On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG


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

PEK Solo - The Unreality of Time

​Liner Notes by PEK

Every once in a while there is a break in the Evil Clown schedule and I have a little time for a solo session. In the 90s, I did solo performances occasionally - which presented several challenges. I like to work in a long form with lots of instrument changes, so I came up with several tricks for rapidly changing horns while continuing the improvisation...

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. Several of my solo records have used these mixes. The accompaniment track neatly solves the problem of transitioning instruments.

For Non-Local Causality, the last solo effort from a few months ago, I decided use real time signal processing instead of the Ableton Mix and I used replicator analog tape delay and digital delay with just the contraalto clarinet. In usually use many different horns over the course of one set, but the contralto clarinet is one of my primary horns, so it made perfect sense to due a full length 70 minute improvisation with this very simple set up. I really enjoyed the real time signal processing and on this set I did a fair amount of knob twiddling as well as putting the instrument through a huge range of its available sonorities.

For the current set, The Unreality of Time, I was recording samples that I will use this coming week for a Metal Chaos Ensemble Ableton mix. I decided to follow up on Non-Local Causality with a different application of a similar signal processing rig and to record long pieces to pull the samples from. Signal processing with a long decay also solves the transitioning problem.

I first did a 20 minute plus set, Gateway to Nowhen, with just the daxophone and the effects. The daxophone has a wood tongue that I bow with a bass bow and is highly amplified. We’ve had one in the arsenal since 2015 and have used it many times, so I have accumulated a pretty good vocabulary for this unique instrument. This is the first time that I have done and extended solo with this instrument, and I’m very happy with the result.

For the longer improvisation, Virtual Eternity, I decided to perform the whole piece with a single long delay with many repeats. I also decided to limit myself to alto sax as the only orchestral wind instrument along with a few of the tiny horns, accordion, melodica, orchestral chimes, Tibetan bowls and other misc wood and metal percussion instruments. Long delays like the one I have used here really allow great transformations across sonority… This was a fun set for me putting the emphasis on the signal processing as the primary continuous element and using mostly percussion with occasional sections from the alto, guanzi, wood flute and slide whistle… A very satisfying set using instrumentation that you won’t find anywhere else.

PEK 10/6/2018

​​​Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA

6 October 2018

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.

Evil Clown 


Leap of Faith Orchestra performs

Supernovae by PEK

by Karl  Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com

Audio CD                       Evil Clown 9194

PEK Solo -  The Unreality of Time

​streaming, downloads and CD mail Order

Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA 

6 October 2018

1) Gateway to Nowhen - 22:48
     PEK - daxophone, replicator analog

     delay, digital delay 

2) Virtual Eternity - 54:26
     PEK - alto sax, guanzi, wood flute,

     melodica, accordion, slide whistles,

     orchestral chimes, crotales, bells,

     Tibetan bowls, hand chimes, trine, wood

      blocks, rachets, two ended clappers,

      replicator analog delay, digital delay