Jason Kao Hwang’s composition, Myths of Origin, performed by his improvising string orchestra with drums, defies mainstream society’s enduring fetish for Orientalist fantasies, a history woven inextricably into unconscious biases that can, as evident in this past year’s exponential increase of hate crimes against Asian Americans, progress into explicitly racist violence. 

Myths of Origin, inspired by jazz, funk, new music, classical and world traditions, forges a unique language, free of genre expectations, to revolutionize our relationships to each other. It will be performed by Jason Kao Hwang’s improvising string orchestra, which is comprised of musicians from a wide variety of backgrounds. 

Through a notated score interacting with improvisations that are shaped by a lexicon of conducting gestures, the orchestra will conjure images of mercurial beauty. Vibrations rise and fall in a life cycle whirling and grooving through consciousness faster than the speed of thought. The flow of spontaneous moments illuminates the possibilities of our journey, revealing truths of who we can become. To be transformed by possibilities grounded in truth, is to transcend all Myths of Origin.




Musicians at the 2022 Vision Festival in New York City

VIOLIN 1:  Charles Burnham, Ben Sutin, Gwen Laster, Keir GoGwilt,  Johnna Wu 

VIOLIN 2 Tom Swafford, Rosi Hertlein, Mark Chung, Gabby Fluke-Mogul Elena Moon Park, 

VIOLAS:  Ginger Dolden, Melanie Dyer, Judith Insell, Pete Lanctot, Eric Salazar 

CELLOS:  Dara Bloom, Kirin McElwain, Lester St. Louis, Tomas Ulrich 

GUITARS:  Che Chen, Anders Nilsson, Hans Tammen 

BASS:  Ken Filiano 

DRUMS:  Andrew Drury