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Wednesday, October 1 @ The Marvelous: Jason Kahn and Jon Mueller, HZL
The Marvelous, 208 S. 40th St. (between Walnut and Locust), Philadelphia, PA (map), $5-10, 8pm.
Sponsored by Bowerbird.

Using drums more as resonators than as struck instruments, Kahn and Mueller both use microphones, electronics, and feedback techniques to slowly build complex textures until they fill a room.  A previous Philadelphia concert found the two working up a fascinating, detailed, and tough wall of layered sound, rendering any attempts to relate sounds to percussion sources useless.  Simply thrilling.

Local favorites HZL will give their first concert since May, 2007 (!).  Their rare performances are justifiably highly-regarded and have become, at this slow pace,  something of events.  The group performs with the audience in the round and speakers surrounding them, 
turning concerts into complex collaborations with the acoustics and ambiences of a given room.  Don't wait until 2010 to see them again!

Jason Kahn
(jump to bio)

"Memory dissolved, audio decayed and in the process a wonderful sense
of character is
laid bare. "
- Lawrence English, Transatlantic Weekly, 4.2007

Jason Kahn and Jon Mueller - "Middletown"

Jason Kahn - "Fields" (excerpt)

Hear more here and here.

Jon Mueller
jump to bio)

“Mueller’s minimalist percussion raises hypnotic palettes of solid color. He merges the human
touch with the objects that he vibrates, pops, scrapes, or taps.”
– Mark Corroto, All About Jazz

Jason Kahn and Jon Mueller - "Middletown"

Jon Mueller - "Homeostatic"

Hear more here.

jump to bio)

"The restraint is what really grabs me here, especially given the musicians’ youth.
There’s no flash, no attempt to wow the listener, just a calm series of statements
where the sounds unspool steadily but unhurriedly with a stream of activity occurring
that’s surprisingly dense once you actually listen for it."

– Brian Olewnick,

HZL - "Ayes" Track 1 (excerpt)

HZL - "Ayes" Track 3 (excerpt)


Jason Kahn's work includes sound installation, performance and composition. He was born in New York in 1960, grew up in Los Angeles and relocated to Europe in 1990. He currently lives in Zürich.

He has given concerts and exhibited sound installations throughout Europe, North and South America, Japan, Mexico, Korea, Israel, Turkey, Russia, Lebanon, Egypt, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia.

Kahn performs both solo and in collaborations, using percussion, analog synthesizer or computer in different combinations.

He composes for electronics, acoustic instruments and environmental recordings. For larger groups of directed improvsation he has devised a system of graphical scores.

Kahn creates his sound installations for specific spaces. The focus of these primarily non-visual works lies in the perception of a space through sound.

In 1997 Kahn founded the independent CD label "Cut," producing to date twenty-five CD's, both of Kahn's own work and other artists.


Kahn's work bears some similarity with the late music of Morton Feldman. What
Feldman and Kahn often manage to do is suggest that what you’re hearing when you’re
listening to their compositions is a continuum: moment without time. 
- Brian Marley, The Wire, 4.2006

A stunning sound art, uncategorizable by any standard. 
- Darren Bergstein, e|i Magazine, 8.2007

The undemonstrative, non-cliched beauty of Kahn’s compositional touch is his gentle
caress of the sensitised ear.
 - Jon Dale, The Wire, 4.2007

Memory dissolved, audio decayed and in the process a wonderful sense of character is
laid bare. 
- Lawrence English, Transatlantic Weekly, 4.2007

It takes only a few listenings before we can use Jason Kahn's music as a source of
concentrated self-awareness, which indeed seems to be it's most evident quality.
- Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes, 3.2007


Jon Mueller has been an active drummer and percussionist since the mid-80s. Whether utilizing bombastic minimalism, dense interplay, or electroacoustic practices, his approach focuses on a physical dialog between situation and material. He has been featured on numerous recordings and has performed throughout the U.S., Japan, and Europe.

He has performed/recorded with: Aranos, Keith Berry, Jarboe, Jason Kahn, Asmus Tietchens, Jack Wright, Carol Genetti, Collections of Colonies of Bees, Pele, Hal Rammel, Tetuzi Akiyama, Jim Schoenecker, Bhob Rainey, Martijn Tellinga, Glenn Kotche, Werner Moebius, Steve Nelson-Raney, Lionel Marchetti, Tatsuya Nakatani, Adam Sonderberg, Thomas Gaudynski, Tim Catlin, Rhys Chatham, Matt Turner, Achim Wollscheid, Fred Lonberg-Holm’s Lightbox Orchestra, and many others.

In 1998, he started Crouton, an organization involved in releasing sound and material in limited editions, hosting an online magazine, distributing other labels releases, and hosting performance events. Releases have included Lionel Marchetti, Asmus Tietchens, The Hafler Trio, Jason Kahn, Richard Chartier, Achim Wollscheid, and many others. Hosted performances have included Phill Niblock, Peter Brotzmann, Olivia Block, Ken Vandermark, Konk Pack, and more.


“Mueller’s minimalist percussion raises hypnotic palettes of solid color. He merges the human touch with the objects that he vibrates, pops, scrapes, or taps.”
- Mark Corroto, All About Jazz

“Mueller goes straight to the core of drums’ pneumonic organism, avoiding easy edulcoration to privilege spacing systems and sustained transmutations, where snare drums become turbocharged in an itinerant mass of resonant charms and the deep rumble of a sapiently treated (?) bass drum (???) skin transforms itself into a hoarse monster of droning majesty reigning in deafening volume.”
- Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes

“Mueller has found a way to go beyond his free jazz past and take the world of instrumental virtuosity into the 21st century.”
- Dan Warburton,


HZL is Tim Albro and Jesse Kudler.  The two have played together since becoming friends at Wesleyan University around the turn of the century,  first working together in the large electronic improvising ensemble Phil Collins.  After graduating in 2002, Albro and Kudler didn't play together again until Winter 2005, after Jesse's move to Philadelphia.  Their interest in a more restrained and spacious form of improvisation first found form in the guitar trio G3 (with Ben Stanko).  Where that group had them playing guitars in a more or less conventional manner, HZL arose from a more intense investigation into the use of electronics and electro-acoustic means.  Fall 2005 found Jesse moving again, to West Philadelphia, and the two became close neighbors.  A schedule of record-listening sessions and concert attendance developed into a more focused musical collaboration in
Winter 2005-2006, when proximity and available practice space allowed the two to work on developing a duo language.  Jesse resumed use of his "regular" set-up of table-top guitar, synthesizer, contact mic, various objects and devices, and sundry electronics.  Tim began working with a unique electronics rig that incorporated radio and an archtop guitar prepared with surface-mounted speakers inside its body.  Small rooms and intensive listening led to the configuration of a still-changing approach to performance, making ample use of resonances, small sounds, and an awareness of the spaces containing them.  In 2006, HZL released its debut recording, "Ayes," and embarked on a United States tour.

Albro and Kudler also perform regularly with the ensemble Benito Cereno, and they work within smaller configurations of that group’s members.  Recent sound interests for both have included tapes, microphones, radios and radio transmitters, and use of ambient sounds and field recordings.