PEK tweak of a Raffi Photo
Audio CD Evil Clown 9192
Leap of Faith - Imaginary Mass
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1) Imaginary Mass - 1:10:43
PEK - clarinet & contraalto clarinet, alto, tenor & bass saxophones, tarota, Engilsh horn, guanzi, contrabassoon, sheng, melodica, brontosaurus bell, tank bells, log drums, aquasonic, metal, wood, orchestral chimes, [d]ronin, daxophone, crank siren
Glynis Lomon cello, aquasonic, voice
Rob Flax - violin, electronics, ipad apps, drums, daiko, log drums, balafon, metal, wood, crank siren
Yuri Zbitnov - drums, brontosaurus bell, tank bells, log drums, balafon, diako, aquasonic, metal, wood, orchestral chimes, daxophone, [d]ronin
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.
Leap of Faith - Imaginary Mass
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA - 13 September 2018
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 Clowninstruments 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 Imaginary Mass, we are joined by Rob Flax. Rob is a violin player recommend by someone from the LOFO who travels a lot and keeps a pretty full book. This session was planned months in advance, but was well worth the wait. Rob plays a host of other instruments, so he fit right into the broad palate aesthetic employed by Leap of Faith. He had an ipad and his violin, but also played drums and a bunch of the other percussion instruments. When each of the players in one of our improvisations each use many different instruments, a steady flow through various textures results.
PEK, 16 September 2018
On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation." - Squidco website staff
On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG