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
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.
PEK tweak of a Raffi Photo
Audio CD Evil Clown 9174
Leap of Faith - Semantic Differentials
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1) A Measure of Connotative Meaning - 1:00:45
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA -5 April 2018
PEK - clarinet & contrabass clarinet, alto, tenor & bass saxophones, english horn, mussette, alto flute, [d]ronin, daxophone, ms-20, aquasonic, sheng, accordion, wood, metal, hand chimes
Leap of Faith - Semantic Differentials
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA - 5 April 2018
Liner Notes by PEK
Leap of Faith is the core trio of the Leap of Faith Orchestra (LOFO) comprised of PEK on
clarinets, saxophones, clarinets & 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.
Mimi Rabson is our star violinist from the LOFO. She is a brilliant and highly in demand player who also teaches at Berklee. We love playing with Mimi and have her play with us as often as we can. In order to keep momentum that comes from regular sessions in small improvisation units, Glynis, Yuri and myself work around Mimi’s availability to schedule as many Evil Clown Headquarters sessions as we can. To date, we have recorded 2 prior excellent sessions of this quartet at ECH in addition to this current offering, Semantic Differentials (April 2018): Zeno’s Paradox (September 2017) and Thought Experiment (November 2017).
One special thing about the ECH sessions is the ready availability of all of the instruments in the Evil Clown Arsenal. The studio is pretty big, but there is not enough room for the entire Arsenal, so we select auxiliary instruments until the room is full. The available sound palette is the biggest we customarily use except for full Orchestra shows at larger venues (when we move it all with a truck).
PEK, 5 April 2018