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.
Turbulence - Inversion
LIVESTREAMED to YouTube from Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA
19 March 2022
----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.
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. This is the first session of the second cycle of Turbulence sets since vaccines became available and I started having YouTube LiveStreaming sets at Evil Clown Headquarters. Since so many players are available, I’m working on the problem of large ensemble improvisation with big groups of Evil Clown regulars mixed with some relative newbies…
I’m super happy with this session. The regulars and the newer arrivals really played extremely well together, listening intently and exercising admirable restraint. 7 players is a 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 Inversion 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 – 3/20/2022
On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Audio CD Evil Clown 9300
Turbulence - Inversion
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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 - Clarinet, contralto & contrabass clarinets, alto, tenor & bass saxophones, alto & bass flute, bass ocarinas, bawu, bass recorder, shenai, bass tromboon, [d]ronin, 17-string bass, novation peak, moog subsequent, prophet, lfo synths, Linnstrument controllers, chime rod boxes, spring boxes, gongs, plate gong, crotales, glockenspiel, orchestral castanets, crank siren, flex-a-tone
Jared Holiday - soprano sax, clarinet, piccolo, flute & alto flute, 17-string bass, Englephone, crotales, glockenspiel, brontosaurus & tank bells. log drums, wood blocks, temple blocks
Eric Dahlman - trumpet, throat singing, Tibetan bowls, Antarctic flute, hulusi, bell
David Welans - flute, piccolo, dizi-boehm flute, log drums, almglocken, Englephone, crotales, glockenspiel, beer can
Dennis Livingston - flute, recorders, ocarinas, assorted bottles, crotales, glockenspiel, log drums
Bob Moores - trumpet, flugelhorn, wind siren, Tibetan hand chimes & bowls, almglocken, cow bells, balafon, log drums, wood blocks, temple blocks, clave, brontosaurus & tank bells, gong, Englephone, [d]ronin, spring & chime rod boxes, table, novation peak, moog subsequent, prophet, Linnstrument controllers
Duane Reed - baritone horn, bass trombone, wind siren, throat singing, balafon, log drums, wood blocks, temple blocks, crotales, glockenspiel, Tibetan bowls, almglocken, chimes, cow bells, 17-string bass, novation peak, moog subsequent, prophet, Linnstrument controllers