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, double reeds & 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.  Currently, the core unit is the duet of PEK and Lomon and we are regularly presenting LIVESTREAMs to YouTube from Evil Clown Headquarters with other guest performers.

Bonnie Kane, an Evil Clown regular, hosts a series in Holyoke MA called the Friday Experiment.  It’s a great monthly series with each night featuring tight sets by several bands and a group jam at the end.  Holyoke is about 90 minutes west of the Boston Area, so Bonnie travels a ways to get here for Evil Clown sessions.  Bonnie’s drummer John Loggia has also appeared on several Turbulence Orchestra sessions with Bonnie and a bunch of other horn players.  They have been a duet for the last 6 or 7 years and have also played together in various other settings.

Albey onBass (Balgochian) showed up in Boston about two years before the pandemic with his wife, the poet Jane Spokenword.  Albey rapidly became an Evil Clown regular performing many times in a bunch of the ensembles.  Just before the pandemic Albey and Jane moved to New Orleans where they stayed through the virus.  About a year back, they returned to New York but are also frequently in Boston.  I schedule as many sets as I can when I know Albey will be in town.

Newbie Chris Alford makes his debut Evil Clown appearance on this session.  He lives still in New Orleans, but his wife is originally from the Boston area.  They were in town for about a month and Albey reached out asking if he could join in on this set.  Albey, and generally everyone, is welcome to suggest players for the roster, so I immediately agreed!

Leap of Faith has had a huge number of configurations of guests over the years.  Sometimes we play with musicians who play at the quiet end of the dynamic spectrum, usually we play with musicians who vary the dynamics significantly over the course of the improvisation, and sometimes we play loud and strong throughout….   This set definitely belongs to the last group and is the most like the free improvisation school of Energy Music currently in the Leap of Faith catalog.  Metal Chaos Ensemble and Simulacrum are the Evil Clown ensembles that tend to be louder and have more rock elements.  For Transmutation, the Energy Music dynamic is apparent, but the music has more free jazz elements than rock elements…

I like this Set and I bet you will too.  Check it out!

7/16/2022

Review:

Leap of Faith Orchestra performs

Supernovae by PEK

by Karl  Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com

Excerpt from PEK Liner Notes  

“…Leap of Faith has had a huge number of configurations of guests over the years.  Sometimes we play with musicians who play at the quiet end of the dynamic spectrum, usually we play with musicians who vary the dynamics significantly over the course of the improvisation, and sometimes we play loud and strong throughout….   This set definitely belongs to the last group and is the most like the free improvisation school of Energy Music currently in the Leap of Faith catalog...”


Audio CD                                       Evil Clown 9315

Leap of Faith - Transmutation

bandcamp:  streaming, downloads and CD mail Order


1) Transmutation - 1:09:53

    Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA – 14 July 2022


PEK - clarinet, contralto & contrabass clarinets, sopranino, alto, & tenor saxophones, alto flute, bass tromboon, tarota, novation peak, moog subsequent, prophet, syntrix, Linnstrument controllers, 17 string bass, fog horn, [d]ronin, spring and chime boxes, Tibetan bowl, almglocken, crotales, orchestral chimes, brontosaurus & tank bells, gongs, plate gong, balafon, glockenspiel, log drums, wood blocks, temple blocks, chimes, orchestral anvils, baby bomb piano, orchestral castanets, Englephone, gopichand

Glynis Lomon - cello, aquasonic, voice

Bonnie Kane – tenor sax, flute, electronics
Chris Alford – guitar, signal processing
Albey onBass - fretless bass guitar, novation peak, gong
John Loggia - drums, Tibetan bowls, gomg, percussion
Joel Simches - Live to 2-track mix, real time signal processing
Special Thanks to Adrianna Amari for the title

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

Evil Clown 

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.

Leap of Faith - Transmutations

LIVESTREAMED to YouTube

Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA – 14 July 2022


video grabs

YouTube