Audio CD                                    Evil Clown 9269

PEK Solo, A Quartet of PEKs -

                Strange Beauty Out of Chaos


Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA

1, 4 April 2021

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Strange Beauty Out of Chaos - 1:10:40


PEK -Composition, all instruments, recording & mixing
clarinets: (b flat, alto, contralto, contrabass)

saxophones: (sopranino, alto, tenor)
double reeds: (piccolo oboe, oboe, contrabassoon, dulzaina, tarota, medieval pipe, bass tromboon)
flutes: (piccolo, C, alto, Russian 3 & 5 hole flute, Christmas flute, bass ocarina)
free reed aerophones: (accordion, sheng, melodica)
strings: (electric upright bass, alto & bass nagoya harps)
electronics: (moog subsequent, prophet, novation peak, Linnstrument, Korg ms-20, delay, loop station, stomp boxes)
electro accoustic:  (telstar, electric chimes, hedgehog chime box, large spring box, cymbalum, cyclops harp, Azzam Bells MPA 019, [d]ronin)
percussion: (gongs, plate gong, almglocken, brontosaurus & tank bells, Tibetan bowls & bells, cow bells, orchestral chimes, glockenspiel, chimes, wood blocks, temple blocks, log drum, rachet, talking drum)
 other:  (duck call, crank siren, voice)

Review:

Leap of Faith Orchestra performs

Supernovae by PEK

by Karl  Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com

YouTube Videos..

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.

Review Excerpt from Darren Bergstein, Downtown Music Gallery

“… PEK reincarnates all manner of free jazz, improv, and rugged experimentalists of epochs both past and present—Sun Ra’s untethered Arkestras, the skronk and instant abandon of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and John Zorn’s more eclectic shout-outs, the rhythmic vortices and total alien entities imagined by upstarts like Musica Elettronica Viva and The Hub—but his characteristic overdubbed canvases remain immediately recognizable as his own…”


​​Squidco Blurb
"I recently became aware of the unique and distinctive instruments made by Tim Kaiser. I would classify these instruments as electro-acoustic rather than electronic since they amplify quiet acoustic sounds made on guitar strings, spring..."


Excerpt from PEK Liner Notes

“... The [d]ronin and the daxophone have been important instruments in the Arsenal, adding to the broad palate alien sounds that help us avoid sounding like other more conventional music.  This new recording shows the power of extending this collections of sounds to a much bigger set.  I will end up using these instruments a lot for this reason, and I will buy some more over time including a few of the homemade synths.  ...”  

Review by Darren Bergstein, Downtown Music Gallery

PEK SOLO / A QUARTET OF PEKS - Strange Beauty Out of Chaos (Evil Clown 9269; USA) Taking a glimpse into anything that emerges from Dave PEK’s abstract wonderland requires a suspension of personal, literal, and metaphorical time. One has to submit in PEKwerk fully, to experience it without interruption, in one sitting, for it to engage you in full psychic lockstep. Recorded in early April 2021, the isolationist milieu underscoring our lives hasn’t dimmed PEK’s force for creation one iota. There is surely much in the way of an awry, strange beauty to this glimpse from the incorporeal beyond. PEK reincarnates all manner of free jazz, improv, and rugged experimentalists of epochs both past and present—Sun Ra’s untethered Arkestras, the skronk and instant abandon of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and John Zorn’s more eclectic shout-outs, the rhythmic vortices and total alien entities imagined by upstarts like Musica Elettronica Viva and The Hub—but his characteristic overdubbed canvases remain immediately recognizable as his own. Piledriver sax bleats carve widening sinkholes that crumble into electronic voids that shudder with a pronounced malevolence. Galvanized tintinnabulations and synth baubles the color of pitch course through the music’s veins like sentient dark matter. Great struck gongs do their thunderstormic rumble in the distance. Call-and-response horns send distress calls out into the ether like ancient morse code, only to have their notes bounce back in mutated tonics of digital delay and electrostatic bitstream. Mad, bad, and dangerous to know—partake in this exuberantly bonkers slice of PEK’s evolutionary narrative and it’s guaranteed neither your ears nor your cerebellum will ever be the same.  


- Darren Bergstein, DMG

Video Grabs & Instrument Photos..


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Links to previous PEK solo releases


Schisms (2020)

bandcamp
YouTube  
Evil Clown Album Page


Precendents (2020)

bandcamp

YouTube  YouTube  YouTube  YouTube

Evil Clown Album Page


Coefficient of Unity  (2019)
bandcamp
YouTube  
Evil Clown Album Page


Indexical Utterance (2019)
bandcamp
YouTube  
Evil Clown Album Page

Closed & Open Universes (2019)
bandcamp
YouTube  
Evil Clown Album Page


The Unreality of Time (2018)

bandcamp
Evil Clown Album Page


Non-Local Causality (2018)
bandcamp
Evil Clown Album Page

Fulcrum  (2018)
bandcamp
YouTube  
Evil Clown Album Page


​Thulsa Doom (2017) 
bandcamp
YouTube  YouTube  YouTube  YouTube
Evil Clown Album Page

PEK Solo, An Quartet of PEKs - 

      Strange Beauty Out of Chaos

On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... ​using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation."   - Squidco website staff

Liner Notes by PEK

Every once in a while, there is a break in the crazy schedule here at Evil Clown and I have some time to do a solo album.  Our grand olde pal, the Corona Virus has provided such a break in spades….  At the beginning of the 2020, it appeared that the year would be our busiest yet…  We did a bunch of albums in January, February and the first weeks of March, and then I was forced to cancel a bunch of wonderful performances scheduled for the months that followed.   So, I caught up all my old business:  web site, social media, distribution, and the other non-musical activity required to drive the enterprise.  Then I took a month off…  my biggest rest since I started up in 2015 after my long hiatus.  In mid-May I started up again, conceiving some new means of producing some of the enormous output normally achieved by Evil Clown.  In the Fall I did a huge series of solo works along with a few Metal Chaos Ensemble sets with Yuri and Mike Gruen.

Now entering the second calendar year to be effected by the Stupid Virus, I really miss playing with others…  For obvious reasons, I have been producing a lot more PEK Solo albums than I do typically.  I conceived a structural schema for producing solo works while we wait for the virus to be over.  As with larger ensemble Evil Clown sessions, the planning involves selecting sound resources from the massive Evil Clown Arsenal and setting up the studio with these instruments to allow rapid changes in instrumentation and therefore in sonority.  This system provides a framework to create solo works that are sufficiently different from each other that I can continue to produce new work at something close to my usual rate even while I can’t perform with others.

The PEK Solo albums fall into four categories:

1)  One continuous track (no overdubbing) of PEK playing one or many instruments with or without signal processing.
2)  One continuous track of PEK playing one or many instruments with a prerecorded mix of samples drawn from the Evil Clown Catalog or specially recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters.  Solo albums from before 2020 fall into the categories 1 & 2.
3)  A Quartet of PEKs – Four continuous tracks of one PEK each playing many instruments on each pass.  Some of these use broad pallets and some use very focused pallets.
4)  An Orchestra of PEKs – Many tracks of PEKs performing on a broad section of the Arsenal.

The current work, Strange Beauty Out of Chaos, is category 3.  I’d like to thank Nick Ostrum for the title.  Nick used this phrase in a recent Squid’s Ear review of Metal Chaos Ensemble – The Riddle of Steel and so I stole it for this work. 

I recently became aware of the unique and distinctive instruments made by Tim Kaiser.  I would classify these instruments as electro-acoustic rather than electronic since they amplify quiet acoustic sounds made on guitar strings, springs, rods and other metal materials.  He also makes some homemade synths which are electronic.  I bought 6 of these instruments (telstar, 2 electric chimes, hedgehog chime box, large spring box, cymbalum, cyclops harp) to add to the daxophone, [d]ronin and Ozzam Bells mpa-019 which I have had for some time.  Tracks 1 and 2 use the new and older instruments from this category along with percussion and a couple of synthesizers.  Tracks 3 and 4 have the horn solos and more percussion and electro-acoustic instruments.

The [d]ronin and the daxophone have been important instruments in the Arsenal, adding to the broad palate alien sounds that help us avoid sounding like other more conventional music.  This new recording shows the power of extending this collections of sounds to a much bigger set.  I will end up using these instruments a lot for this reason, and I will buy some more over time including a few of the homemade synths. 

While I have enjoyed the process of creating Quartet of PEKs and Orchestra of PEKs recordings during our collective CV incarceration, I am looking forward to resuming performance with other musicians in the very near future.  My housemate, Raffi, and I have both received first vaccine shots.  I’ll be able to open Evil Clown Headquarters to sessions probably by mid-May to players in the roster who have also been fully vaccinated.  That date is about 5 or 6 weeks from the date of this writing.  My current plan is to do several category 1-3 sessions during that time, but perhaps I will squeeze in one more Orchestra of PEKs set before I can start doing sets with other players.

I expect that I will be able to resume the rapid schedule interrupted a year ago.  I have been in periodic communication with members of the various units, and we are all chompin’ at the bit!!  Stay tuned for a flood of new works by Leap of Faith, Metal Chaos Ensemble, Turbulence and other Evil Clown Ensembles starting up in May…

As usual, the chaos of the universe throws out problems which require our attention.   Expression must be expressed.  Music must be made.  The chaos of the universe demands it.

PEK – 4/4/21

​​​​​​Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA
1, 4 April 2021

Evil Clown 

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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