Evil Clown 

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

2

Review:

Leap of Faith Orchestra performs

Supernovae by PEK

by Karl  Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com

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 - Thought Experiment

Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA - 10/18/2017 

​Somerville Armory, Somerville MA - 5/8/2017


Squidco Blurb

Leap of Faith: Thought Experiment

The core trio of Leap of Faith Orchestra--David Peck on clarinets, saxophones & flutes, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice and Yuri Zbitnoff on drums & percussion--joined by Mimi Rabson on violin, the quartet recording with the full Leap of Faith Orchestra arsenal of instruments; plus an expanded LOF recording of the Orchestra work "Possible Worlds". Presenting a variation of subunits from one of their larger units.

Audio CD                                              Evil Clown 9161

Leap of Faith - Thought Experiment
streaming, downloads and CD mail Order

1) Schrödinger's Cat - 48:00 
     Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA - 10/18/2017 
2) Possible Worlds - 20:09 
     Somerville Armory, Somerville MA - 5/8/2017

PEK - clarinet & contraalto clarinet, tarota, contrabassoon, alto & bass saxophones, sheng, wood flute, [d]ronin, ms-20, glockenspiel, metal, wood, wind siren, hand chimes (1,2) ​
Glynis Lomon - cello, aquasonic, voice (1,2) 

Mimi Rabson - violin, metal  (1,2) 

Yuri Zbitnov - drums, balafon, brake drums, crotales, metal, wood  (1,2) 

​Andria Nicodemou - vibes (2) 
Tony Leva - bass (2)

PEK tweak of a Raffi Photo

YouTube

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 Thought Experiment we are joined on the main track, Schrödinger's Cat, by Mimi Rabson on violin.  Mimi is on the Berklee Faculty and is highly in demand to play all kinds of music.  We love playing with her and do a session with her whenever she can make time for us in her busy schedule.  Thought Experiment was recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters (ECH) in Waltham MA, the home studio at PEK’s house.  One special thing about the ECH sessions is the ready availability of all of the instruments in the Evil Clown Arsenal.  The studio is pretty big, but there is not enough room for the entire Arsenal, so we select auxiliary instruments until the room is full.  The available sound palette is the biggest we customarily use except for full Orchestra shows at larger venues (when we move it all with a truck).

Whenever the full Orchestra performs a frame notation graphic score by PEK, we open the concert with a shorter (20 minutes) opening set by a small format Leap of Faith.  The second track is the opening set, Possible Worlds, from Leap of Faith Orchestra performs Possible Universes by PEK.  We are joined again by Mimi, along with rising vibes star Andria Nicodemou and one of our excellent regular bassists, Tony Leva.

PEK, 24 March 2018


Photos by Raffi

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