- Steve Koenig, Acoustic Levitation Read Full Review
If you have an open mind and want cutting-edge orchestral string music with a touch of jazz and improvised violin playing plus a composition of layered colours, deep swirling sounds and an emotional ride into the future, you ‘have’ to listen to composer, conductor and violinist Jason Kao Hwang/ Spontaneous River - Symphony of Souls.
- Don Albert, Artslink, South Africa, April 19, 2012 Read Full Review
In the eleven movements that make up the work, find a dazzling sound-based catalog resonances created by the multiple combinations, sometimes simultaneously, in other random-of the different timbres of strings, alternating sequences deliberate ascetic introspective and dramatic passages or spectral and visually rich plastic that seems inspired by a mimesis of nature and human spirituality. -Sergio Piccirilli, El Intruso (google translation) Read Full Review
Conductor and ensemble work together effortlessly in this beautifully balanced and thrilling collaborative effort; it's unlike anything else in Hwang's recorded output.
- Ed Hazell, Point of Departure, January 9, 2012 Read Full Review
…this is complexly engaging music that covers much ground. It fills the interstices between new improvisatory music, modern jazz and avant orchestral-compositional practices. And it does so in ways that enthrall, excite, agitate and make tranquil, intrigue and overwhelm, and open up passages to new soundworlds.
- Classical Modern Music, Grego Applegate Edwards - November 9, 2011 Read Full Review
(google translation from German) The whole thing sounds like a living organism, the individual facets constitute autonomous expressions that come and go.
-- Jazz N'More, P B - December 1, 2011 Read Full Review
Writing for strings would seem to be natural for Hwang and it’s clear he’s in his element, subdividing the violins, matching guitars with cellos, passing melody lines deftly throughout the orchestra.
- Robert Iannapollo, The New York City Jazz Record, November 11, 2011 Read Full Review
Symphony of Souls is more than the nexus of improve and organization; it is a transformed method and a commitment to discharge art from the broad-shouldered boundaries of the page and the chart. It is about communication, energy and sheer passion. And it smokes.
- Jordan Richardson, blogscritics.org, November 7, 2011 Read Full Review
The eleventh is the jazzier of all the movements maintaining the dramatic feel of the whole symphony.
- Wilbert Sostre, Jazz Times, November 6, 2011 Read Full Review
"Symphony of Souls" is a massive effort and as I listen, I hear different themes evolving and growing. There are deep, dark and churning seas of strings moving at different levels.
- Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter, October 13, 2011 Read Full Review
What the listener hears is a spectrum of sounds made possible only by a well trained group of musicians who respond to Hwang's ideas and directions - solo riffs, chorale like movements of blocks of sound that seem to fragment or disintegrate as the individual performers reach the point of spiritual release that allows them to offer the improvised commentary on the total scheme… Music is written to speak to the soul - and this does.
- Grady Harp, Amazon.com, October, 2011 Read Full Review