Liner Notes by PEK

Occasionally there is a break in the Evil Clown schedule 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.

For this set I decided to take a different approach. Instead of a pre-recorded Ableton mix, I used a batch of effects stomp boxes along with the theremin, [d]ronin, daxophone and the newly arrived mpa 019. I recorded a loop with the mpa 019 and set up long delays on the other instruments and a moog ring modulator on the theremin. Several of these options create sounds that persist over time, so as the improvisation unfolds sometimes I have sometimes have several simultaneous sets of sounds and sometimes decay from these devices available to cover transitions between instruments.

One thing I really like about solo sessions is that I can do them spontaneously. I worked all day Saturday on the new Frame Notation Score, Systems of Celestial Mechanics, and was planning to continue on Sunday. As I was starting the day, I changed my mind and did this recording instead. I’m super happy with the result which contains fairly long sections (4 to 5 minutes) of focused solos of the horns I used (sopranino & tenor saxophones, contralto clarinet & sheng) as well as a bunch of the metal percussion and weirder electronic instruments ([d]ronin, mpa 019, daxophone, theremin) often sounding together…

PEK – 10/28/2019

YouTube Video...

Audio CD                                     Evil Clown 9217

PEK Solo - Closed & Open Universes


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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) - 1:23
2. Ring singularities (wood flute) - 7:43
3. Cosmic string loop (English horn) - 6:09
4. Geometry of Space (clarinet) - 11:57
5. Spin foam (3 slide whistles) - 4:13
6. Closed loops of force (goat horn) - 3:29
7. Quanta of space (sheng) - 8:59
8. Probability Amplitudes (alto saxophone) - 9:11
9. Equations of motion (Christmas flute) - 4:28
10. Intractability (tenor Sax) - 9:15
11. Spacetime intervals (alto flute) - 5:54
12. Ring singularities reprise (wood flute) - 1:47
13. Particle like aspects of wave phenomena (gong) - 1:20
PEK - All instruments, digital delay

Disc 2:  Open Universes
1. Curvature of Space - 1:18:22

PEK - clarinet & contralto clarinet, alto, tenor & bass saxophones, tarota, bamboo, Chistmas  & alto flutes, Melodica,  Akai Wind controller, moog subsequent, gongs, brontosaurus & tank bells, Englephone, digital delay, Ableton mix (samples from disc 1 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.

"Evil Clown mastermind David Peck (PEK) in a double album of solo work, first solo acoustic, then in a long work accompanied by his own prepared mixes, using clarinets, saxophones, English horn, goat horn, tarota, bamboo, Chistmas & alto flutes, slide whistles, sheng, Melodica, Akai Wind controller, moog subsequent, gongs, brontosaurus & tank bells, Englephone, and delay."

- Squidco Staff


​​Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA

12, 15 & 30 June 2019

Evil Clown 

Review:

Leap of Faith Orchestra performs

Supernovae by PEK

by Karl  Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com

PEK Solo - Closed & Open Universes 

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

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