Tuesday, June 14, 2016

USA Jason Kao Hwang/VOICE - News!

Here's a free stream and free download of Mert Ussakli's recent WKCR Radio(Columbia University) interview of Jason Kao HwangThomas BucknerDeanna Relyea, Piotr Michalowski, Yuko Otomo, and Steve Dalachinsky about VOICE. This was a lively discussion about the creative process and the relationship between music and poetry.

VOICE is a release of Innova Records. In 2012 innova was awarded the prestigious Laurel Leaf Award from the American Composers Alliance "for its excellent support of the full range of contemporary American music."


Innova, Steve McPherson: innovaPR@composersforumoorg

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VOICE REVIEWS (click links for full reviews)
The performing challenges are immense, not only in the extreme virtuosity of the music, but also in having to move from the jagged to the lyrical in the blink of an eye. Jason Kao Hwang yields nothing to previous performers of repertoire such as this in penetrating the depth and breadth of emotion that the poetry conveys, and it helps that this is a fabulous recording, allowing the wide range of tone, colour and dynamics to be heard to full effect.  Raul da Gama, World Music Report, April 30, 2016

Deanna Relyea sings a bit with an operatic voice, she whispers, then she plays with the spoken-word technique, and accompanying musicians are experimenting with improvisations to the extreme then continuing with lucidity in "Vertigo" with twisted sounds of trumpet, and all sorts of piercing and screeching, introducing a concrete jazz only in the third, "Someone" with the cabaret atmosphere of blues. And every so often walking away and like tracing an abstract painting from pillar to post, not holding onto any strict principles of jazz, but indeed, this is jazz… the idiosyncratic baritone Thomas Buckner, whose wonderfully mad vocalizing is in turn grotesque, manifesto-like, poetic and subtle spoken-word enunciation that comes from the experience of his over four decade career… Very inspired work for demanding listeners with skillful developments shows how each process of blending pure poetry can be configured in a truly imaginative analog implementation.  Horvie, terapijanet.com, Evaluation: 9/10 (Croatian translation)

This album is a landmark in vibrant, truly synthetic conjunctions of words and musical expressions, of the state-of-the-art in the avant today, with the world, history and time conjoined in two unified suites of great power and merit. It is a blockbuster and a tribute to the imaginative thrust of Jason Kao Hwang and his collaborative associates.  - Grego Applegate Edwards, gapplegatemusicreview, Jan. 27. 2016

Relyea shows her wide range of expression in particular on “Days of Awe” (by Patricia Jones) with a steady mix of spoken and sung lines in various emotional tones. Michalowski’s sopranino sax is also very apt on this piece. The two poems by Lester Afflick have their textual rhythms accentuated by Filiano’s sturdy bass lines and Drury’s sharp drum licks. “I Raise Myself” has a beautiful intro on bass and “Someone” has some great growl cornet from Bynum and soulful violin from Hwang. But as I have already indicated, my strongest impression from this record date is how well it works as a whole Lars Bjorn, SEMJA  

VOICE, Hwang's recent release on Innova (and reviewed here), offers a striking example of his audacious artistic sensibility, and it was this striking fusion of poetry and improvised instrumental accompaniment that prompted me to contact Hwang for the following exchange. - Ron Schepper, Textura.com Interview, February, 2016

As a project, VOICE constitutes a refreshingly bold move on Hwang's part. It would have been easy for him to have recorded a handful of instrumentals with the musicians involved, and such a project might have been an easier sell, too. But in taking on a voice-based project, he's accomplished something impressive, not to mention something more memorable for being so rarely attempted. - Ron Schepper, Textura.com, Feb., 2016

It is a music full of emotions, which transcend those that are the traditional techniques, what matters here is improvisation, the inspiration of the moment, exercised collectively. The two songs are developed otherwise, for the diversity of formations and equipment, but the spirit that animates them is the same. The poems are contained in the booklet, so that you can read them in their strength, as well as listen. There is so much energy and passion to spread the album with solos of all participants, including important names of the vanguard, a Joe McPhee is rewriting with all others.And also celebrated poets of course, the late Lester Afflick , an integral part of this project, whose texts collected in the posthumous I Dream About You Baby are here declaimed. It requires careful listening to these sounds unusual, the energy that emerges from the strings of the leader and his sidemen is something unusual but fascinating. - Vittorio Lo Conte, Music Zoom (Italian translation)

Two sequences of poems by a variety of poets, with music composed by violinist Hwang with some room for improvisation, each set with a different ensemble.  “Lifelines” has mezzo Deanna Reyea, new to me, a fascinating voice and delivery, sort of improvised, sort of sprechstimme.  - Steven Koenig, Acoustic Levitation, Best of 2015

The brilliant violinist, virtuoso violinist and composer Jason Kao Hwang occupies a privileged place at the forefront of jazz and creative music of our time...Voice launch will take place in January 2016 and its edition will be in charge of Innova Recordings label. - Sergio Piccirilli, El Intruso (Spanish translation)

To purchase the CD VOICE:  Store
To purchase VOICE download:  Download

Music: Jason Kao Hwang

Poetry: Lester AfflickFay ChiangSteve DalachinskyPatricia Spears JonesYuko Otomo, and Davida Singer
Musicians: Tom BucknerDeanna Relyea – voice, Joe McPhee - tenor sax/pocket trumpet, William ParkerKen 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

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