Review:

Leap of Faith Orchestra performs

Supernovae by PEK

by Karl  Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com

PEK tweak of a raffi photo

Evil Clown 

2

​Liner Notes Excerpt by PEK (Full Notes Below)  “

… Ms. Lomon is featured here and shows that she is a force to be reckoned with on cello: plucking & banging on the strings as well as bowing up a storm as well. I really like the sound of that contrabass clarinet, deep and spooky and it works so well with the lower notes that Ms. Lomon plays on the cello. Drummer Niemitz often takes his time and rarely pushes the other very hard, yet still knows when to increase the intensity when need be…”


Liner Notes Excerpt by PEK (Full Notes Below)

"... It's shorter (at under 40 minutes) than a typical LOF set, but it makes up for the brevity with concise intensity. Steve is an excellent drummer who is very different than recently departed Yuri Zbitnov… It is interesting to compare this set to a typical Yuri set that has the same base instrumentation (woodwinds, cello, drums), but a very different sound. Check it out!    …" 

Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

LEAP OF FAITH with PEK / GLYNIS LOMON / STEVE NIEMITZ - Trajectories (Evil Clown 9243; USA) This is a stripped down version of Leap of Faith, just a trio with PEK on clarinets, alto & tenor saxes, musette, targato, bass tromboon & sheng; Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice and Steve Niemitz on drums. This set was recorded live at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke, MA in February of 2020 less than 2 months from today (4/14/20). The many different versions of Leap of Faith range from a duo (rare) to the Leap of Faith Orchestras. Very recently longtime Leap of Faith drummer, Yuii Zbitnov, retired from all Evil Clown ensembles. Since then, he has been replaced by a new drummer named Steve Niemitz. I can’t say that I had heard of Mr. Niemitz before now although Mr. PEK has a way of finding dozens of creative musicians from the Boston area to fill out the ranks of the various Leap of Faith and offshoot projects. 


Another difference for this session is that PEK is playing just eight mainly reed instruments instead of the two dozens reeds, percussion, synths & whatnot that he usually plays. The sound is as careful and well-balanced as it usually is. PEK takes his time with one instrument at a time. Ms. Lomon is featured here and shows that she is a force to be reckoned with on cello: plucking & banging on the strings as well as bowing up a storm as well. I really like the sound of that contrabass clarinet, deep and spooky and it works so well with the lower notes that Ms. Lomon plays on the cello. Drummer Niemitz often takes his time and rarely pushes the other very hard, yet still knows when to increase the intensity when need be. Although many Leap of Faith discs deal in controlled or focused chaos, especially when the number of players increases to orchestral proportions, this trio version sound much more released, rather calm at the center yet it still pushes things further out in short bursts. The majority of Evil Clown label CD’s are pretty long and often contain 2 full sets. This is has just one set clocking in at 39 minutes which just seems long enough and complete on its own terms.


- Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG   

Leap of Faith - Trajectories

Thursday Night Experiment #38
Gateway City Arts
Holyoke MA
27 February 2020

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.

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 made it’s first trip out to Holyoke in Western Mass to perform at Bonnie Kane’s monthly Thursday Night Experiment. Bonnie lives around the corner from a very nice performance space at Gateway City Arts. She’s arranged a monthly series there for improvisors who come in from all over. Our night (#38) featured the solo violin of Tom Swafford from Brooklyn and the duet Wormhole Superette from Philly… Turns out that sometime drummer for Evil Clown projects, Steve Niemitz, is just moving to the area, so Glynis and I pulled him in for this excellent trio Leap of Faith set.

It's shorter (at under 40 minutes) than a typical LOF set, but it makes up for the brevity with concise intensity. Steve is an excellent drummer who is very different than recently departed Yuri Zbitnov… It is interesting to compare this set to a typical Yuri set that has the same base instrumentation (woodwinds, cello, drums), but a very different sound. Check it out! 

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PEK – 7/27/19

​Audio CD                    Evil Clown 9242

Leap of Faith - Trajectories


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Trajectories - 38:55

Thursday Night Experiment #38
Gateway City Arts
Holyoke MA
27 February 2020


PEK -  clarinet & contrabass clarinet, alto & tenor saxophones, musette, tarota, bass tromboon, sheng​
Glynis Lomon - cello, aquasonic, voice

Steve Niemitz - drums