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

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YouTube

Here are links to the last year’s worth of MCE albums where we develop this electronics heavy improvisation concept.

Shape Memory (2/15/2018)
bandcamp:   YouTube:   Evil Clown Album page: 

Blast Furnace (4/12/2018)
bandcamp:  YouTube:   Evil Clown Album page: 

Cryptomorphisms (6/2/2018)
bandcamp:  YouTube:  Evil Clown Album page: 

Syncretic Discipline (8/2/2018)
bandcamp:   YouTube:  Evil Clown Album page: 

Metal Chaos Ensemble -

        Beyond the Holy Mountain

Evil Clown Headquarters - 23 February 2019

Electric Universe Theory (9/7/2018)
bandcamp:   YouTube:  Evil Clown Album page: 

Electric Sword Machine (12/8/2018)
bandcamp:  YouTube:   Evil Clown Album page: 

Luminiferous Aether (1/1/2019)
bandcamp:  YouTube:  Evil Clown Album page: 

Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter (full text below)


METAL CHAOS ENSEMBLE With PEK / BOB MOORES / ERIC WOODS / REV GRANT BEALE / ALBEY ONBASS / YURI ZBITNOV / JOEL SIMCHES - Beyond the Holy Mountain (Evil Clown 9208; USA) Featuring Pek on alto, tenor & bass saxes, clarinets, tarogato, Moog, bells, etc., Bob Moores on laptop, Moog, Korg, guitar & space trumpet, Eric Woods on analog synth, Reverend Grant Beale on computer & electronics, Albey B. on electric bass, Yuri Zbitnov on drums & percussion plus Joel Simches on signal processing & recording. This disc was recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters in February of this year (2019). After the three main Leap of Faith founders (PEK, Glynis Lomon & Yuri Zbitnov), trumpeter Bob Moores is next in line since he has appeared on at least 20 previous discs on the Evil Clown label. And like LoF leader PEK, Mr. Moores has become more of a multi-instrumentalist playing laptop, synths, guitar & assorted percussion. Eric Woods, Rev. Grant Beale and Albey B(algochian?) have all been on some half dozen previous LoF discs as well. 


   Usually the Metal Chaos Ensemble features multiple percussionists but for this release, there is more electronics than percussion. Longtime LoF percussionist, Yuri Zbitnov, does a bit of recitation (from the ‘Holy Mountain’ Jodorowsky film) with his voice bathed in reverb, during the first section. As is always the case, the sound here is clean, superbly recorded. Starting sparsely at first, with the space trumpet and soft electronics simmering underneath. The music starts to escalate, the electronics kinda like a Gong space jam played in the distance. Building, expanding, the electronics getting more dense, a some tribal-like percussion at the center from the irrepressible Yuri Zbitnov and Albey on el. bass. The analog electronics, laptop and computer gives things a more ancient sound (early seventies). This 70 minute piece evolves like a scientific journey, sailing through the stars, and eventually the somewhat disorienting recitation reappears near the end. From Art Ensemble spirituality to Gong-like space journey, where will the Leap of Faith Offshoot Express end up next?!? 

 - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG            

Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter (full text below)

“… Starting sparsely at first, with the space trumpet and soft electronics simmering underneath. The music starts to escalate, the electronics kinda like a Gong space jam played in the distance. Building, expanding, the electronics getting more dense, a some tribal-like percussion at the center from the irrepressible Yuri Zbitnov and Albey on el. bass. The analog electronics, laptop and computer gives things a more ancient sound (early seventies). This 70 minute piece evolves like a scientific journey, sailing through the stars, and eventually the somewhat disorienting recitation reappears near the end. From Art Ensemble spirituality to Gong-like space journey, where will the Leap of Faith Offshoot Express end up next?!?”
 - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG       


Squidco Blurb     

​With a core of Leap of Faith members (PEK & Yuri Zbitnov) along with trumpet, bass, computer & electronics, Moog, and analog synth, this rendering of Boston's far-ranging collective, using David Peck's framework compositions and arsenal of instruments, takes their listeners through controlled cosmic chaos with recitation and electronic companionship; wild! 

-Squidco Staff

Raffi Photos

Review:

Leap of Faith Orchestra performs

Supernovae by PEK

by Karl  Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com

Liner Notes by PEK


Metal Chaos Ensemble (MCE) was formed in early 2015 by PEK and Yuri Zbitnov as a working project to explore chaotic rhythms on metallic instruments. I had started to amass the Evil Clown Arsenal of percussion, electronic and wind instruments and we needed a workshop to develop this universe of sounds for the Leap of Faith Orchestra. It was immediately obvious that Metal Chaos Ensemble had a sound to itself and over the last three years has been one of the most prolific Evil Clown ensembles. We have produced a bunch of albums covering a wide range of sonority sets, but always with the presence of Gongs, chimes, glockenspiel, Tibetan Bowls and many other metallic sounds and the horns of PEK. All Metal Chaos Ensemble sessions include at least myself and Yuri, along with a whole bunch of different guests.

For around 2 years now, I have been using the Ableton software to create electronic mixes which we use in several of the bands as an accompaniment track. In performance, I ride the fader from off to very present, but most of the time more to the background. Raw samples are taken from the Evil Clown Catalog and also specially recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters with instruments drawn from the Evil Clown arsenal. I then use Adobe Audition to process the samples and finally Ableton to assemble a timeline and create a mix. Most of the more recent MCE sessions use one of these mixes.

MCE has had many different formations, but for about a year we have really focused more on an electronics/percussion blend. In addition to the Ableton mix, we now have regular Eric Woods on analog synth, trumpeter and guitarist Bob Moores is bringing a bunch of electronic instruments, Reverend Grant Beale on computer/electronics instead of his customary guitar, and several synths and a great AKAI wind controller in the Evil Clown Arsenal. With this many electronic instruments the mix has become complex enough that I get Joel Simches to come and run the recording board. We’ve had 8 MCE sets since February 2018 which are variations on this general scheme (see below). Albey onBass is a brilliant electric bass and electric upright bass player who has been a heavy presence in the Evil Clown scene since July of last year – He is on three of these sets. Albey played with Cecil Taylor extensively prior to Cecil’s passing. Albey and Jane are moving back to New Orleans quite soon – we will miss him, but wish him well!!!

Due to the massive set of equipment required for a proper MCE session, we have staged only a few public performances and most of the 40 albums recorded since 2015 are studios sessions recorded at my home studio, Evil Clown Headquarters. Since fall of 2018, we have been LIVE STREAMING these performances in addition to my regular posts on bandcamp, YouTube, & soundcloud, and a number of internet stores for CDs and downloads. This performance is the first one to use a multi-camera mix for the LIVE STREAM. In the fall, I got a new computer and the hardware to do it, but the video capture card I got to send the video mix into the computer was really fussy. I did more internet research and ordered one from Japan that video gamers use. It took a while to show up and then a while before I had time to attempt the full set up, but that time has come – look forward to more ECH shows on Youtube and eventually other streaming platforms!

This album title refers to an amazing psychedelic movie from 1973 called Holy Mountain (directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky). It is a genius work of symbolic story telling with an amazing soundtrack by Don Cherry. Yuri and I love this movie, and though we usually do not make references to pop culture we are making an exception in this instance. I found a bunch of excerpts of the dialog on the web, printed them out and Yuri and I take turns reciting the text…

Here is one the excerpts we used:

"The grave receives you with love. Surrender yourself to the Earth. Return what was loaned to you. Give up your pleasure, your pain, your friends, your lovers, your life, your past, what you desire. You will know nothingness, it is the only reality. Don't be afraid, it's so easy to give. You're not alone, you have a grave. It was your first mother. The grave is the door to your rebirth. Now you will surrender the faithful animal you once called your body. Don't try to keep it, remember, it was a loan. Surrender your legs, your sex, your hair, your brain, your all. You no longer want to possess, possession is the ultimate pain. The earth covers your body, she came to cover you with love, because she is your true flesh. Now you are an open heart, open to receive your true essence your ultimate perfection. Your new body, which is the universe, the work of god. You will be born again, you will be real. you will be your own father, your own mother, your own child, your own perfection. Open your eyes, you are the earth, you are the green, you are the blue, you are the Aleph, you are the essence. Look at the flower, look at the flower, for the first time look at the flowers.”


PEK 2/24/2019

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 9208

Metal Chaos Ensemble - Luminiferous Aether
bandcamp:  streaming, downloads and CD mail Order

Squidco:  CD mail order

1) Luminiferous Aether- 1:10:22

   Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA - 1/10/2019

PEK -  calto, tenor and bass saxophones, clarinet, contralto clarinet, tarota, bass tromboon, [D]ronin, ms-20, moog subsequent, tibetan bowls, brontasaurus & tank bells, wood, metal, recitation, Ableton Mix* ​ 
Yuri Zbitnov - drum set, daiko, Orchestral chimes, tibetan bowls, brontasaurus &tank bells,[d]ronin, metal, wood, recitation 

Bob Moores - Laptop using Mainstage softsynths, iPad using Moog Model D emulator, Korg Monotron Duo, Kracklebox, Guitar with effects, space Trumpet, tibetan bowls, log drums, balafon, wood, metal

Eric Woods - analog synth 
Reverend Grant Beale - computer, electronics 
Albey onBass - electric bass 

Joel Simches - real time signal processing and live to 2-track mix 

*samples from the Evil Clown catalog or specially recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters

​​

PEK tweak of a video grab

Evil Clown 

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