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 Solo - Non-Local Causality
Audio CD Evil Clown 9187
PEK Solo - Non- Linear Causality
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA
2 August 2018
1. Wavefunction Collapse 57:45
2. Quantum Decoherence 12:16
This recording has a funny little story… A couple of months ago I added an analog tape loop device called Replicator to the arsenal. Due to the ramp up for the Leap of Faith Orchestra performance of Cosmological Horizons there was no time until today to play with it. There is a Metal Chaos Ensemble set on Thursday this week and I planned to do a few quick samples of the ContraAlto Clarinet through this new signal processing device to use in the Ableton Mix for that set. I ran a mic through the Replicator and another effect called the Moog Moogerfooger and started recording. About 20 minutes in I was having a blast with the effects and I decided to just do a full length set.
So, this solo is played with a single instrument and two effects units, a very narrow palette compared to most performances where I typically use at least 8 or 10 horns and percussion. Since I had not planned to record a new album in advance, there are no videos or photographs of this performance.
PEK - 8/2/2018
Rob Miller photo tweaked by PEK
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA
2 August 2018
PEK - Contraalto Clarinet, Replicator Analog Delay, Moog Moogerfooger
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
Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
PEK - Solo: Non-Local Causality (Evil Genius 9187; USA) Featuring PEK on contra-alto clarinet, tape echo and Moog. Considering that there are upwards of 100 releases from the Leap of Faith and their varied offshoot projects, Dave PEK solo discs are still relatively rare. And for this one, Mr. Peck plays just three instruments or devices, instead of his usual dozen plus axes. Contra-alto clarinets are also relatively rare but since Mr. Peck collects rare reeds, this isn’t so unusual for him. This unique clarinet is superbly recorded, with warm, carefully captured sound. PEK uses subtle delay at the beginning before the echo starts to get more thick and intense. Unlike many of the Leap of Faith sessions, things rarely get too dense or dark, although Mr. Peck does push the limits of exploring a full range of textures on the unwieldy instrument. PEK’s use of delay or echo adds an eerie vibe which enhances the sound on several levels simultaneously. At times the sound is somewhat disturbing (or otherworldly) yet tasteful in nuance. Like all of the discs on the Evil Clown label, this one is in a world of its own. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG