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

"The sound of real instruments played by real people going on a sonic adventure...  I'd like to be at your gigs to experience it in all its richness." 

  - Peter K Rollings

Review:

Leap of Faith Orchestra performs

Supernovae by PEK

by Karl  Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com

PEK tweak of a Raffi Photo

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.

Evil Clown 

Raffi Photos


Audio CD                                              Evil Clown 9168

Metal Chaos Ensemble - Grain Boundaries
streaming, downloads and CD mail Order

1) Grain Boundaries - 1:10:16

   Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA - 1/31/2018

PEK - alto & tenor saxophones, clarinet & contraalto clarinet, tarota, alto flute, accordian, orchestral chimes, metal, wood, Ableton mix, theremin, MS-20, [d]ronin, sirens 
Yuri Zbitnov - drums, log drums, balafon, glockenspeil, Orchestral chimes, metal, wood, [d]ronin, crotales, cymbells, daxophone 

Samples from Leap of Faith Orchestra - SuperClusters

​​

Metal Chaos Ensemble - Grain Boundaries

Evil Clown Headquarters - 31 January 2018


​“… PEK uses a sampler or synth, to alter the sound of his different reed instruments, creating a haunting web hypnotic sounds. The ritualistic percussion builds and expands, adding selective bits of echoes to enhance the ghost-like percussion sounds. The overall effect of listening to this music is one of mesmerizing, disorienting and enchanting in a weird sort of way.” 

 - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

Liner Notes by PEK

Metal Chaos Ensemble 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 bands.  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.

Recently, 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.

This set is a duet between PEK and Yuri – a trip back to our MCE roots - with the addition of a smoking Ableton mix – Recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters with an Arsenal of instruments…

YouTube

Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter, Down Music Gallery


METAL CHAOS ENSEMBLE - Grain Boundaries (Evil Clown 9168; USA) This version of the Metal Chaos Ensemble is just a duo with PEK on alto & tenor saxes, clarinets, tarogato, flute, accordion, theremin and metal & wood percussion and Yuri Zbitnov on drums, balafon, daxophone and assorted metals & wood percussion. Recorded at the Evil Clown Headquarters on January 31st of this year (2018). The Metal Chaos Ensemble is one of several Leap of Faith off-shoot projects the Mr. Peck has put together over the past few years. This is a slimmed down version, reduced to just founding members of Leap of Faith, PEK and Yuri Zbitnov. This disc opens with what sounds like ritualistic percussion: gongs, cymbals, metal, drums, tubular bells… Mr. Peck usually works with one instrument a time, soloing or building things with shifting percussion underneath or around him. PEK uses a sampler or synth, to alter the sound of his different reed instruments, creating a haunting web hypnotic sounds. The ritualistic percussion builds and expands, adding selective bits of echoes to enhance the ghost-like percussion sounds. The overall effect of listening to this music is one of mesmerizing, disorienting and enchanting in a weird sort of way.

     - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery