On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation." - Squidco website staff
Audio CD Evil Clown 9169
Metal Chaos Ensemble - Shape Memory
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1) Shape Memory - 1:10:17
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA - 2/15/2018
PEK - sopranino, alto & tenor saxophones, clarinet & contraalto clarinet, tromboon, ableton mix*, metal, wood, hand chimes, log drum, accordian, sheng, alto flute, [d]ronin, slide whistle
Yuri Zbitnov - Yuri Zbitnov - drums, metal, wood, [d]ronin, hand chimes, daxophone, balafon, log drums
Bob Moores - guitar, space trumpet, orchestral chimes
Eric Woods - analog synth, hand chimes
Eric Zinman - drums, Metal, Wood, Orchestral Chimes, [D]ronin, hand chimes, wind & crank sirens, balafon, log drums
Samples from the Evil Clown Catalog
Liner Notes by PEK
Metal Chaos Ensemble was formed in early 2015 by PEK and Yuri Zbitnov as a working project to explore chaotic rhythms on metallic instruments. I had started to amass the Evil Clown Arsenal of percussion, electronic and wind instruments and we needed a workshop to develop this universe of sounds for the Leap of Faith Orchestra. It was immediately obvious that Metal Chaos Ensemble had a sound to itself and over the last three years has been one of the most prolific Evil Clown bands. We have produced a bunch of albums covering a wide range of sonority sets, but always with the presence of Gongs, chimes, glockenspiel, Tibetan Bowls and many other metallic sounds and the horns of PEK.
Recently, I have been using the Ableton software to create electronic mixes which we use in several of the bands as an accompaniment track. In performance, I ride the fader from off to very present, but most of the time more to the background. Raw samples are taken from the Evil Clown Catalog and also specially recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters with instruments drawn from the Evil Clown arsenal. I then use Adobe Audition to process the samples and finally Ableton to assemble a timeline and create a mix.
Along with MCE founders Yuri and PEK and an Ableton mix, this set features special guests Bob Moores on space trumpet and guitar, newcomer Eric Woods on analog synth, and Eric Zinman on percussion.
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 video grab
Metal Chaos Ensemble - Shape Memory
Evil Clown Headquarters - 15 February 2018
Metal Chaos Ensemble: Shape Memory
Wind player David Peck and percussionist Yuri Zbitnoff formed Metal Chaos Ensemble to explore chaotic rhythms on metallic instruments, employing an arsenal of percussion, electronic and wind instruments, becoming one of Evil Clown's most prolific sub-units, here with Bob Moores on space trumpet & guitar, Eric Woods on analog synth, and Eric Zinman on percussion.