On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
PEK - clarinet, contralto & contrabass clarinets, sopranino, alto, tenor & bass saxophones, bass flute, 5 hole flute, bass ocarina, tarota, bass tromboon, goat horn, melodica, [d]ronin, 17-string bass, nagoya, theremin with moogerfoorger, novation peak, moog subsequent, korg ms20, syntrx, Linnstrument controllers, Tibetan bells, crotales, glockenspiel, gongs, plate gong, crotales, glockenspiel, brontosaurus & tank bells, log drums, wood & temple blocks, cow bells, almglocken, chimes, orchestral chimes, Englephone, danmo
Bonnie Kane - tenor sax, flute, electronics
Dennis Livingston - flute, ocarinas
John Fugarino - trumpet, flugelhorn, slide trumpet, nord stage 3, prophet, korg ms20, spring & chime rod boxes, almglocken, gongs, Englephone, wood blocks, xylophone, balafon, crotales, glockenspiel, cymbal, chimes
Bob Moores - space trumpet, pocket trumpet, nord stage 3, prophet, moog subsequent, novation peak, Linnstrument controllers, spring & chime rod boxes, voice
Raffi - video mix
----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 2023, we have recorded over 40 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. A session gets credited to Turbulence Orchestra when the size of the band reaches 8 or more performers. 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.
Currently, the Evil Clown Roster has about 20 horn players. When I schedule Turbulence sets, I put one on the weekend and one on a weeknight since some players can only do one or the other. Gust Load is the second of two Turbulence Orchestra sets for Fall 2023. Since there are more horn players in the Roster than any other instrument groups, the ensemble is often bigger than the other bands and this is the eighth fairly recent set to be credited to Turbulence Orchestra. This time we had nine musicians – three reeds, four brass, bass and drums.
All these recent Turbulence Orchestra sets have included both a drummer and a bass player. The ensemble is kind of a supersized 3-horn Jazz Quintet (with lots of extra horn players). Scott Samenfeld (bass) makes his 6th appearance on this set. The previous sets have had for drummers the relative newcomer to Evil Clown on drums, Jared Seabrook, or on the weekend sets, John Loggia, who drives in from Western Mass with tenor sax/flute/electronics wiz Bonnie Kane.
This large Turbulence edition with bass and drums is the closest thing to a jazz ensemble in the Evil Clown universe. Scott’s bass playing is the most jazz of any of the bass players in the roster and the capable drumming from these drummers make a rhythm section that functions more like a jazz rhythm section than is typical in any of the other Evil Clown projects. In addition, the auxiliary instruments available for all the players to double on include a very nice unit called the Nord Stage 3 which has good piano sounds and good action. Several of the players on Gust Load periodically visit this keyboard and add to the rhythm section.
I’m super happy with this session. The regulars and the newer arrivals really played extremely well together, listening intently and exercising admirable restraint. 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.
Anyway, I like this set and I bet you will too…
PEK – 9/17/2023
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.
Excerpt from Liner Notes by PEK
This large Turbulence edition with bass and drums is the closest thing to a jazz ensemble in the Evil Clown universe. Scott’s bass playing is the most jazz of any of the bass players in the roster and the capable drumming from these drummers make a rhythm section that functions more like a jazz rhythm section than is typical in any of the other Evil Clown projects.
Turbulence Orchestra - Gust Load
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA
19 September 2023
Photos by Paul Brennan
Audio CD Evil Clown 9348
Turbulence Orchestra - Gust Loads
streaming, downloads and CD mail Order
1) Gust Loads - 1:10:11 2) Breezy – 5:24
3) Atmospheric Phenomena (bonus track) – 7:48
On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation." - Squidco website staff