On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Photos by Paul Brennan
PEK - clarinet, contralto & contrabass clarinets, sopranino, alto & bass saxophones, alto & bass flutes, bass tromboon, musette, guanzi, melodica, game calls,[d]ronin, theremin, 17-string bass, novation peak, moog subsequent, prophet, syntrx, soma pipe, Linnstrument controllers, spring & chime rod boxes, Tibetan chimes & bowls, gongs, brontosaurus & tank bells, log drums, wood & temple blocks, cow bells, almglocken, chimes, orchestral chimes, Englephone
Bonnie Kane - tenor sax, flute, electronics
Dennis Livingston - flute, recorders, ocarinas, bottles, nord stage 3
John Fugarino - trumpet, flugelhorn, slide trumpet, trombone, nord stage 3, spring & chime rod boxes, almglocken
Bob Moores - space trumpet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet, lfo synths, spring & chime rod boxes, prophet, nord stage 3, moog subsequent, seed pod rattle, orchestral castanets
Vance Provey – trumpet, nord stage 3, gavel, spring & chime rod boxes
Eric Dahlman - trumpet, throat singing, nord stage 3, prophet, spring & chime rod boxes
Duane Reed - double bell euphonium, throat singing, novation peak, moog subsequent, Linstrument controllers
Scott Samenfeld - 5 string fretless bass, electric recorder
John Loggia - drums, gongs, percussion
Joel Simches - Live to 2-track recording, real-time signal processing
Paul Brennan - photo
Raffi - video mix
Turbulence Orchestra - Trapped in a Whorl
Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA
22 April 2023
Audio CD Evil Clown 9335
Turbulence Orchestra - Trapped in a Whorl
streaming, downloads and CD mail Order
Trapped in a Whorl – 1:10:39
----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 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. 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. Trapped in a Whorl is the second of two Turbulence Orchestra sets for Spring 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 sixth fairly recent set to be credited to Turbulence Orchestra. This time we had ten musicians – three reeds, five brass, bass and drums.
Several of the recent sets have included a drummer. Bonnie Kane (tenor sax and electronics) has brought her drummer (John Loggia) with her when she has come in from Western Mass, they have done a few sets with Turbulence and a few sets with Leap of Faith. This time we also have bass, a relatively new bass player, Scott Samenfeld, who has attended one prior set with Simulacrum and the first 2023 Turbulence Orchestra set. Scott is a bit more jazz than most of the bass players who participate in any of the Evil Clown bands. The result is kind of a free big band set up with a two-man rhythm section. With all the doubling that goes on in one of these sets, there are lots of sections with various keyboards, electronics, and percussion to round out and fill up the sound.
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 – 4/23/2023
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.
On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation." - Squidco website staff