Audio CD Evil Clown 9290
Leap of Faith - Meaning Arising
streaming, downloads and CD mail Order
1) Meaning Arising- 1:10:26
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA
20 November 2021
PEK - clarinet, contralto & contrabass clarinets, sopranino & tenor saxophones, bass flute, tarota, medieval horn, goat horn, melodica, gongs, Englephone, brontosaurus & tank bells, Tibetan bowls, cowbells, almglocken, wood blocks, temple blocks, log drums, chimes, orchestral chimes, electric chimes, xylophone, balafon, castanets, glockenspiel, crotales, temple bell, [d]ronin, 17 string bass, chime & spring boxes, telstar, theremin, moogerfooger
Glynis Lomon - cello, aquasonic, voice
Ellwood Epps - trumpet. log drums, wood blocks, temple blocks, gongs, almglocken, brontosaurus bell, glockenspiel, orchestral chimes, crank siren
Nate McBride - double bass, 17 string electric bass, Englephone, balafon, almglocken, glockenspiel, seed pod rattle, Tibetan bells
Eric Rosenthal - drums, gong, crotales, Englephone
Joel Simches - live to 2-track recording, real time signal processing
----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. Currently, the core unit is the duet of PEK and Lomon and we are regularly presenting LIVESTREAMs to YouTube from Evil Clown Headquarters with other guest performers.
This is the first Leap of Faith set with this quintet lineup. There have been some changes to the Evil Clown roster over the pandemic. While many of the regulars are still around and have been participating in the LIVESTREAMING shows from Evil Clown Headquarters, some have changed up in one way or another and are no longer available. Likewise, I have some new players, and I have some that participated in the past and are now rejoining us. This is the first Evil Clown appearance by bassist Nate McBride, the second appearance by trumpeter Ellwood Epps who now lives in the Boston area and will be more available (Turbulence - Upheaval), and the third appearance by drummer Eric Rosenthal (who performed on two of the Form Notation scores for the Leap of Faith Orchestra).
Despite being a first set by this quintet, there are lots of cross connections within the Boston Improv scene. Of course, Glynis and I have played since forever, but Ellwood had been a frequent guest of Glynis’ other band the New Language Collaborative, and Nate and Eric have frequently played together in many different contexts. This is common when playing with seasoned improvisors in new settings. This ensemble sounds like it has played together many times, not one.
I’ve been looking forward to this session since I booked it. All three of the guest players stand out on their instruments and have significant credentials in the free jazz improvisation scene of the Boston area and beyond. None of them had been to Evil Clown Headquarters previously. I always enjoy when people come to my home studio for the first time. The set up of the extensive percussion equipment, the large number of my horns, and the 8-camera video mix is very rare and inevitably a great deal of fun for everyone, but especially newbies…
This is a strong set as I expected, especially 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.
Excerpt from PEK Liner Notes
" ... I’ve been looking forward to this session since I booked it. All three of the guest players stand out on their instruments and have significant credentials in the free jazz improvisation scene of the Boston area and beyond. None of them had been to Evil Clown Headquarters previously. I always enjoy when people come to my home studio for the first time. The set up of the extensive percussion equipment, the large number of my horns, and the 8-camera video mix is very rare and inevitably a great deal of fun for everyone, but especially newbies… "
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
Leap of Faith - Meaning Arising
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA: 20 November 2021
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.