On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
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.
Liner Notes by PEK
Leap of Faith is the core duet of the Leap of Faith Orchestra (LOFO) comprised of PEK on clarinets, saxophones, clarinets & flutes, and Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice. The ensemble is based in Boston and dates back to the early 90s. We utilize a huge arsenal of additional Evil Clown instruments to improvise long works featuring transformations across highly varied sonorities. At times, the core unit has been a trio or even a quartet. The longest running core unit was comprised of PEK, Glynis and drummer Yuri Zbitnov, who played for the last couple of years of the archival period and the first 5 years of the reboot starting in 2015. The ensemble has always been highly modular and our many recordings (well over 100) feature the core unit in dozens of configurations with a huge list of guests and occasionally as only the core unit with no guests.
This is the first Leap of Faith set with this quartet lineup. Both Eric Woods (analog synthesis) and Reverend Grant Beale (guitar) have played with Leap of Faith and other Evil Clown ensembles for years. Recently, both played on the debut set of Simulacrum (Hyperreality) which features the electronics players from the roster. The combination of acoustic and electronic instruments in improvisation is an interesting aesthetic problem which has concerned several of the EC bands for some time. Eric is very good at blending his analog electronics into everything from the more rock-oriented Metal Chaos Ensemble sets to the more acoustic Leap of Faith environment. I have also been adding electronic and electro-acoustic instruments to my own set up for the last few years. Grant, who has brought noise electronics and processed guitar into Simulacrum and Metal Chaos Ensemble sets, brought his clean sounding guitar to this session.
This is a strong set as I expected, since everyone is still very excited to be able to play music again with others. Stay tuned for a steady stream of new sets over the next few months from Leap of Faith and all the other active Evil Clown ensembles.
Leap of Faith - Loops of Gravitational Force
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA - 25 September 2021
Liner Notes Excerpt by PEK
“… This is the first Leap of Faith set with this quartet lineup. Both Eric Woods (analog synthesis) and Reverend Grant Beale (guitar) have played with Leap of Faith and other Evil Clown ensembles for years. Recently, both played on the debut set of Simulacrum (Hyperreality) which features the electronics players from the roster. The combination of acoustic and electronic instruments in improvisation is an interesting aesthetic problem which has concerned several of the EC bands for some time…”
Audio CD Evil Clown 9284
Leap of Faith
- Loops of Gravitational Force
streaming, downloads and CD mail Order
1) Loops of Gravitational Force- 1:10:08
PEK - clarinet, contralto & contrabass clarinets, tenor & alto saxophones, bass flute, piccolo oboe, contrabassoon, sheng, bass & tenor ocarinas, slide whistle, fog horn, electric upright bass, gongs, brontosaurus & tank bells, Tibetan bowls, cowbells, almglocken, wood blocks, temple blocks, log drums, chimes, orchestral chimes, electric chimes, xylophone, balafon, glockenspiel, Englephone, crotales, [d[ronin, chime & spring boxes, telstar, lfo synths
Glynis Lomon cello, aquasonic, voice
Eric Woods - analog synthesis
Reverend Grant Beale - guitar
On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation." - Squidco website staff