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On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... ​using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation."   - Squidco website staff

PEK tweak of a Raffi Photo

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On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG

Liner Notes by PEK

Leap of Faith is the core trio of the Leap of Faith Orchestra (LOFO) comprised of PEK on clarinets, saxophones, clarinets & flutes, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, and Yuri Zbitnov on drums & percussion. The ensemble is based in Boston and dates back to the early 90s. We utilize a huge arsenal of additional Evil Clown instruments to improvise long works featuring transformations across highly varied sonorities. The ensemble has always been highly modular and our many recordings feature the core trio in dozens of configurations with a huge list of guests.

In the long history of Leap of Faith we have performed in dozens of configurations ranging from 20 plus improvising orchestra to duet with just PEK (clarinets, saxophones & double reeds) and Glynis Lomon (cello, aquasonic, voice) on a few occasions. We performed with this duet a few times in the early period (90s & early 00s), but only once in the contemporary period since 2015 – a fifteen minute improvisation at the May 5th Third Life Leap of Faith Orchestra & Sub-Units performance. When deciding what group to bring to the July 21st Outpost 186 set, I felt it was nigh time to do a full length duet set…

One thing I have observed for the last several years while the overall Leap of Faith project has gained steam is that larger ensembles follow the core unit like a bellwether in navigating the form of our improvisations. Since we are developing an improvisation orchestra, I tend to build ensembles that have at least 5 or 6 performers, so there are not that many performances by very small ensembles apart from some duets that Yuri and I have done as Metal Chaos Ensemble and some sets with the core trio alone. When we do small bands, the core which drives the larger units is exposed and the continuing development of the core is apparent.

This particular duet was performed a week after the Leap of Faith Orchestra performed Cosmological Horizons, a major work for improvisation orchestra guided by a graphic frame notation score by PEK. Glynis and I performed this duet still charged from the excellent performance of a LOFO major work… The exposed core for this set is supercharged…

PEK - 7/22/2018 

Leap of Faith -

       Categories of Being and Their Relations

Outpost 186, Cambridge MA - 21 July 2018


The First PEK/Glynis Lomon Full Length Duet in 20 years!!

Composer and multi-instrumentalist, PEK, set his sights on something bigger with the Leap of Faith Orchestra's Supernovae. The previous incarnation of the LOFO expands from the fifteen musicians on The Expanding Universe (Evil Clown, 2016) to twenty-one players on this new outing. Another noteworthy element of this project is PEK's use of Frame Notation where the score is seen in written descriptions and straight-forward symbols within Duration Bars. The system provides the musicians with immediate understanding of their own parts and the higher-level arrangement of the music. 

Supernovae consists of a single track composition running just under eighty minutes. The digital download includes a bonus track. Though the extended piece is not broken out by formal movements, there are clear delineations within the score. PEK's ensemble—not surprisingly—includes enough non-traditional and weird instruments to compete with a Dr. Seuss orchestra. Though they are not playing in a vacuum, that group of instruments dominates the first ten minutes before strings and reeds make themselves more clearly heard. Forty-five minutes in, we have the first case of prolonged melody, darker and more subdued than the overall tone of the first half. 

Supernovae gives way to free improvisation overlaying the melody. Eventually the piece introduces a brilliant percussion passage before it reintroduces the non-traditional music elements, but here in a more refined manner. As with all of PEK's compositions, there is—behind the scenes—a painstaking amount of organization that is not always evident in the listening. That is part of the beauty of this album; the non-traditional approach to instrumentation and the lack of adherence to Western structure continue to make the various iterations of Leap of Faith consistently interesting. And interesting look at the written score can be viewed at http://www.evilclown.rocks/lofo-supernovae-score.html.

Review:

Leap of Faith Orchestra performs

Supernovae by PEK

by Karl  Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com

​​Audio CD                                              Evil Clown 9186

Leap of Faith -

         Categories of Being and Their Relations
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1)   Substance, Relation, Quantity and Quality  - 1:10:28
       Outpost 186, Cambridge MA -21 July 2018

PEK - clarinet & contraalto clarinet, sopranino, bamboo soprano, alto, tenor & bass saxophones, contrabassoon, English horn, tarota, sheng, melodica, tromboon, alto flute, aquasonic, Chineses gong, Tibetan bells & bowls, hand chimes, metal, wood, voice, + 
Glynis Lomon - cello, aquasonic, hand chimes, voice, +