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.
PEK - Clarinet, contralto & contrabass clarinets, soprano, alto, tenor & bass saxophones, bass flute, 5 hole wooden flute, alto & bass ocarinas, piccolo oboe, goat horn, bass tromboon, melodica, [d]ronin, electric chimes, chime rod boxes, spring boxes, gongs, crotales, glockenspiel, Tibetan bowls, castanets, seed pod rattle
Melanie Howell-Brooks - alto sax, bass clarinet, wooden irish flute, flute head joint, bowed crotales, glockenspiel, Temple & Tibetan bells, almglocken, cow bells, log drums, seed pod rattle, table, concertina,
chime rod boxes, spring boxes, 17-string bass
Jared Holiday - tenor sax, bass clarinet, flute, beer bottle, 17-string bass, Englephone, wood blocks, log drums, brontasaurus bell
David Welans - flute, piccolo, flute head joint, head joint-dizi conversion, gong, glockenspiel, log drums, wood & temple blocks, balafon, bowed percussion
Dennis Livingston - flute, sopranino, soprano and alto recorders, ocarinas, assorted bottles
Vance Provey - trumpet, balafon, concertina, Tibetan bowls, chime rod boxes, spring boxes, gong
Ellwood Epps - trumpet, Tibetan bowl
Bob Moores - trumpet with various mutes, flugelhorn, small wooden whistles, slide whistle, mini cowbell, gong, plate gong, brontosaurus & tank bells, almglocken, crotales, glockenspiel, balafon,log drums, wood blocks, temple blocks, seed pod rattle, castanets, [d]ronin, electric chimes, chime rod boxes, spring boxes, gongs, crank siren
Duane Reed - baritone horn, bass trombone, trombone mute, slide whistle, balafon, glockenspiel, crotales, glockenspiel, gongs, bell tree, almglocken, Tibetan bowl, voice
Audio CD Evil Clown 9293
Turbulence - Fluid Friction
streaming, downloads and CD mail Order
Fluid Friction - 1:10:44
Turbulence - Fluid Friction
LIVESTREAMED to YouTube from Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA
8 December 2021
----Liner Notes by PEK
I formed Turbulence in 2015 as I started to assemble players for the Leap of Faith Orchestra. Turbulence, the extended horn section for the Orchestra (along with guests on other instruments), also records and performs as an independent unit. As if this writing in 2021, we have recorded over 30 albums on Evil Clown with greatly varied ensembles. All the smaller Evil Clown bands are really more about a general approach, rather than a specific set of musicians. A session gets credited to Turbulence when it is mostly horn players and the only musician on all of them is me. The sessions range from an early duet with Steve Norton and me (Vortex Generation Mechanisms) to a 5-horn band with bass and two percussionists (Encryption Schemes) to four albums by the side project Turbulence Doom Choir which feature myself, multiple tubas, percussion, electronics, and signal processing and many other configurations.
This set, Fluid Friction, is the largest Turbulence ensemble since we resumed this year, at 9 horn players doubling percussion. The set features a couple of relative Evil Clown newbies: Ellwood Epps (tp) makes his third appearance after playing on a recent Leap of Faith session (Meaning Arising) and a pre-virus Turbulence festival performance (Upheaval); Vance Provey (tp) makes his third appearance after playing on a recent Leap of Faith session (Revealing the Essence) and the last Turbulence session (Roughness of Surfaces), and David Welans (flutes) makes his third appearance after playing on the recent Expanse Meets the JDME Quartet session (Scope) and the last Turbulence session (Roughness of Surfaces). We also have two performers on their very first Evil Clown performance: Jared Holiday (woodwinds) and Dennis Livingston (flutes). The balance of the ensemble is made up from Evil Clown regulars…
I’m super happy with this session. The regulars and the newer arrivals really played extremely well together, listening intently and exercising admirable restraint. 9 players is a very large band for pure improvisation. Generally speaking, as ensemble size increases, so increases the difficulty of making music which is well-formed and tight. I’m very interested in the aesthetic problems of larger group pure improvisations. My Broad Palate concept is a solution to this problem which works by introducing many different possible sonorities. Over the duration of the work, the combination of instruments undergoes tremendous variation, leading to a sequence of very different movements. Most of the players on Fluid Friction play several horns, and also auxiliary percussion and the other instruments which are strewn all throughout the studio.
Anyway, I like this set and I bet you will too…
PEK – 12/9/2021
On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation." - Squidco website staff