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.
Excerpt from PEK Liner Notes
“… So, the final band was quintet – three horns and two strings – gaining one player and losing one player to the stupid virus. Of course, in a contemporary session at Evil Clown headquarters there are plenty of percussion and electronic instruments that the players can double… This group is comprised entirely of players from the roster with great experience and pedigree. It was a no brainer to predict the performance would be stellar, and with the gifted skills of house engineer Joel Simches, the recording is also outstanding!!”
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 -
Ordered and Disordered Localities
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA: 14 April 2022
On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation." - Squidco website staff
----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.
An early core ensemble (early 90s) was PEK, Lomon and Mark McGrain on trombone. Following that version, the next core trio was PEK, Lomon and Craig Schildhuaer (double bass). During this period the great drummer Syd Smart was a guest of both versions of Leap of Faith. On several occasions all 5 of these players performed together as a quintet. These ensembles all feature strings and winds sometimes with percussion in various combinations. Recently, we have done several sets that follow one of these basic models with new contemporary period Evil Clown arrivals Ellwood Epps (tp), Vance Provey (tp), Nate McBride (b) and Eric Rosenthal (dr). A few weeks back, we did a fantastic sextet set for Alex Lemski’s CMS series at the Lilypad in Cambridge MA with three strings, two horns (PEK & Provey) and drums.
Originally, this set was supposed to be a septet will all the above players: 3 horns, 3 strings and drums. A studio recording follow up to the live Lilypad show with the optimal ensemble of all 7 of these amazing musicians. However, as often happens as we approach an event, the makeup of the ensemble changed… First Ellwood let me know several weeks before that he was going to tour his band up in Montreal and that he would not make this set… Nate also had to withdraw due to conflicts. So, the plan was to do a quintet with two horns, two strings and drums… Then Covid played some tricks! First, Ellwood let me know that one of his bandmates had Covid and his tour was cancelled, so he would make the set after all. Then, the day of the performance, Eric emailed that he had been hanging out with someone who tested positive a few days prior and had to sit it out… So, the final band was quintet – three horns and two strings – gaining one player and losing one player to the stupid virus. Of course, in a contemporary session at Evil Clown headquarters there are plenty of percussion and electronic instruments that the players can double…
This group is comprised entirely of players from the roster with great experience and pedigree. It was a no brainer to predict the performance would be stellar, and with the gifted skills of house engineer Joel Simches, the recording is also outstanding!!
Audio CD Evil Clown 9303
Leap of Faith - Ordered and Disordered Localities
bandcamp: streaming, downloads and CD mail Order
1) Ordered and Disordered Localities- 1:10:32
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA
14 April 2022
PEK - clarinet, contralto & contrabass clarinets, alto, & tenor saxophones, tarota, piccolo oboe, bass flute, sheng, orchestral chimes, gongs, plate gong, chimes, Tibetan bowls & bells, almgocken, Englephone, brontosaurus & tank bells, wood blocks, temple blocks, log drum, balafon, xylophone, spring & chime boxes, [d]ronin, novation peak, moog subsequent, syntrix, prophet, Linnstrument controllers, 17 string bass
Glynis Lomon - cello, aquasonic, voice
Vance Provey- trumpet, log drums, novation peak, moog subsequent, syntrix, prophet, Linnstrument controllers, crotales, Englephone
Ellwood Epps - trumpet, Tibetan bowls, balafon
Albey onBass - electric upright bass, gong
Joel Simches - live to 2-track recording, real time signal processing