PEK Liner Notes


Albey onBass and Jane SpokenWord were associated with Cecil Taylor's final period.  Following Cecil's passing they were in Boston for about a year in 1998 and the beginning of 1999 and Albey performed a dozen or so times with Leap of Faith, Metal Chaos Ensemble and Turbulence.  In November 1998, Albey and I had been discussing doing a duet, but we decided to include Jane’s poetry as a trio.  This new Evil Clown Ensemble we called Axioms, which to me is an apt name for a band which features words - something that most Evil Clown sessions do not.

There are two definitions:
1) a statement or proposition that is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true
2) a statement or proposition on which an abstractly defined structure is based (mathematics)

These two meanings bridge the distance between poetic discussion of truths and abstract musical structures.

A few months later, about a year before the virus, Albey and Jane moved to New Orleans, so this original session, Manifestations, has been our only recording to date. 

That was an excellent set which you can check out at bandcamp:
     bandcamp:  https://axioms1.bandcamp.com/album/manifestations

As usual, the full performance is up on YouTube:
     YouTube (full performance): https://youtu.be/1GIZ7ZhEtV0

Jane also made some great MTV style video excerpts:
     I Caught You Dreaming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PGYDmzSFws&t=210s
     Flux:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPo3hF1k9Iw&t=19s
     Art of Poetry:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdtjZIIuYc8&t=14s
     Anthrax and Bombs:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaNOJifv-2o&t=14s

Albey reached out a few days back (7/21/21) to let me know that he and Jane would be in our area for a few weeks.  I immediately went to work to raise a band for an Axioms follow-up.  The original Axioms set was a trio with Joel managing the recording.  This set is a bit of a Leap of Faith crossover with the addition of Glynis on the cello and master drummer Steve Niemitz.

Three days later this current performance, Hypotheses, was LIVESTREAMED to YouTube from Evil Clown Headquarters.  Janes new poems really ring out, and with Leap of Faith as the backup band with Albey’s amazing electric upright bass holding down the bottom end, this is a very special session and a suitable follow up to Manifestations…  Albey and Jane have recently moved back to New York.  Being much closer than NOLA and with old Boston ties, I expect we’ll see them more often and be able to record more Axioms albums.  So stay tuned!!

PEK – 26 July 2021    

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 

Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery


AXIOMS with PEK / GLYNIS LOMON / JANE SPOKEN WORD  / STEVE NIEMITZ / ALBEY ONBASS - Hypothesis (Evil Clown 9279; USA) Personnel: Pek - clarinets, saxes, flute, double reeds & assorted percussion, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, Jane SW - spoken word / poetry, Albey (Balgochian) - electric contrabass and Steve Niemitz - drums & assorted percussion. When the pandemic closed everything down and forced us inside, the ever-prolific Evil Clown label also paired down to just solo discs from their founder Dave PEK. As things slowly return to the new normal, PEK has reformed a number of his different bands/projects: Leap of Faith, Metal Chaos, Turbulence and Axioms. This is the second disc from the Axioms ensemble (as far as I can tell), whose personnel includes the great contrabassist Albey Balgochian (once a member of the later period Cecil Taylor Trio) and his wife Jane. Both Albey and Jane have chosen to not use their last names for this unit. Not sure why but I didn’t find it that hard to figure this out.

Considering that there are over 100 discs on Evil Clown, very few have any spoken word segments. I recall perhaps two discs with PEK or Yuri Zbitnov doing some sci-fi-like narration which just added to the weirdness factor. The addition of a bassist is a good thing here as practically none of the other Evil Clown releases have one. Albey’s bass adds a central guiding force to the quintet, speeding up, slowing down, keeping the rhythm flow with the drummer ongoing. Ms. Jane’s poetry describes life in NYC, sometimes treacherous or disturbing, sometimes funny, sometimes just the normal everyday whatnot. The music is often stripped down to just the occasional spoken words with minimal accompaniment. “The revolution will not be digitized!” This disc is unlike anything else on Evil Clown in that it is more relaxed, more sparse with time to consider the words that Jane is speaking. She makes a number of interesting observations about modern life. This disc is more of an Albey and Jane session than anything else, hence showing a completely different side to the Leap of Faith endeavors of the past and present.

- Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG    

Review ​Excerpt by Bruce Lee Gallanter (full review below):  

“… Albey’s bass adds a central guiding force to the quintet, speeding up, slowing down, keeping the rhythm flow with the drummer ongoing. Ms. Jane’s poetry describes life in NYC, sometimes treacherous or disturbing, sometimes funny, sometimes just the normal everyday whatnot. The music is often stripped down to just the occasional spoken words with minimal accompaniment… This disc is unlike anything else on Evil Clown in that it is more relaxed, more sparse with time to consider the words that Jane is speaking...”


Excerpt from PEK Liner Notes:
Albey reached out a few days back (7/21/21) to let me know that he and Jane would be in our area for a few weeks.  I immediately went to work to raise a band for an Axioms follow-up.  The original Axioms set was a trio with Joel managing the recording.  This set is a bit of a Leap of Faith crossover with the addition of Glynis on the cello and master drummer Steve Niemitz.


Squidco Blurb:

​"The second album of free improv with poetry from the Boston-based Evil Clown collective band Axioms of David Peck, Jane SpokenWord and Albey onBass, this album extending the trio with Glynis Lomon on cello and Steve Niemitz on drums & percussion, heard in an extended improvisation bridging the distance between poetic discussion of truths and abstract musical structures."


Axioms - Hypotheses

Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA - 24 July 2021

​Audio CD             Evil Clown 9279

Axioms - Hypotheses
streaming, downloads and CD mail Order

Squidco: CD Mail Order

1) Hypotheses - 1:10:47

   Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA

   24 July 2021


Jane SpokenWord  - poetry, spoken word
PEK -  clarinet, contralto & contrabass clarinets, alto & tenor saxophones, bass flute, piccolo oboe, bass tromboon, sheng, [d]ronin, electric chimes, chime rod boxes, telstar, spring boxes, gongs, Tibetan bowls & bells, glockenspiel, crotales, orchestral chimes. looper, voice

Glynis Lomon - cello, aquasonic, voice
Albey onBass - electric upright bass,

   gongs 

Steve Niemitz -  drums, gongs, plate gongs, brontosaurus & tank bells, cow bells, almgocken, chimes, log dums,wood blocks, temple blocks​
Joel Simches - live to 2 track recording

2

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.

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

Review:

Leap of Faith Orchestra performs

Supernovae by PEK

by Karl  Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com