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Human Rites Trio


Artist: Jason Kao Hwang
Label: True Sound Recordings
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 01 July 2020

Jason Kao Hwang releases his Human Rites Trio via True Sound Recordings. Each composition is a progression of gestures, songs, movements and locations that bring participants into a state of discovery and compassion. Within these Human Rites, individual voices are empowered to be fully expressive so that each moment is unpredictable and deeply intentional. This psychic intensity, both sacred and sacrificial, provokes a heightened awareness that unifies Listeners and Musicians within a spiritual entrainment. As we hear ourselves within music we become Music, which is no longer a performance but an affirmation of justice and celebration of life...

Okay, that's the puff from the press release dealt with. In truth this, for me, was a rather empty, soulless collection of avant-garde pieces that really sucked the life and soul out of the listener.

Okay. Yes I get it. It's very clever when you make your instrument do something it's not supposed to by traditional standards. But when the end result sounds like a random person has wandered in off the street, picked up your instrument and just had a go on it - having previously had no formal music training - the sound is both jarring and rather annoying. This is how I felt for pretty much this album's duration.

What happened to playing a piece of music that elicits an emotional response in the listener (other than revulsion)? The insistence on playing with the form is starting to become incredibly cliched. We know Hwang can compose music of beauty, so why fob us off with this bland, self indulgent nonsense?


Nick Smithson

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