On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Turbulence - Tumult
Outpost 186, Cambridge MA
19 October 2019
Raffi Photo tweaked by PEK
Review Excerpt by Bruce Lee Gallanter
“… Everything flows here organically, from quiet and eerie to more intense eruptions with each musician playing one instrument at a time before they switch to something else. Game calls, hushed double and single reeds, fluttering trumpet(s), a tapestry of expanding percussion, flutes, building ever so slowly and transforming us as they sail away...”
- Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Photos by Raffi & Video Grabs
Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
TURBULENCE with PEK / JIM WARSHAUER / BOB MOORES / ERIC DAHLMAN / DUANE REED - Tumult (Evil Clown 9231; USA) Turbulence features PEK on assorted reeds, double-reeds, sheng, piano, game calls, etc, Jim Warshauer alto sax, clarinet, flutes, Bob Moores on trumpets & percussion, Eric Dahlman on trumpet, recorder & Korg synth and Duane Reed on bari horn, game calls & percussion. Turbulence is one of several Leap of Faith offshoot projects, which has some 10 or so releases with varying personnel. There is one long (70 minute) piece on this disc called “Tumult for Winds and Percussion in Q Flat Minor”. Since the regular Leap of Faith drummer (Yuri Zbitnov) is not present here, the other members of the quintet play assorted percussion. Everything flows here organically, from quiet and eerie to more intense eruptions with each musician playing one instrument at a time before they switch to something else. Game calls, hushed double and single reeds, fluttering trumpet(s), a tapestry of expanding percussion, flutes, building ever so slowly and transforming us as they sail away. Different combinations of musicians & instruments work well with one another, trading ideas, exploring and experimenting with their sounds. The cautious nature of this music makes it easier to absorb since the musicians take their time with each instrument and decide where and when to add to the evolving collage. We just got in seven new titles from the Leap of Faith folks, so it will take some time to listen and absorb each title. Stay tuned.
- Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
PEK - sopranino, alto, tenor & bass saxophones, clarinet & contralto clarinet, contrabassoon, guanzi, goat horn, mussette, tromboon, alto flute, Christmas flute, Russian wood flute, sheng, piano, game calls, slide whistles, gongs, Tibetan bowls, bells, castanets, flex-a-tone
Jim Warhsauer - alto saxophone, clarinet, flute, piccolo, reed-trumpet, game calls, flex-a-tone, rattles
Bob Moores - trumpet, flugelhorn, log drum, wood blocks, came calls, Tibetan bowls, bells, gongs, castanets
Eric Dahlman - trumpet, overtone voice, recorder, game galls, Korg Monotron synth, gongs, bells
Duane Reed - baritone horn, game calls, wind siren, wood blocks, Tibetan bowls, bells,.flex-a-tone
Audio CD Evil Clown 9231
Turbulence - Tumult
bandcamp: streaming, downloads and CD mail Order
Tumult for winds & percussion in Q flat minor - 1:10:31
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 May of 2018, we have had about 20 albums on Evil Clown with greatly varied ensembles. The only musician on all of them is myself. The sessions range from an early duet with Steve Norton and Myself (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.
This Turbulence set, Tumult, is performed by 5 regular horn players from the overall Evil Clown project. All have played with each other in multiple settings, and all have played many times with the auxiliary Evil Clown instruments. Together, theses things make a perfect ensemble to perform the Evil Clown broad palate improvisation aesthetic. Here, everyone plays their own wind instruments and we play wood and metal percussion instruments, game calls and other little instruments. When each player has access to so many different sounds, the improvisation naturally transforms through highly varied sonoritys…
Funny story… at 2 pm on the day of the show, I had a dentist appointment for a new crown. Dentist numbed me up real good and I thought it would wear off in a few hours, but at 7:30 I was still a bit numb and I thought I might not be able to play the double reeds which require pressure from above and below the reed… Anyway, it wore off just in time for the show!
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