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Leap Of Faith: The Origin Of Mass (Evil Clown)

The second album of collective free improvisation from Leap of Faith expanded by Chinese musicians, from the core duo of multi-reedist David Peck and cellist Glynis Lomon, here with Chinese improviser, Boston-based Beijing guzheng player Jiaxin Wan, alongside trumpeter Bob Moores, for two exotic improvisations of patiently evolving global elements.
 

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Personnel:



David Peck (PEK)-clarinet, contralto clarinet, contrabass clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, mussette, guanzi, bass tromboon, bass flute, 5 hole wooden flute, accordion, [d]ronin, 17 string bass, theremin with moogerfooger, korg ms20, arp odyssey, novation peak, moog subsequent, syntrx, prophet, Linnstrument controllers, spring and chime rod boxes, electric chimes, Tibetan bowls, chimes, brontosaurus bell, gongs, plate gong, temple blocks, log drums, cow bells, Englephone, danmo, wood blocks, temple blocks, xylophone, balafon, almglocken, orchestral chimes, orchestral anvils, game calls, soma pipe, voice

Glynis Lomon-cello, aquasonic, voice

Bob Moores-space trumpet, cornet, pocket cornet. gongs, plate gong, cow bells, brontosaurus and tank bells, crotales, wood and temple blocks, log drums, flex a tone, seed pod rattle, nord stage 3, novation peak, moog subsequent, Linnstrument controllers, crank siren, voice

Jiaxin Wan-guzheng, korg ms20, novation peak, moogsubsequent, xylophone, balafon, almglocken

Joel Simches-real time signal processing


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Label: Evil Clown
Catalog ID: 9337
Squidco Product Code: 33968

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters, in Waltham Massachusetts, on May 13th, 2023.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The Leap of Faith ensemble is based in Boston and dates back to the early 90s. We utilize a huge arsenal of additional Evil Clown instruments to improvise long works featuring transformations across highly varied sonorities. At times, the core unit has been a trio or even a quartet. The longest running core unit was comprised of PEK, Glynis and drummer Yuri Zbitnov, who played for the last couple of years of the archival period and the first 5 years of the reboot starting in 2015. The ensemble has always been highly modular, and our many recordings (now over 150) feature the various core unit in dozens of configurations with a huge list of guests and occasionally as only the core unit with no guests. Currently, the core unit is the duet of PEK and Lomon and we are regularly presenting LIVESTREAMs to YouTube from Evil Clown Headquarters with other guest performers.

I have always liked the music of different cultures and play many woodwind instruments from Asia, Africa and other regions of the world. I have listened to a lot of world music and a lot of modern classical music to learn about sound worlds/sonority not present in tonal western music.

A relatively recent development here at Evil Clown has been the addition of a few Chinese musicians to the roster. Unusual percussionist Michael Knoblach, who joined the roster right before the pandemic, has been playing for a while with multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Zhao who plays many Chinese instruments with authority in traditional settings and an improvisation quartet with Michael called the JMDE quartet. Expanse, which is the ensemble which features Michael and me, joined together with the JMDE quartet for a few sessions and then Jimmy suggested a set with an expanded section of Chinese players. We've now done two sets for the Leap of Faith Chinese Orchestra (LOFCO) with Glynis and me, Michael, Chinese musicians, and a few others. These larger sets are interesting: the Chinese players play some traditional sounding Chinese music and the improvisors play off those sounds. The give and take is between the cultural groupings with sometimes one or the other dominating and sometimes an unusual combination.

One of the players to attend the second LOFCO sessions was a gifted young woman named Jiaxin Wan who plays a Chinese zither instrument called the guzheng. She is in town to attend Berklee and will be around for another year or so. I liked her playing very much and I invited her to join this small format Leap of Faith set. When I find talented students who are in the area, I try to get them involved in sessions while they are available, before they return to their homes.

The original concept for The Origin of Mass was to do a strings session expanding on the recent LOF trio set with guest violinist Tom Swafford, by adding Jiaxin and Albey onBass to make a quintet. Albey is back and forth between Boston and New York, so I schedule sessions around his availability. Eventually, we landed on 5/13 for this set with Glynis, me, Jiaxin and Albey signed up and with Tom down as possible. As the date grew close, Tom was unable to make it and then Albey's travel plans changed, and he was unable to make it. I invited Evil Clown regular Bob Moores to join on trumpet and the final quartet with two strings and two horns was established.

As I expected, Jiaxin played really well in the more improvisation focused unit without the other Chinese musicians. With her presence Leap of Faith brings these wonderful Asian sounds into the small unit environment. There will be another LOFCO set in the fall when she returns to school, and I will schedule some small unit sessions with her as well starting in the fall."-David Peck, from the liner notes


Artist Biographies

"PEK (aka David Peck) is a multi-instrument improviser who plays all kinds of instruments including saxophones, clarinets, double reeds, percussion, electronics and auxiliary sound making devices of all kinds.

PEK was born in 1964 and started playing clarinet and piano in elementary school. In 7th grade he started saxophones, first on alto, then switching to tenor in high school. He spent 10 years playing in rock bands and studying classical and jazz saxophone with Kurt Heisig in the San Jose CA area before moving to Boston in 1989 to attend Berklee where he studied performance with George Garzone. While Berklee was an excellent place to study harmony, voice training and other important aspects of a conventional formal music training course of study, it was not a very good environment for learning contemporary (or pure) improvisation (apart from his work with George). PEK did find, however, that Boston had a thriving improvisation scene, and it was here that he developed his mature pure improvisation language.

During the 90s, PEK performed with many notable improvisers including Masashi Harada, Glynis Lomon, William Parker, Laurence Cooke, Eric Zinman, Glenn Spearman, Raqib Hassan, Charlie Kohlhase, Steve Norton, Keith Hedger, Mark McGrain, Sydney Smart, Matt Samolis, Martha Ritchey, Larry Roland, Dennis Warren, Yuri Zbitnov, Craig Schildhauer, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Leslie Ross, Rob Bethel, Wayne Rogers, Eric Rosenthal, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tatsuya Nakatani, James Coleman, B'hob Rainey and George Garzone.

PEK met cellist Glynis Lomon when they played together in the Masashi Harada Sextet which existed between 1990 and 1992. They developed a deep musical connection which they continued following the MHS; first with the Leaping Water Trio for a few years and then with the first version of Leap of Faith in 1994. Leap of Faith was very active in Boston from that time until 2001 and went through a series of several core ensembles which always included both PEK and Glynis. Other key Leap of Faith core members during this period were Mark McGrain (trombone), Craig Schildhauer (double bass), Sydney Smart (drums), Yuri Zbitnov (drums) and James Coleman (theremin). Leap of Faith was always a very modular unit with constantly shifting personnel and many different guests. The early Leap of Faith period concluded in 2001 with a dual bill at an excellent room at MIT called Killian Hall with George Garzone's seminal trio the Fringe.

At this time, PEK changed careers for his day gig, returning to college for a computer science degree and beginning to work in the structural engineering industry at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger. He became far too busy to continue the heavy music schedule, and preferring not to do music casually, he entered a long musically dormant period.

Flash forward to early 2014. PEK was a regular mail order customer of Downtown Music Gallery, the premiere specialty shop in Manhattan for free jazz, contemporary classical and other new music. While in New York on SGH business, he went down to DMG and had a lengthy conversation with proprietor Bruce Lee Gallanter about the early Leap of Faith period. He then sent Bruce a package of about 15 CD titles from the 90s and was pleasantly surprised when Bruce managed to sell nearly all of it. This public interest in the old catalog spurred PEK into getting back into performance. He reformed Leap of Faith with Glynis Lomon (cello, voice, aquasonic), Yuri Zbitnov (drums) and newcomer Steve Norton (clarinets and saxophones) and started to record and perform in early 2015.

Now having access to financial resources always absent in the early period, PEK began to accumulate a huge collection of instruments both for himself and also to expand the palate of Leap of Faith and the other projects soon to follow. He acquired new recording equipment and many new saxophones, clarinets, double reeds, metal and wooden percussion instruments, electronic instruments, signal processing equipment and other sound-making devices from many cultures. He revived his old record label, Evil Clown, and created reissues and new releases for much of the early period work by Leap of Faith and many of his other projects to sell at shows, DMG and the internet (around 100 archival titles).

The Arsenal of equipment has a grand purpose: To establish a large scale aesthetic problem to use the instruments to make long form broad palate improvisations with dramatic transformation and development. The very broad palate enables the long improvisations to evolve with very different movements and pronounced development over their length. PEK started the Leap of Faith Orchestra, a greatly expanded Leap of Faith, to achieve this purpose along with a number of smaller ensembles which are sub-units of the full orchestra including String Theory (focusing on orchestral strings), Metal Chaos Ensemble (focusing on metallic percussion), Turbulence (horn players), Mekaniks (electronics) and Chicxulub (space rock). In all, the Evil Clown roster includes over 40 musicians who contribute to one or more of the various projects, with PEK participating in all of them. Leap of Faith has also had some special guests like Steve Swell (trombone), Thomas Heberer (trumpet), Jeremiah Cymerman (clarinet) and Jim Hobbs (alto sax). The Leap of Faith Orchestra happens whenever several of these groups play together at the same time, or the ensemble exceeds 7 or 8 players. The Full Orchestra is a special case discussed below.

The current roster is comprised in part of: - Core Leap of Faith: PEK, Glynis Lomon, Yuri Zbitnov (Steve Norton has since left to go to Graduate School) - Percussion: Andria Nicodemou (vibes), Kevin Dacey (perc), Joe Hartigan (perc), Syd Smart (drums) - Strings: Jane Wang (cello), Clara Kebabian (violin), Tony Leva (bass), Mimi Rabson (violin), Kirsten Lamb (bass), Brendan Higgins (bass), Silvain Castellano (bass), Rob Bethel (cello), Kit Demos (bass), Matt Scutchfield (violin), Helen Sherrah-Davies (violin) - Piano: Eric Zinman, Peter Cassino, Emilio Gonzales - Horns: Dave Harris (tuba, trombone), Charlie Kohlhase (saxes), Bob Moores (trumpet), Sara Honeywell (trombone), Forbes Graham (trumpet), John Baylies (tuba), Dan O'Brien (woodwinds), Zack Bartolomei (woodwinds), Kat Dobbins (trombone), Steve Provizer (trumpet, baritone horn), Matt Samolis (flute) - Electronics: Greg Grinnell, Jason Adams (electric bass, electronics) - Guitar: Dru Wesely, Grant Beale, Chris Florio - Voice: Dei Xhrist

Evil Clown is documenting the ongoing solutions to this aesthetic challenge by creating limited CD editions and digital download albums of every performance and studio session by this array of ensembles. Interested audience can track the development of the grand scale project over the many releases - over 80 albums recorded and released so far between Jan of 2015 and March of 2017. All of the bands are highly modular, changing personnel and instrumentation with each meeting. The result is an enormous amount of music that shares the same fundamental improvisational language but differs from event to event greatly both in sonority (overall sound) and specific detail.

For the full Leap of Faith Orchestra, PEK composes a graphic notation score to guide the improvisation. The full Orchestra is comprised of roughly 20 players from the roster and performs twice a year. Two performances have occurred to date - The Expanding Universe in June of 2016 and Supernovae in November of 2016. Composition for Possible Universes is completed and the work will be performed on May 28, 2017 with another performance (score not yet begun) scheduled for November.

The scores use a device called Frame Notation where written English descriptions of the overall sonority desired and simple graphic symbols are given durations for each player on their part along with direction on when to play and when not to play. The directions are put in little boxes called frames which are arranged on a timeline and are simple enough to be immediately understood by the performers. Horizontal lines, called Duration Bars, extend across the page indicating when each Event (the Frame + the Duration Bar) begins and ends. An Event can be intended for the full ensemble, a defined group within the ensemble (for example, Metal Chaos Ensemble), a custom group (for example, Tubas), or an individual (for example, Andria Feature).

Parts are the full score annotated with Hiliters so that each player's instructions stand out. They can clearly see their individual instructions, but can also see the big picture, enabling far more knowledge about the pending actions of the rest of the ensemble than typical in pure improvisation. The players track the elapsed time on a very large sports clock. There is no melodic, harmonic or rhythmic information specified. This system allows PEK to compose detailed Ensemble Events without having to notate pitches or rhythms which would require significant rehearsal to accurately achieve."

-All About Jazz (https://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/pek)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Improvising cellist, vocalist and aquasonic player Glynis Lomon graduated from Bennington College in 1975 with a degree in Music/Black Music. At Bennington she studied with musician/composer Bill Dixon and continued to perform and record with his ensembles until his recent death. Glynis has also been privileged to play with Arthur Brooks, Jimmy Lyons, Cecil Taylor, Butch Morris, William Parker, Joe Morris, Greta Buck, Masashi Harada, Lowell Davidson, Raqib Hassan and many others. For almost a decade she and multi reed player PEK performed in the Boston area with their group Leap of Faith."

-Evil Clown Website (http://www.giantevilclown.com/bio-glynis-lomon-.html)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Bob Moores Having spent most of his life flying under the radar working on obscure projects that may some day come to the light of day, trumpeter/guitarist/composer/improviser/artist/photographer/poet/conceptualist Bob Moores has finally started to emerge into the light playing in the free improvisation collective Fable Grazer and through his solo project Resonator.

Having played every kind of music imaginable on trumpet in every kind of setting from classical to funk to blues to R&B to pop punk and metal to jazz, in small and large ensembles, Bob has settled on playing only freely improvised music at this stage of his evolution, both in group situations and as a solo artist. Moores is an exponent of what he calls unschooled primitive coloristic guitar having started to play in earnest with Fable Grazer.

He has been composing music since he was a child and composes and arranges for a variety of ensembles types, instrumentations and genres."

-Evil Clown Website (http://www.giantevilclown.com/bio-bob-moores.html)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Jiaxin Wan is a guzheng and keyboard player from Beijing, China, who studied at Berklee College of Music and currently lives in Boston, MA.

-Jiaxin Wan Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100082838417789&sk=about_contact_and_basic_info)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Joel Simches: A multi-instrumentalist born 10/18/65, Joel Simches has been an active member of the Boston music scene for 35 years, played in well over 40 bands, traveling the world as a musician, audio engineer, tour manager and record producer. He has worked with a diverse array of bands including Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys, DeVotchKa, Bang Camaro, Dresden Dolls and Big Dipper, to name a few. He has also written for The Noise and Boston Soundcheck Magazine. Currently a staff engineer at Watch City Studios, Joel also plays in Count Zero, Joe Turner and the Seven Levels, Butterscott, Nisi Period, Didactics, Curious Ritual and is executive producer/talent booker of On The Town with Mikey Dee on WMFO."

-Evil Clown (http://www.giantevilclown.com/bio-joel-simches.html)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. The Origin Of Mass 1:10:00

2. Subnuclear Forces 5:43

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic
Collective Free Improvsation
Boston Area Improvisers
Quartet Recordings
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

Search for other titles on the label:
Evil Clown.


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