Trio Omphalos has been performing original and exciting programs with new music since it was founded in 2006 – in the rare lineup of clarinet, drums and piano. The trio discovered John Cage’s “Chess Pieces” in 2012, a graphic image composition by Cage that the pianist Margret Lang Tan translated into a piano version. Trio Omphalos has created an expressive and colourful trio version out of this. Tom Johnson’s graceful and wonderful Rational Melodies build the bridge between compositions of John Cage. The lucid, joyous questioning of music is at the core of Tom Johnson’s own composition as well. As with „Rational Melodies“, „Chess Pieces“ lends itself to being divided among different instruments, and one can hear in both recordings how creative Trio Omphalos has been in their arrangements. In each ‘rational melody’ Johnson applies a single process to a simple, formal musical idea - adding notes, subtracting notes, counting notes, expanding phrases, contracting phrases, adding rhythmic complexity – and then stands back from the process, as it fills out the melody over time.