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
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Download Single Evil Clown 9260
PEK Solo, A Quartet of PEKs - For Ed's Mom
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1. For Ed’s Mom – 8:33
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 Liner Notes Excerpt...
“… Although I never met Ed’s mom, she sounds like a wonderful person, and when Ed decided that he wanted finally to move the instrument to a new home, he was concerned that it go somewhere where it would be played again with love. Instruments are deeply personal objects that bring with them long histories of sound when they change hands. Many times those histories are unknown to the new owner, but sometimes they are known and the spirit of the instrument survives in a new context. With those ideas in mind, this work, For Ed’s Mom, which includes her instrument performed by me on two of the four tracks, is dedicated to Ed’s Mom.”
PEK - 9 November 2020
PEK Solo, A Quartet of PEKs
- For Ed's Mom
Liner Notes by PEK
Due to the stupid virus I’ve been doing a lot more PEK Solo projects than usual this year. To keep them different from each other they fall into several categories of virtual ensemble size and overall complexity. Some are long traditional solos with one PEK performing continuously on one or many instruments for the duration of the work and some are quartets of 4 PEKs overdubbing. The remaining are Orchestras of PEKs where many layers are combined, including some of the solos and quartets and some of the solos and quartets with digital processing. Only the final few tracks of these large works are performed continuously for the duration of the work. Also, some recent Metal Chaos Ensemble recordings are similar studio constructions with Yuri joining in for some of the materials prepared in advance and for the final tracks over the full duration.
For Ed’s Mom is a Quartet of PEKs intermediate mix for the next Orchestra of PEKs recording entitled Semantic Notions and/or the next Metal Chaos Ensemble studio construction work entitled Dante’s Inferno (both in their early stages). Since my albums are almost always single tracks of 70 to 80 minutes, I don’t produce many short pieces that you might consider a “single,” but some of these Quartet of PEKs pieces stand alone as complete works in addition to material prepared for sampling into another work. I am generally including some of these intermediate mixes as bonus download tracks for the completed full album, but here I have decided to make this one available as a single track.
I am known to have a very large collection of instruments. The purpose of the Evil Clown Arsenal is to create an extremely broad universe of sound available not only to myself, but also the other participants in the Evil Clown catalog. I have dozens of horns, tons of percussion, strings, electronic instruments and processing gear, and free-reed aerophones. In For Ed’s Mom, most of the instruments are free-reed aerophones (accordion, sheng, melodica, and chromatic harmonica).
Several times over the years, people have given me instruments for the Arsenal. My aunt Kathy gave me some nice wood flutes for Christmas a while back (which I credit as Christmas flute), Jim Warshauer (a LOFO member) gave me some game calls, and others have given the Arsenal similar interesting but inexpensive sound making devices.
Ed Taylor, a great friend from my day gig, recently gave me a really nice accordion which was owned by his mother who played it in church every week for many years. She passed 10 or 15 years ago after being retired from playing for 10 or 15 years prior. Despite the long stay in the case, the instrument is in good condition and nicely complements my other accordion which is a bit heavier and lower in pitch. Although I never met Ed’s mom, she sounds like a wonderful person, and when Ed decided that he wanted finally to move the instrument to a new home, he was concerned that it go somewhere where it would be played again with love. Instruments are deeply personal objects that bring with them long histories of sound when they change hands. Many times those histories are unknown to the new owner, but sometimes they are known and the spirit of the instrument survives in a new context. With those ideas in mind, this work, For Ed’s Mom, which includes her instrument performed by me on two of the four tracks, is dedicated to Ed’s Mom.PEK – 9 November 2020
PEK - accordion, sheng, melodica, ocarinas, chromatic harmonica, wood flute, hulusi
Leap of Faith Orchestra performs
by Karl Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA
8 November 2020