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.
"For this performance the Leap of Faith trio of PEK on clarinets, saxophones, double reeds & flutes, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, and Yuri Zbitnov on drums & percussion was joined by Jim Warshauer (reeds) and Eric Dahlman (trumpet, overtone voice) to perform two improvisations, including a long work featuring transformations across highly varied sonorities."
- Squidco Staff
PEK tweak of a Raffi Photo
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 by Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
“… Leap of Faith have long mastered the art of organic improv, always building, adding layers with occasional solo bits rising out of the waves below… Always great to hear cellist Glynis Lomon at length as she is a consistently spirited & inspired cellist. Interesting combinations of instruments erupt throughout: two high reeds, cello & drums, building in density and intensity as it goes. It also quiets down to some sparse yet effective sections as well. Another strong effort from the ever-increasing treasure chest of discs from Leap of Faith and their assorted off-shoot projects.”
(Full Notes Below)
Leap of Faith - Potential and Actual Infinities
Outpost 186, Cambridge MA - 16 March 2019
Other Recent Small Format Leap of Faith links
Order of Ramifications
Categories of Being and Their Relations
Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
LEAP OF FAITH with PEK / GLYNIS LOMON / JIM WARSHAUER / ERIC DAHLMAN / YURI ZBITNOV - Potential and Actual Infinities (Evil Clown 9209; USA) Featuring PEK on sopranino, alto, tenor & bass saxes, contralto clarinet, flute, tarogato, sheng, etc.; Glynis Lomon on cello, acquasonics & voice; Jim Warshauer on curved soprano, alto & tenor saxes, flute & percussion; Eric Dahlman on trumpet & piano and Yuri Zbitnov on drums, gong, wood & metal. This is a smaller, quintet version of Leap of Faith and it was recorded live at Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA in March of 2019. Here we have the three founding embers of LoF: PEK, Ms. Lomon and Mr. Zbitnov plus occasional members: Jim Warshauer on reeds and Eric Dahlman on trumpet… After some gongs at the beginning, we hear some melodica, slide whistle or flute interweaving. Mr. Zbitnov’s mallet-work (on his shiny new drums) sounds great at the center of the slow moving storm as it escalates higher. Leap of Faith have long mastered the art of organic improv, always building, adding layers with occasional solo bits rising out of the waves below. The first shorter (14 + minutes) piece is called “Waiting for Glynis”, who must’ve arrived late she is there for the second hour long title work. Always great to hear cellist Glynis Lomon at length as she is a consistently spirited & inspired cellist. Interesting combinations of instruments erupt throughout: two high reeds, cello & drums, building in density and intensity as it goes. It also quiets down to some sparse yet effective sections as well. Another strong effort from the ever-increasing treasure chest of discs from Leap of Faith and their assorted off-shoot projects.
- Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Audio CD Evil Clown 9209
Leap of Faith
- Potential and Actual Infinities
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1. Waiting for Glynis - 14:15
2. Potential and Actual Infinities - 1:00:44
Outpost 186, Cambridge MA
16 March 2019
PEK - sopranino, alto, tenor & bass saxophones, clarinet & contralto clarinet, alto flute, tarota, contrabassoon, bass tromboon, sheng, hand chimes, gong, wood, metal, voice
Glynis Lomon - cello, aquasonic, voice
Jim Warshauer - curved soprano, alto & tenor saxophones, alto flute, whistle, frame drum, hand chimes, wood
Liner Notes by PEK
Leap of Faith is the core trio of the Leap of Faith Orchestra (LOFO) comprised of PEK on clarinets, saxophones, double reeds & 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 Clown instruments 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.
For this performance the core trio will be joined by Jim Warshauer (reeds) and Eric Dahlman (trumpet, overtone voice). Eric and Jim have a long history together and joined the Evil Clown Roster towards the beginning of 2018 as I was raising the ensemble for Leap of Faith Orchestra performs Cosmological Horizons by PEK (which was performed in July).
I love it when great players come to Evil Clown in groups with long prior histories. Their common experience enhances the deep roots of many of our various ensemble permutations. Eric and Jim fit in right away and have each performed on over half a dozen sets with Leap of Faith, Leap of Faith Orchestra and Turbulence in the last year!
This particular Leap if Faith Quintet performed in June of 2018 at Outpost 186 right before the Cosmological Horizons performance by the full orchestra... The show was a great artistic success, and it bears repeating the same quintet for this new performance...
for more info on Eric & Jim see the Evil Clown site bio pages
PEK, 17 March 2019
On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation." - Squidco website staff