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

2

Liner Notes by PEK


In March of 2020, just before the onset of the pandemic, I had a first session with a new percussionist, Michael Knoblach entitled Main Sequence…  Although Michael plays the drum set, in recent years he has been focused on unusual percussion.  This duet with the Evil Clown percussion arsenal along with instruments from Michael’s huge collection available enabled wonderful new sonority.  Michael plays at a quieter mean dynamic than is typical for Evil Clown ensembles.  Leap of Faith, in particular, has stretches of this quieter space in nearly every improvisation, but the mean dynamic is much louder.  It was very interesting to focus an entire set on my lower volume vocabulary. 

Now, after the vaccines have allowed Livestreaming sessions and occasional live performance to resume, Michael and I have done several more Expanse sets and a few Leap of Faith sets.  As with all the ongoing core projects, Expanse is modular and has different guests on different sets to make each session a distinct aesthetic problem.  Since the dynamic of Expanse is lower, we have done smaller ensembles, duets up to quintets…  This new trio edition brings in Evil Clown regular Eric Woods who plays analog synthesis in Metal Chaos Ensemble and Leap of Faith settings.  I spent a long time looking for an electronics guru who would fit well in a EAI setting.  There are good players around, but most synth people are pop culture oriented and not a good fit.

I was expecting this to be a great session and I was not disappointed.  It has a very different vibe than either my previous work with Michael or my previous work with Eric.  Not a surprise that the session is so different – the broad palette aesthetic concepts tend to produce widely different solutions, and this is a very unique combination of players and broad instrumentation.

Evil Clown will emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever, so stay tuned for several new releases per month from the various ensembles!!!

PEK, 27 April 2022

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.

Expanse - Chromatic Spectrum

LIVESTREAMEDfrom Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA
26 April 2022


Liner Notes Excerpt by PEK (Full text below) 

“… I was expecting this to be a great session and I was not disappointed.  It has a very different vibe than either my previous work with Michael or my previous work with Eric.  Not a surprise that the session is so different – the broad palette aesthetic concepts tend to produce widely different solutions, and this is a very unique combination of players and broad instrumentation.…”  


PEK - clarinet, contralto & contrabass clarinets, alto, tenor & bass saxophones, mussette, shenai, sheng,  bawu, bass flute, spring & chime boxes, electric chimes, chimes, flex-a-tone, fog horns, Englephone, almglocken, brontosaurus & tank bells, gongs, plate gong, Tibetan bells, crotales, glockenspiel, log drums, wood blocks, temple blocks. orchestral castanets, flex-a-tone 

Eric Woods - analog synthesis, gong, cymbells, chimes, Englephone, cowbells, wood blocks, log drums, brontosaurus & tank bells
Michael Knoblach - frame drum, busy box drum, tank drum, enamel bowls,  devil chasers axatse, abacuses, African rattles, Fischer Price toys, sheep shears, slinky, wooden billiards triangle, tit-fer, bells, antique child rattles, sand blocks, horses-ass-a-phone, basket of rocks, spooky world noise makers, spinning toy, acme siren whistle, mortar & pestle, large American percussion riq with wooden zils, lobster pot, Atlantis gong



Review:

Leap of Faith Orchestra performs

Supernovae by PEK

by Karl  Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com

Audio CD                       Evil Clown 9305

LIVESTREAMED from Evil Clown Headquarters

Waltham MA

26 April  2022


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