On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation." - Squidco website staff
On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2017 to present
Leap of Faith Orchestra performs
by Karl Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com
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.
Photos by Raffi
Since the 2015 Evil Clown reboot we have been gradually adding more electronic components to the music. All of the various ensembles have had electronic treatments on some of the sessions, but Metal Chaos Ensemble and Mekaniks have featured signal processing and electronic instruments as a primary element. Now we introduce the newest ensemble which not only features the electronics but tips far more over into the rock world than any of our other projects. The big change is newcomer Jason Adams who handles the electric bass role in Axmunkee - Catherine Cappozzi's rock band - with Yuri at the drums. So Jason and Yuri have played a lot together in a structured song-based rock band.
Jason, however, also has a deep background with granular synthesis. At the end of last year Jason and Yuri happened to be at the Axmunkee rehearsal space when a scheduled rehearsal was canceled at the last second. So, they had a Space Rock duet with ambient sections and hard groove sections and the computer synth element provided by Jason. It was an exciting jam, and Yuri immediately got to work on scheduling a session for Jason to come to Evil Clown Headquarters to do a full length set with Jason's rig and the full Evil Clown arsenal...
We had that first trio set last Thursday - Creation Event!!! This excellent debut has a very different vibe than all of the other Evil Clown Ensembles and we have decided to add it as a regular project to the roster....
The odd name, Chicxulub, is the asteroid which struck the Earth 65 million years ago, killing the dinosaurs and rebooting the planet for our current cycle of life - A Creation Event arising from the destructive power of a Giant Space Rock!! So check out what happens when Sparkles decides to get his groove on...
Stay tuned for more from Chicxulub....
- PEK (28 January 2017)
Raffi Photos tweak by PEK