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

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

Liner Notes by PEK

Occasionally there is a break in the Evil Clown calendar and I have a little time for a solo session. In the 90s, I did solo performances occasionally - which presented several challenges. I like to work in a long form with lots of instrument changes, so I came up with several tricks for rapidly changing horns while continuing the improvisation...

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.  Several of my solo records have used these mixes. The accompaniment track neatly solves the problem of transitioning instruments.

After several years of this process, I have a lot of mixes that can be blended together in various ways.  So, for most sessions that use an Ableton Mix I record a few new samples, or sample from recent shows by the various Evil Clown Ensembles and combine those samples with some from the Library.   For this set, Open and Closed Universes, I decided to generate a large new set of samples and not use any from the library.  I started by recording a bunch of short solos (3 to 15 minutes) with digital delay.  13 of these short solos on wind instruments comprise disc 1 of this release, but I also recorded some longer pieces with my mallet controller and the Moog Subsequent and the newly arrived Prophet.  I grabbed Yuri’s solo from the Englephone demo reel, and a few sections from LOFO – The Photon Epoch.  

I made new multi-layered complex mixes with my usual methods of these Sonority Sets:  Synths, Sheng, Horns, Gongs, Flutes, Bells.  Each of these is a timbre set comprised of layers of similar sounds which have undergone transformations of pitch and duration.  The mixes are typically about 40 minutes each.  

Then, I planned out the basic elements of the Ableton composition including opening and closing sections.  In Ableton, I made a track for each of the timbre sets and then did a real time mix for just under 80 minutes, blending them, featuring one or another, or rapidly transforming the sonority.  

Finally, I took this final complex mix, and a few simpler ones and created one last Ableton file which I used for the performance, mixing this mix and the simpler ones in real time while playing a bunch of different instruments over the course of the CD length work.  This process is the most involved one that I have used to date for one of these solo CDs, but the prepared mixes give me a great deal of real-time control within the scope of my planning to sculpt soundscape accompaniments of varying sonority and density.

I really liked the shorter improvisations recorded each on a single instrument with delay, and so I decided that I would present a 2 CD package, with a selection of these sample pieces on Disc 1 and the solo with Ableton accompaniment on Disc 2.

PEK – 7/5/19

PEK - clarinet & contralto clarinet, alto, tenor & bass saxophones, English horn, goat horn, tarota, bamboo, Chistmas & alto flutes, slide whistles, sheng, Melodica, Akai Wind controller, moog subsequent, gongs, brontosaurus & tank bells, Englephone, digital delay, Ableton mix (samples from disc 1 (Closed Universes) pieces, From the Evil Clown Catalog, and specially recorded at evil Clown Headuarters)

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.

Raffi Photo tweaked by PEK

PEK Solo - Closed & Open Universes

Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery


PEK - Solo: Closed and Open Universes (Evil Clown 9219; USA) Featuring PEK on  clarinets, alto, tenor & bass saxes, taragato, flutes, melodica, wind controller, Moog synth, gongs, bells, delay & Abelton mix/samples. Disc 1 is called “Closed Universes” and Disc 2, “Open Universes” and both discs were recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters in June of 2019. Of the more than 100 releases from Leap of Faith & the offshoots, PEK solo efforts are the most rare. As we can see & hear, PEK collects many reed instruments, as well as a wide variety of percussion, synth, samples and devices. On Disc 1, PEK plays one instrument at a time, one per section and on Disc 2, he plays all 16+ instruments with samples from Disc 1. What makes Disc 1 interesting is that we get a chance to hear PEK explore each instrument one at a time. Certain instruments are pretty rare: sheng (Chinese free reed), goat horn (ocarina made from a goat’s horn) and Christmas flute. On Disc 1, PEK uses selective digital delay on all of his chosen instruments. This works well for the gong, flutes and assorted reeds, adding a subtle haze their sound. I found the sound of this disc to be a bit lonely, yet somehow enchanting. PEK takes his time to explore each instrument, carefully bending his notes one or two at times, the delay adding an eerie sense of mystery. For Disc 2, PEK layers his multiple instruments with samples of each instrument, as well as samples from the Evil Clown catalogue. Again, PEK starts with just a gong, floating in space, resonating, filled with suspense. PEK sounds great here, the production warm and not too weird. Instead of the usual dense Leap of Faith eruptions, PEK lays back, playing with a dream-like sound. Even his simmering melodica playing sounds a bit like Sun Ra, drifting from star to star. This is the most relaxed of all Evil Clown discs. The constant delay makes this more like a space trip. Although 78+ minutes does seem rather long, I was still knocked out by the organic flow and space-age results. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG                

Review:

Leap of Faith Orchestra performs

Supernovae by PEK

by Karl  Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com

Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery


“I found the sound of this disc (disc 1) to be a bit lonely, yet somehow enchanting. PEK takes his time to explore each instrument, carefully bending his notes one or two at times, the delay adding an eerie sense of mystery... For Disc 2…  PEK sounds great here, the production warm and not too weird. Instead of the usual dense Leap of Faith eruptions, PEK lays back, playing with a dream-like sound. Even his simmering melodica playing sounds a bit like Sun Ra, drifting from star to star. This is the most relaxed of all Evil Clown discs. The constant delay makes this more like a space trip… I was still knocked by the organic flow and space-age results.”  (full review below)
- Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG                

2 Audio CDs                                              Evil Clown 9219

PEK Solo - Closed & Open Unitverses

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Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA 

12, 15 & 30 June 2019


DISC 1: Closed Universes

1: Wave like Aspects of Particle Phenomena (gong) 01:22
2. Ring Singularities (wood flute) 07:43
3. Cosmic String Loop (English horn) 06:09
4. Geometry of Space (clarinet) 11:57
5. Spin Foam (3 slide whistles) 04:13
6. Closed Loops of Force (goat horn) 03:28
7. Quanta of Space (sheng) 08:59
8. Probability Amplitudes (alto saxophone) 09:11
9. Equations of motion (Christmas flute) 04:28
10. Intractability (tenor saxophone) 09:15
11. Spacetime intervals (alto flute) 05:54
12. Ring singularities reprise (wood flute) 01:47
13. Particle like aspects of wave phenomena (gong) 01:20 


DISC 2: Open Universes 
14.  Curvature of Space 

YouTube Video...

Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA

12, 15 & 30 June 2019