The Squid's Ear Magazine

Perturbations

That's Where the Unknown Is

Perturbations: That's Where the Unknown Is (Evil Clown)

"Perturbed" by the sonic intervention of sound engineer and performer Joel Simches, who applies various effect processes to the continually morphing free improvisations of Boston collective players David Peck on reeds, percussion and synthetics, Michael Caglianone on soprano, alto & tenor saxophones, clarinet, flute & percussion, and Albey onBass on bass and percussion.
 

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David Peck (PEK)-clarinet, contralto & contrabass clarinets, sopranino, alto, & tenor saxophones, piccolo oboe, alto flute, 5 hole wood flute, accordion, melodica, korg m20, syntrx, novation peak, moog subsequent, Linnstrument controllers, theremin with moogerfooger, [d]ronin, 17 string bass, array mbira, spring & chime rod boxes, gongs, plate gong, Englephone, danmo, brontosaurus & tank bells, cow bells, Tibetan bowls, orchestral chimes, chimes, crotales, glockenspiel, temple & wood blocks, log drums, orchestral castanets, seed pod rattle, balafon, xylophone, orchestral anvil, almglocken, trine, whistling

Michael Caglianone-soprano, alto & tenor saxophones, clarinet, flute, melodica, log drums, wood & temple blocks, brontosaurus bell, crotales, glockenspiel, gongs, Tibetan bowls & bells, novation peak, Moog subsequent, Linnstrument controllers

Albey onBass-electric upright bass, loops, gongs, balalfon, xylophone, wood blocks, novation peak, moog subsequent, Linnstrument controllers

Joel Simches-Live to 2—track recording, perturbations (echoplex, Lexicon MPX500 & vortex, Roland SDE3000, Sony DPS—07, Electrix warpfactory, Alesis wedge, Korg SDD—3000 delay, Digitech whamy, Boss loop station, Electro Harmonix pog, D Seed II delay)


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Label: Evil Clown
Catalog ID: 9358
Squidco Product Code: 34844

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA on November 14, 2023

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Perturbations is another beast. It shares members PEK, Caglianone and Simches, here with a bigger footprint, with Simulacrum. Albey OnBass rounds out the quartet with his bass and box of percussion and electronics. Recorded in November 2023, + begins with acoustic clangor and electronic "perturbations", which blend into a quiet cacophony that mirrors an insect-ridden night in the woods. (One imagines the unknown could reside here, in the space between civilization and the wild, between the physical and metaphysical, as much as anywhere.)

An accordion and layered tones of unknown provenance break the spell, transporting the listener from a simulated forest to a port city, creaking docks, lonely saxophone and all. The picture, however, never truly becomes clear. Swooshes of interference intervene. A second, deeper horn engages with the first. A busy swarming background persists, and, in the whirl of elements, it can be difficult for the listener to find footing. Albey OnBass introduces a staggered bass line, and his subsequent duet with a lone sax pose the jazzier moments of this piece.

But these moments are fleeting, as was the forest and the dock. It seems like the moment the piece settles, it detours or rather leaps to different aesthetic realms. In that sense, That's Where the Unknown Is is clunkier (though deftly and intentionally) than the ebb-and-flow characteristic of so many extended collective improvisations. This zigs and zags rather than builds and releases. And, well, it goes on like that, zigging, zagging and always finding new corners of the alkali flats to agitate."-Nick Ostrum, The Free Jazz Collective



"Perturbations core unit is PEK and Joel Simches... Joel is the Evil Clown house engineer who comes to nearly all the recording sessions at Evil Clown Headquarters. Some of the bands (for example, Metal Chaos Ensemble and Simulacrum) feature Joel's real time signal processing in addition to his role as the recording engineer. Now that the Studio has been updated with new equipment (board and effects) Joel's Perturbation options have increased and improved.

Early last year (2022), I suggested to Joel that we form this new group where the signal processing takes on the role of an instrumentalist, significantly more complex than the general color and delay we use in the other ensembles. For this band, Joel Perturbs the sounds created by me on horns, percussion, and electronics, creating a compound musical statement with the blended source sounds and the Perturbed sonority. Shortly after that, in February, we recorded the first session for this project as a duet, producing Agitation. As I expected, the result meets the requirement I have for a new Evil Clown project name which is to create a distinctive sound world from a particular section through Evil Clown's broad palette...

Following the first duet set, the others have added one or two additional instrumentalists making the full ensemble a trio or a quartet counting Joel. The first quartet session, Deviations of a System (4/17/2023), featured Evil Clown regulars Albey onBass and Michael Caglianone, who have each appeared on many Albums by multiple Evil Clown Ensembles. Albey is an amazing bass player who played with Cecil Taylor's trio and big band for over 10 years. Micheal is a great reed player who ran a recording studio in the Boston area for many years and recorded many notable local musicians. The current set, That's Where the Unknown is..., returns to this same quartet for a second go.

A quartet with 3 instrumentalists and Joel is the largest the ensemble should ever be for this band since there is enough sonic space for Joel to make a dramatic musical contribution. So, moving forward this band will be a quartet or smaller.

I am interested in the difficult aesthetic problem of larger improvisation ensembles due to the possibilities of rich sonorities and dramatic transformation. In my long improvisation history, I have, however, performed with many small units, including solo. Small improvisation units are easier in some ways, since there are fewer musical elements at any point in time that need to converge on each overall sonority. The Perturbations recordings so far show that smaller ensemble improvisation with Joel's Perturbations can provide broad palate improvisation every bit as deep and complex as what can be achieved by a bigger band.

With Joel at the controls of the signal processing, we essentially have real-time decision making as a performance unit, and we get the full-time attention of a master engineer on the electronic Perturbations of the instrumental expressions. I really like this combination of live playing and over-the top signal processing. Now having addressed this particular aesthetic problem 5 times, I can see that this will be an ongoing Evil Clown project with at least several LIVESTREAM's per year."-David Peck, from the liner notes


Get additional information at The Free Jazz Collective

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.

Michael Anthony Caglianone is an American sax player, producer, recording, mixing & mastering engineer, voice-over actor, co-founder of Studio 7A West. Based out of Boston, MA. He is known for the band Zen Bastards.

-Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/artist/378779-Michael-Caglianone)
5/23/2024

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

Albey Balgochian performs on bass, who has performed with Cecil Taylor, Paul Rishell and has led his own band.

-Albey onBass Website (http://www.albeybalgochian.com/index.html)
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. That's Where the Unknown Is 1:08:56

2. Undiscovered 5:31

Related Categories of Interest:


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

Search for other titles on the label:
Evil Clown.


Recommended & Related Releases:
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