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
Review Excerpt by Bruce Lee Gallanter,
Downtown Music Gallery (full review below)
"Like most discs by Leap of Faith, this one starts off with ritualistic percussion: gongs, cymbals, bells, drums… one by one, slowly building until other instruments enter… the low-end drone of a double reed… subtle layers of percussion ever-expanding… What makes this session/set different from past Leap of Faith is that it is often laid back… no weird vocals or over the top intensity. It shows another side to this band which is rarely heard." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
LEAP OF FAITH with PEK / GLYNIS LOMON / YURI ZBITNOV / SYDNEY SMART - Fractured Symmetries (Evil Clown 9176; USA) Featuring Dave PEK on sopranino, alto, tenor & bass saxes, clarinets, tarogato, flute, harmonium, etc., Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonics & voice and Sydnet Smart & Yuri Zbitnov on drums, percussion & metal. This disc was recorded live at Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA in April of 2018. Since the current core members of Leap of Faith are just the trio of PEK, Ms. Lomon & Mr. Zbitnov, this quartet is one of the smaller versions of Leap of Faith. You should recognize the name of their guest drummer, Syd Smart, from records he’s made with Raphe Malik, Ted Daniel and Frank Wright.
Like most discs by Leap of Faith, this one starts off with ritualistic percussion: gongs, cymbals, bells, drums… one by one, slowly building until other instruments enter… the low-end drone of a double reed… subtle layers of percussion ever-expanding… What makes this session/set different from past Leap of Faith is that it is often laid back… no weird vocals or over the top intensity. It shows another side to this band which is rarely heard. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
PEK tweak of a Raffi Photo
Leap of Faith - Fractured Symmetries
Outpost 186, Cambridge MA - 21 April 2018
Liner Notes by PEK
Leap of Faith is the core trio of the Leap of Faith Orchestra (LOFO) comprised of PEK on clarinets, saxophones, clarinets & flutes, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, and Yuri Zbitnov on drums & percussion. The ensemble is based in Boston and dates back to the early 90s. We utilize a huge arsenal of additional Evil Clowninstruments to improvise long works featuring transformations across highly varied sonorities. The ensemble has always been highly modular and our many recordings feature the core trio in dozens of configurations with a huge list of guests.
On Fractured Symmetries, we are joined by Sydney Smart. Syd goes way back with Leap of Faith to the early 90s and even before that with Glynis. Syd was a frequent guest in the original LOF lineup with PEK, Glynis and trombonist Mark McGrain and in the second LOF lineup with PEK, Glynis and bassist Craig Schildhauer. PEK, Glynis, Yuri and Syd all played together in the ensembles of Raqib Hassan. In addition, Glynis and Syd have played together with pianist Eric Zinman for many years in a trio called New Language Collaborative.
We love playing with Syd who brings an amazing sensibility to pure improvisation. In recent years Syd has been using an electronic percussion rig which is easier to move than drum set. So, this Leap of Faith performance has great depth in the percussion section with Syd on electronic and acoustic percussion and Yuri on drums and percussion with PEK chiming in occasionally. Glynis was running a bit late, so we opened with a short piece as a trio, and then after a rapid cello setup, we did the main event as a quartet.
Fractured Symmetries was recorded in performance at Outpost 186 in Cambridge MA where Evil Clown has a residency on the third Saturday of each month. For each performance we use a variation on the core Leap of Faith ensemble with guests or one of the other named Sub-Units of the LOFO: Metal Chaos Ensemble (the extended percussion section), Turbulence (the expanded horn section), String Theory (the expanded string section), or Mekaniks (featuring some electronic instruments, loops and signal processing).
PEK, 22 April 2018
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.
Audio CD Evil Clown 9176
Leap of Faith - Fractured Symmetries
streaming, downloads and CD mail Order
1) Number One - 11:59
2) Fractured Symmetries - 1:01:34
Cambridge MA -21 April 2018
PEK (1, 2) - sopranino, alto, tenor & bass saxophones, clarinet & contraalto clarinet, tarota, english horn, contrabassoon, alto flute, sheng, harmonium, aquasonic, metal, wood, wind siren, hand chimes, voice
Glynis Lomon (2) - cello, aquasonic, voice