Relative Dissonance

Relative Dissonance is a project by Danny Kamins, Hsin-Jung Tsai, Aaron Bielish, James Metcalfe, and Thomas Helton.

Danny Kamins is an improvising saxophonist based out of Houston, TX, as well as the director of Jazz Studies at Rice University. He has also been booking shows in th Houston that specialize in experimental/avant-garde music since 2016. Musicians he has performed/recorded with include Vinny Golia, Jeb Bishop, Sandy Ewen, Paulina Owczarek, Damon Smith, Luke Stewart, Thomas Helton, Adam Goodwin, Michal Dymny, Alvin Fielder, Ra Kalam Bob Moses and NewMusic groups Relative Dissonance, Le Train Bleu, Loop 38 and Transitory Sound and Movement Collective.

Danielle Reich is a Houston-based jazz vocalist with an affinity for experimental, avant garde, and new music. After receiving a BA in Music from the University of FL, she moved to Houston, TX. She sang with the Houston Grand Opera Chorus for two seasons before taking time off music for other pursuits. Danielle currently performs new music with Relative Dissonance (Houston) and the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble (New York and Houston). She also performs jazz with Boomtown Brass Band (Houston), Swing Rendezvous (Houston), as well as with ensembles in Austin and Seattle. 

Hsin-Jung Tsai, a musician (composer, pianist, and improvisational performer) and a practitioner, studied at CUNY Graduate Center in New York, has had experienced musical and theatrical performances, including a solo composition concert at Carnegie Hall in New York, projects/collaborations for films and theater in Asia and the U.S., and publications of contemporary music and Buddhist chanting.  She has also received composition award and grants from Asia American Research Institute in New York and City University of New York Diversity Grant for her compositions. Ms. Tsai served as Composer, Pianist, and Administrator at Houston Composers Salon from 2012 to 2018.  She currently serves as a studio-instructor in composition and piano, and as Artist in Residence at The Flamenco Poets Society in Houston, Texas.  

Aaron Bielish (viola) is an intermedia artist and musician originally from Calgary, Alberta Canada. He works in a diverse range of media including photography, drawing, digital media, ceramics, and sound. His works have been featured in the United States, Canada and Germany. He is interested in exploring the territory where music and visual art meet.

James Metcalfe is a freelance musician, audio engineer and educator.He has premiered numerous new works with the Music Box Theater,Alley Theatre, Lone Star Theater, and Houston Grand Opera including Jekyll & Hyde, Svengali, American Vaudeville, Monky Business and Salsipuedes. He has performed on sessions for GTE, Shell, Harvie S, Tianna Hall, the Testostertones, The Champion Sisters, Stratus and Deer Mountain Music. Working with a diverse group of artists such as Ed Calle’, Paul English, David Liebman, Josie De Guzman, Richard Brown Orchestra, Linda Eder, Jerry Lightfoot, Houstons First and Joel Olsten Ministries requires James to excel in both acoustic and electronic percussion. He has performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, been published in Percussive Notes, Modern Drummer and has a released a collection of Afro-Cuban Conga drumming transcriptions. In addition he has recently released his first group project “JMR Abstract” an improv percussion trio with guest artistsHe has been work with several world premiere events including Jekyll & Hyde, Svengali, American Vaudville, Monky Business, Salsipuedes and In the Shadows of the Forest.

Houston bassist and composer Thomas Helton is a multifaceted improviser and skilled interpreter of contemporary bass repertoire. Equally adept at playing jazz, classical, experimental and avant-garde music, Helton continues to push and redefine the possibilities of his instrument by embracing extended performance techniques and new compositional forms.Helton has studied with several bass masters, including Eric Late, Dennis Whittaker, Mark Helias, Rufus Reid, Lynn Seaton and William Parker, and performed with such celebrated musicians as Tim Hagans, Milt Jackson, Daniel Carter, Monty Alexander, Frank Gratkowski, Ernie Watts, William Parker, Weasel Walter, Whit Dickey, William Parker, Michael Formanek , Michael Bisio, Tony Malaby and Steve Swell. Helton has composed music for solo bass as well as small and large ensembles, including several pieces for choreographer Michele Brangwen and the experimental dance company Group Acorde.