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

This is a huge release for Leap of Faith on Relative Pitch.  Long-time friend to Evil Clown, Kevin Reilly, has put us in the company of elite improvisors including Tim Berne, Nate Wooley, Joe Morris, Zeena Parkins, Bruce Ackley, Fred Frith, Jessica Pavone, Ingrid Laubrock, Peter Brotzman, Wadada Leo Smith, Evan Parker, Maty Halvorson and many others! 

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 various core units in dozens of configurations with a huge list of guests and occasionally as only the core unit with no guests. 

There are relatively few recordings of the PEK/Lomon core duet without other players since previous core units have generally been trios/quartets.   There are, however, a few sets from the archival period in the 90s and the more recent Categories of Being and Their Relations from July of 2018.  It is interesting to expose Glynis and myself without other performers, since out history is so long and since in many ways the development of my mature improvisation language is a direct response to Glynis’.  The core duet behaves as a bellwether to the balance of larger ensembles, guiding the improvisation, and when presented alone, reveals our deep connection not always so readily apparent in bigger bands.

In 2014, I was working in NYC for my day gig and I swung by Downtown Music Gallery where I had been a mail order customer for years.  I had a great conversation with Bruce Lee Gallanter and the next week I sent him a bunch of CDs recorded during the archival period.  Bruce sold these CDs quite well and I later realized that Kevin Reilly and a few of his NY pals had purchased the lion’s share.  Kevin became a fan and has purchased many of our releases from bandcamp.  Kevin runs Relative Pitch Records which releases CDs by many of the movers and shakers in the downtown improvisation scene…  At the end of last year Kevin asked me if Glynis and I would like to record for Relative Pitch and I immediately responded in the affirmative since we will be in such amazing company! 

I scheduled two sessions in January and February 2020 with Glynis, myself and the Evil Clown resident recording engineer Joel Simches.   Instead of our typical full concert duration of 70 minutes, we played two 35 minutes pieces at each recording session.  We then selected two of the tracks for Principles of an Open Future for Relative Pitch and two of the tracks for Phenomena which is available now on bandcamp and our other regular venues…

PEK 3/4/20


This is a huge release for us on Relative Pitch.  Long-time friend to Evil Clown, Kevin Reilly, has put us in the company of elite improvisors including Tim Berne, Nate Wooley, Joe Morris, Zeena Parkins, Bruce Ackley, Fred Frith, Jessica Pavone, Ingrid Laubrock, Peter Brotzman, Wadada Leo Smith, Evan Parker, Mary Halvorson and many others!  



Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG (Full Text Below)      

“… What is wonderful about this is how well these two work together, creating a stimulating dialogue as they go. The main thing I dig about this disc is this: it doesn’t quite sound like other Leap of Faith discs on the Evil Clown label, it sounds warmed and somehow friendlier, never too weird but still immensely creative and exploratory.“


​Liner Notes Excerpt by PEK (Full Notes Below)

"... There are relatively few recordings of the PEK/Lomon core duet without other players since previous core units have generally been trios/quartets.   There are, however, a few sets from the archival period in the 90s and the more recent Categories of Being and Their Relations from July of 2018.  It is interesting to expose Glynis and myself without other performers, since out history is so long and since in many ways the development of my mature improvisation language is a direct response to Glynis’.  The core duet behaves as a bellwether to the balance of larger ensembles, guiding the improvisation, and when presented alone, reveals our deep connection not always so readily apparent in bigger bands.…"   


Squidco Blurb  

"An embraceable & explorative example of the core duo of the Boston-area free improvising ensemble Leap of Faith (the foundation of the Leap of Faith Orchestra) of David Peck on reeds and Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, both employing the enormous Evil Clown arsenal of percussive and sonic devices, in two large works recorded at their headquarter studio."

Photos by Rob Miller

​Audio CD                    Relative Pitch 1112

Leap of Faith - Principles of an Open Future


bandcamp:   streaming, downloads and CD mail Order 

Sqiodco:  CD Orders


1) Changing the Basis - 35:25
PEK - clarinet, contralto clarinet, tenor & bass saxophone, contrabassoon, aquasonic, sheng, game calls, gongs, Englephone, crotales, cymbells, flex-a-tone, voice
Glynis Lomon – cello, aquasonic, voice, claps

2) Principles of an Open Future - 35:32
PEK – clarinet, alto & tenor saxophones, tarota, bass tromboon, flute & alto flute, sheng, melodica, orchestral chimes, Tibetan bowls, brontosaurus & tank bells, gongs, voice​
Glynis Lomon – cello, aquasonic, voice

Joel Simches - Live to 2-track recording

PEK tweak of a Catherine Hammond photo

Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery


LEAP OF FAITH with PEK / GLYNIS LOMON - Principles of an Open Future (Relative Pitch RPR 1112; USA) Featuring PEK on clarinets, alto, tenor & bass saxes, contrabassoon, sheng, game calls, percussion & aquasonic and Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic and voice. Considering that Boston-area-based Leap of Faith (various versions from duo to orchestra & several offshoot projects) have more than a 100 discs out on their own Evil Clown label, you might think that I had heard (and reviewed) enough of their vast catalogue, I still look forward to those boxes of 5+ new titles every few months. Glynis Lomon and Dave Peck are two core members of Leap of Faith having worked together on all of the Leap of Faith releases. Kevin Reilly, cofounder of the Relative Pitch label caught Leap of Faith at a couple of New York locations (at DMG & at Cisco Bradley’s place) and decided to offer LoF a chance to record for RP. The core of Leap of Faith has changed over the years somewhat, the band is most often a quartet or larger. Duo versions are pretty rare so that is what this is. Things begin with the mysterious sound of an acquasonic (or bowed waterphone) and then joined by percussion and what sounds like a melodica. This disc is well recorded and well-balanced. Ms. Lomon is in truly fine form here, bowing intense bent-note, free-music while PEK slowly worked his way through some 14 instruments, one at a time. At times Ms. Lomon lets loose with her wacky vocal antics with PEK occasionally joining her. Although the duo do get weird at times (w/ occasional odd voices), everything flows organically, nothing is forced. What is wonderful about this is how well these two work together, creating a stimulating dialogue as they go. The main thing I dig about this disc is this: it doesn’t quite sound like other Leap of Faith discs on the Evil Clown label, it sounds warmed and somehow friendlier, never too weird but still immensely creative and exploratory. 

- Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG    

On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... ​using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation."   - Squidco website staff

Review:

Leap of Faith Orchestra performs

Supernovae by PEK

by Karl  Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com

Photos by Catherine Hammond

Leap of Faith - Principles of an Open Future

Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA
23 January & 13 February 2020

Evil Clown 

On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG

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