature, Complexions, Alpha-Omega, Purelements, and The National Song and Dance Company of Mozambique. Wimberly is currently a professor of music at Bennington College in Bennington, VT.
Curator of the NO Boundaries Jazz Series, Oliver Lake is a heralded saxophonist, artist, composer, arranger and bandleader. Whether composing commissioned works for The ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and The Brooklyn Philharmonic; arranging for Bjork, Lou Reed, and A Tribe Called Quest; sharing the stage with Me’shell N’degeocello and Yasin Bey, or leading one of his many groups from his Organ Quartet, World Saxophone Quartet, Trio 3 and his Big Band, Oliver Lake has demonstrated what it truly means to be a multi-dimensional artist. In 2014, Oliver Lake received the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award, a multi-year grant awarded to only 19 American artists in the field of jazz, theater, and dance.
In 2015 Jason Kao Hwang’s (composer/violin/viola) Burning Bridge, his octet of Chinese and Western instruments commissioned by Chamber Music America, recently performed at the Magic Triangle (Mass.) and the International Festival Musique Actuelle (Canada). Also, his symphony The Challenge: Tiananmen Square, commissioned by the Multicultural Music Group premiered at Lehman College. His recording, VOICE, will be released in January, 2016, by Innova Records. In 2014 Zizal, his duo CD with Ayman Fanous, was voted into the second round of the Grammy Awards. In 2012, National Public Radio selected Burning Bridge as one of the year’s Top CDS and the Downbeat Critics’ Poll voted him “Rising Star for Violin.” In 2011 and 2012 the critics’ poll of El Intruso voted him #1 for Violin/Viola. He also released Symphony of Souls (Mulatta), performed by his string orchestra Spontaneous River, and Crossroads Unseen, the third CD of his quartet EDGE. In 2010, the NYC Jazz Record selected Commitment, The Complete Recordings, 1981-1983, from a collective quartet that was Mr. Hwang’s first band, as one of the “Reissued Recordings of the Year.” As violinist, Mr. Hwang has worked with Will Connell, Jr., Butch Morris, Pauline Oliveros, William Parker, Anthony Braxton, Yoshiko Chuma, and many others.

Sunday, December 13, 4pm WORDS SUNDAY Curated by Patricia Spears Jones Poets  E.J. Antonio Performance Artist Nicole Peyrafitte Violinist Jason Kao Hwang
Calabar Imports   351 Tompkins Avenue (between Madison and Monroe Streets)
Brooklyn, NY
718 928 3970
Admission is Free
Curator Patricia Spears Jones has also selected excerpts of my score Tiananmen Square: The Challenge for the current issue of the About Place Journal.
 
Wishing Everyone a Happy Holiday Season!
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