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.
On Gravitation we are joined by Eric Zinman on piano. Eric has played for years in Glynis’ other project New Language Collaborative and generally in the Boston area and Europe. Gravitation was recorded at Outpost 186 in Cambridge MA where Evil Clown has a residency on the third Saturday of each month. For each performance we use a variation on the core Leap of Faith ensemble or one of the other named Sub-Units of the LOFO: Metal Chaos Ensemble (the extended percussion section), Turbulence (the expanded horn section), String Theory (the expanded string section), or Mekaniks (featuring some electronic instruments, loops and signal processing).
PEK, 24 March 2018
Leap of Faith - Gravitation
Outpost 186, Cambridge MA: 20 January 2018
"...Overall a gem of Creative Music..."
- Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
PEK tweak of a Raffi Photo
Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter
LEAP OF FAITH With PEK / GLYNIS LOMON / ERIC ZINMAN / YURI ZBITNOV - Gravitation (Evil Clown 9167; USA) Featuring: PEK on clarinets, saxes, bassoons, flute, sheng, guanzi, etc; Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice; Eric Zinman on piano and Yuri Zbitnov on drums & percussion. This is a relative rarity out of the 100 or so discs from Leap of Faith, just a quartet with three founders (PEK, Ms Lomon & Mr. Zbitnov) plus pianist Eric Zinman. Mr. Zinman, is a Boston-based pianist who has worked with Linda Sharrock, Ted Daniel & Francois Tusques. Mr. Zinman is another one of those extraordinary free pianists who has under-recognized. Like most Leap of Faith discs, this one starts off modestly with some restraint from the quartet, slowly building as things unfold, sparsely at first. I like that the quartet takes their time to stretch out on each instrument. Mr. Zinman adds bits of fragmented melodies at times, raising ghosts long buried down below. What amazes me about this disc is that it is often restrained, and sounds like a modern jazz quartet at times. Yes, there are some occasional outburst of weirdness but overall it is a gem of creative music.
- Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
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.
Audio CD Evil Clown 9165
Leap of Faith - Vector Space
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1) Image - 1:13:50
Outpost 186, Cambridge MA - 9 December 2017
PEK - tenor & bass saxophones, clarinet & contraalto clarinet, tarota, contrabassoon, sheng, melodica, wood flutes, metal, wood, game calls, hand chimes, sirens, voice
Glynis Lomon - cello, aquasonic, voice
Yuri Zbitnov - drums, metal wood, hand chimes, voice
Eric Zinman - piano