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
Leap of Faith Orchestra & Sub-Units
Surface of Revolution
Third Life Studios, Somerville MA - 13 May 2017
Photos by Raffi
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
The second performance at our new venue (Third Life Studios) for this part of the overall Evil Clown project. A smaller orchestra of about 12-15 people perform a pure improvisation of 50 minutes duration. To open the show, we play 4 shorter (15 minute) quartets by different Sub-Units...
We get two critical kinds of prep for the full orchestra performances of PEK scores: Concise improvisations by sometimes unique small cross sections of players from the roster and pure improvisations by the largest versions of Leap of Faith to perform without a score directing the development of the work. The only direction is for each player to lay out for about 1/3 of the total duration.
PEK - clarinet, contraalto clarinets, tenor & bass saxophones, dulzaina, tarota,
contrabassoon, tromboon, sheng, tube-o-phone, melodica, slide whistles, metal, wood,
aquasonic, crotales, wind siren, kazoo, hand chimes (1,4,5)
Glynis Lomon - cello, aquasonic, voice, slide whistle (1,5)
Yuri Zbitnov - drums, glockenspiel, danmo, metal, crotales, cymbells, melodica (4,5)
Dan O’Brien - flute, piccolo, clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophones, crotales, cymbells,
Zach Bartolomei - soprano & alto saxophones, clarinet, melodica, crank siren, melodica,
balafon, wood, kazoo, metal, hand chimes (3,5)
Charlie Kohlhase - alto, tenor & baritone saxophones, slide whistle (2,5)
Bob Moores - trumpet, shofar, wood flute, melodica, daiko, crotales, cymbells, hand chimes,
crank siren, metal (2,5)
Steve Provizer - trumpet, baritone, crotales, cymbells, daiko, metal, melodica (3,5)
Eric Zinman - piano, metal, slide whistle (4,5)
Grant Beale - guitar, slide whistle, crotales, cymbells (1,3,5)
Silvain Castellano - bass (1,4,5)
Kevin Dacey - drums, danmo, glockenspiel, balafon, metal, wood, crotales, cymbells, melodica
Audio Double CD Evil Clown 9141
Leap of Faith Orchestra & Sub Units
- Surface of Revolution
Third Life Studios, Somerville MA
13 May 2017
streaming, downloads and CD mail Order
1) Sub Unit 1: Toroids - 15:44
2) Sub Unit 2: Hyperboloids - 15:28
3) Sub Unit 3: Generatrixes - 15:49
4) Sub Unit 4: Zone of the Spheres - 15:40
5) Orchestra: Surface of Revolution - 50:28