​Audio CD                    Evil Clown 9241

Leap of Faith - The Observed Present


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The Observed Present - 1:30:32

Evil Clown Headquarters

Waltham MA, 15 February 2020


PEK -  clarinet & contrabass clarinet, tenor & bass saxophones, tarota, bass tromboon, Christmas flute, melodica, game calls, moog subsequent & prophet synths, Malletkat & Akai EWI midi controllers, [d]ronin, gongs, orchestral chimes, brontosaurus & tank bells, Tibetan bowls, bells, trine, Englephone, castanets, rattles, crotales, cymbells​
Glynis Lomon - cello, aquasonic, voice

Eric Woods - modular analog synthesis, Englephone, Tibetan bowls, balafon, log drum

PEK tweak of a raffi photo

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.

Review:

Leap of Faith Orchestra performs

Supernovae by PEK

by Karl  Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com

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

2

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.

Eric Woods, our guest for this performance, is Evil Clown's resident expert at analog synthesis… He has appeared on 9 Metal Chaos Ensemble albums and 5 Leap of Faith Orchestra albums. Two of his LOFO appearances have been on my graphic notation scores for the full orchestra and three have been with the LOFO & Sub-Units shows at Third Life Studios. This is his first set in a small ensemble format Leap of Faith performance.

You can go to Eric’s Evil Clown bio page for links to his performances with LOFO & MCE along with other cool content… https://www.evilclown.rocks/bio-eric-woods.html

Originally, this set was supposed to occur at Outpost 186, where Evil Clown has a 3rd Saturday residency dating back 4 or 5 years now. Although I have cancelled a few sets there over the years due to adverse winter or extreme summer heat conditions, this was the first time that the venue has needed to cancel… Rob is having some conflict with the city of Cambridge that he needs to resolve… Anyway, one advantage of having built out Evil Clown Headquarters to be a LIVESTREAMING YouTube venue, is that it is always available. That’s great for scheduling recordings / streaming performances, but occasionally really great for an instant venue change!!!

The instrumental resources available at Evil Clown Headquarters far exceed what I can transport to Outpost 186 or fit in their small space. So, the debut of this trio LOF lineup had access to the heavy percussion and electronics gear which is too much to move for a live performance in a small space. This is equipment that I always use for Metal Chaos Ensemble which typically contains more rock elements than Leap of Faith. For this set, we use the electronics and percussion without the rock elements of groove, electric bass and the drum set, suitable for Leap of Faith. I think this was a fantastic set and am already planning for more sets in the future from this very different new Leap of Faith trio configuration.

Subscribe to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClfRlTeeHnSxRsJTkFakiJw/videos for notifications on future LIVE STREAMING events.


- PEK 2/16/20

​Liner Notes Excerpt by PEK (Full Notes Below)

"... For this set, we use the electronics and percussion without the rock elements of groove, electric bass and the drum set, suitable for Leap of Faith. I think this was a fantastic set and am already planning for more sets in the future from this very different new Leap of Faith trio configuration.  …"   


Squidco Blurb  

"The debut of this reconfigured Boston-area trio drawn from the Leap of Faith lineup, starting with the core duo of PEK on clarinets, saxophones, clarinets & flutes, and Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, with guest Eric Woods on synth and percussion, the trio using heavy percussion and electronics gear in a unique journey of extended freeform improvisation."   - Squidco Staff

Leap of Faith - The Observed Present

Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA
15 February 2020

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