The Experiment is an apt title for this duo recording by Dominic Duval and Jason Kao Hwang. These two highly respected musicians embark on a series of eight "tone poems" forging a bond of immediacy with the listener.
Tone Poems are certainly not new to classical music enthusiasts, having been introduced by Liszt as early as the 1850s. The musical form usually described a " non musical object" or event. Some described the sounds of nature, sounds of battle or perhaps the perceived concept of a painter's work. The subjects are endless and limited only by the mind and ability of the musicians plus the tonal range of their chosen instruments.
On this CD, the second track, "Messiaen - Speaking of Birds," forces the listener to think of an early morning cacophony of birds; each species singing its own song without regard for the countless other individuals who are "doing their own thing", bound only by the genetic heritage of countless generations. Dominic and Jason impart this ornithological experience with convincing musicianship.
If Duval and Hwang adhere to tone poem traditions, many performances are titled after they were written and the results analyzed by the performers. This is free form music in its truest sense.
Dominic Duval is a New York-based musician who is in great demand on the contemporary scene and performs with pianist Cecil Taylor. His recent solo album was a Top 10 Pick by Canada's respected Coda Magazine while his string ensemble recording was highly rated by Jazziz.
Jason Kao Hwang is an American-born Chinese violinist/composer and has released a pair of well-rated CDs recently. Jason has recorded with jazz luminaries, Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, Reggie Workman and Butch Morris. His own Far East Side Band has toured the USA and appeared at the Beijing International Jazz Festival in China.
Free form jazz lovers will truly appreciate the fine performances on this session.