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Chattering dances. That's the first image that springs to mind when encountering Human Rites Trio, the fascinating new music from prolific violinist/composer Jason Kao Hwang and his rhythmic, shapeshifting compatriots, drummer Andrew Drury and bassist Ken Filiano.
Building on a freneticism all their own, the opening two-part suite "Words Asleep Spoken Awake" is a hyper-active, many headed hydra of spontaneous interplay. Counterpoint groove and muscle memory all come into play with Hwang's sound moving from mournful strains to a bleating sax, voicing the pain of a people ill and in chaos. Politics is running an ugly course while a new beauty is sought.
And found it is in the deep call of the blues. Yes, the blues as Hwang moves to viola, "Conscious Concave Concrete" resembles something like a bluesy morse code: plucking pizzicato before handing the reins over to Filiano, who swaggers across a mindscape that Drury readily clears. Equal parts drama and lightening, "2am" rages asymmetrically cinematic. Then as if honing in on an open wound to flush it out, Hwang and Filano shred with wild expressionism before "The Battle for Indelible Truth" moves through its many layers of improv and clarity, to arrive at an unexpectedly quiet, lyrical resolution. Interwoven theories of "Defiance" clears the slate for future endeavors. Hwang, whose music always gives voice to those whose heroics go unheralded, has dedicated the music to all those who served the sick, the dying and the living of 2020 onwards. May all gifts of art and music serve so high a purpose.
Words Asleep Spoken Awake: Part I; Words Asleep Spoken Awake: Part II; Conscious Concave Concrete; 2
AM; Battle for the Indelible Truth; Defiance.