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
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.
Metal Chaos Ensemble
- The Korova Milkbar
Livestreamed to YouTube from
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA - 16 February 2023
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 eight years has been one of the most prolific Evil Clown ensembles. We have produced over 50 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.
Over time, MCE has morphed into the most rock-oriented of the Evil Clown Ensembles with a regular sextet line-up and a few subs… Sometimes the band varies a bit, but this time we have all six regulars in attendance. This is the third session since the studio conversion has been completed, and the first set by MCE in the new space. All the players love the new setup and most of the band was in the new space for the first time! Also new in the studio is a fabulous DW jazz drum kit complete with a plexiglass sound barrier. Steve played the new drum set really well on this set for its maiden voyage.
Anyway, The Korova Milkbar is a terrific performance which launches a new era of Metal Chaos Ensemble performances livestreamed to YouTube from the newly updated Evil Clown Headquarters.
I’m super happy with this album and I bet you like it too…
PEK – 2/18/2023
PEK Tweak of a Video Grab
Audio CD Evil Clown 9328
Metal Chaos Ensemble
- The Korova Milkbar
The Korova Milkbar - 1:08:40
LIVESTREAMED to YouTube
From Evil Clown Headquarters
Waltham MA, 16 February 2023
PEK - clarinet, contralto & contrabass clarinets, sopranino, alto & tenor saxophones, alto flute, tarota, melodica, [d]ronin, 17 string bass, spring & chime rod boxes, theremin with moogerfooger, log drums, wood blocks, gongs, plate gong, crotales, glockenspiel, brontosaurus & tank bells, orchestral chimes, theremin with moogerfooger, prophet, novation peak, moog subsequent, syntrx, nord stage 3, chimes, Linnstrument controllers, recitation
Bob Moores - Epiphone Les Paul Goth guitar played through Ampkit on iPhone, Korg and Moog softsynths on IPad with mini keyboard, Mainstage softsynths on MacBook Air with full keyboard, kracklebox and trumpet with attached piezo barrel pickup played through Axiom effects pedal, shofar, gong
Mike Caglianone - soprano, alto & tenor saxophones, spring & chime rod boxes, brontosaurus & tank bells, log drums, wood blocks, cowbells, chimes, electric kalimba, bowed cymbal, Englephone, gongs
Eric Woods - analog synthesis, nord stage 3, novation peak, Linnstrument controller
Mike Gruen - 6 string electric bass
Steve Niemitz - drums
Joel Simches - Live to 2 track recording, real -time signal processing