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

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.

Excerpt from PEK Liner Notes:
“… So Let the Following be Postulated is a return to the trio format of the first few Axioms’ performances.  I expected, and did notice, that my interactions with Albey have significantly deepened over the many times we have played together mostly in larger groups.  Often, when players improvise together in larger groups this deep interaction develops, and then when the group is smaller again, the deepness of the connection becomes more apparent…”


​Audio CD             Evil Clown 9321

Axioms - Let the Following be Postulated
streaming, downloads and CD mail Order

1) Let the Following be Postulated -     

        1:10:45

   Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA

   24 August 2022


Jane SpokenWord  - poetry, spoken word, gong, chimes
PEK - clarinet, contralto & contrabass clarinets, alto & tenor saxophones, bass flute, shenai, melodica, chimes, gongs, [d]ronin, 17 string bass, spring & chime boxes, electric chimes, Tibetan bells, plate gong, almglocken, crotales, glockenspiel,  log drums, wood blocks, brontosaurus & tank bells, novation peak, moog subsequent, syntrix, Linnstrument controllers​
Albey onBass - electric fretless bass, brontosaurus bell, log drums, gong, wood blocks, almglocken, novation peak, moog subsequent, Linnstrument controllers, spoken word

PEK Liner Notes


Albey onBass and Jane SpokenWord were associated with Cecil Taylor's final trio. Following Cecil's passing they were in Boston for about a year in 2017-2018 and Albey performed a dozen or so times with Leap of Faith, Metal Chaos Ensemble and Turbulence. In November 2018, 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 the original session from December 2018, Manifestations, had been our only recording to date.

Back in July 2021, soon after I reopened Evil Clown Headquarters for YouTube streaming performances / recordings (following the time when musicians could be fully vaccinated for the virus), Albey reached out saying that he and Jane would be in the Boston area for a few weeks, and we recorded Hypotheses a few days later.  Now, Albey and Jane are back and forth between New York and Boston, so they are in town quite frequently and Axioms has done three Livestreams this year and Albey has done a bunch of other sets with the other Evil Clown Ensembles. 

In fact, Albey was supposed to be in town last week for a Perturbations set (an instrumental duet with heavy real-time signal processing from house engineer Joel Simches).  He had to withdraw from that since he was needed in New York and saxophonist Michael Caglianone took the second instrumental chair for that set – we produced a great show that was very different than it would have been with Albey.  As I am getting ready to do some construction on the house to greatly improve the studio, I’ve scheduled a lot of back-to-back sessions, but Albey and Jane were going to be back in town this week and there was a small hole in the schedule, so we added last night as a last second booking.  Due to the late arrangement, I did not call Glynis Lomon, who has been on most of the recent Axioms sets, and we proceeded this session as a trio.

So Let the Following be Postulated is a return to the trio format of the first few Axioms’ performances.  I expected,  and did notice,  that my interactions with Albey have significantly deepened over the many times we have played together mostly in larger groups.  Often, when players improvise together in larger groups this deep interaction develops, and then when the group is smaller again, the deepness of the connection becomes more apparent.

This is a terrific performance of improvisation with poetry by this small powerful trio edition of Axioms…  I really like this set and I bet you will also!

PEK – 25 August 2022

Review:

Leap of Faith Orchestra performs

Supernovae by PEK

by Karl  Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com

Axioms - Let the Following be Postulated

LIVESTREAMED to YouTube

Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA - 24 August 2022