The Squid's Ear Magazine


Leap Of Faith: Graviton Propagates (Evil Clown)

With two trumpeters--space trumpeter Bob Moores and slide trumpeter John Fugarino — and the exotic guzheng work of Jiaxin Wan — this edition of the Boston Based collective Leap of Faith with David Peck on reeds, winds, synth and percussion and Glynis Lomon on cello and aquasonic, hearkens to their Leap of Faith Chinese Orchestra as the quintet pursues Peck's broad palette improv concept.
 

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David Peck (PEK)-clarinets, sopranino, saxophones, dulzaina, tarota, alto flute, accordion, synthesizers, Linnstrument controllers, theremin with moogerfooger, [d]ronin, 17 string bass, game call through soma pipe, nagoya, tank cello, spring and chime rod boxes, gongs, bells, orchestral chimes, chimes, temple and wood blocks, log drums, Tibetan bowls, seed pod rattle, almglocken, orchestral castanets, balafon, xylophone

Glynis Lomon-cello, aquasonic, voice

Bob Moores-space trumpet, space pocket trumpet, synthesizer, [d]ronin, 17 string bass, gongs, temple blocks, wood blocks, log drums, seed pod rattle, bells, crotales, glockenspiel, crank siren, voice

John Fugarino-trumpet, slide trumpet, flugelhorn, crotales, glockenspiel, almglocken, orchestral anvils, balafon, xylophone, synthesizer, Englephone, spring and chime rod boxes, array mbira, gongs, log drums, gavel

Jiaxin Wan-guzheng, synthesizer, novation peak, moog subsequent, xylophone, balafon, almglocken

Joel Simches-real time signal processing


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Label: Evil Clown
Catalog ID: 9347
Squidco Product Code: 35015

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters, in Waltham, MA, on September 9th, 2023.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

One of the recent Evil Clown projects is the Leap of Faith Chinese Orchestra which has recorded twice. Percussionist Michael Knoblach brought Jimmy Zhao over for an Expanse meets the JMDE Quartet session. After that Jimmy brought a larger group of Chinese musicians to the first LOFCO set. For the second LOFCO set, he brought an even larger group of Chinese musicians including Jiaxin Wan on guzheng (Chinese zither). I'd like to do the LOFCO sessions about twice a year, but they are very difficult to schedule. Jiaxin is a Berklee student and will be available to us this year and perhaps next year, but eventually will likely move on from the Boston area. I really liked her performance on the second LOFCO recording... When I add someone whose playing I really like to the Roster who will be available for a limited window of time, I try to get them involved in as many sessions as possible.

We managed to do a Leap of Faith quartet edition with Jiaxin right before she went to China for the summer. Graviton Propagates is the follow up to that set with the same lineup (PEK, Lomon, Moores, Wan) and the addition of a second trumpet player John Fugarino. The ensemble does not include a drummer. Several of the Leap of Faith core units have not included drummers... When there is not a drummer the music takes on a chamber music character and becomes a bit less jazz than when there is a drummer. However, the reconfigured Evil Clown Headquarters studio has a lot of percussion instruments and PEK, Moores and Fugarino each spend a significant amount of time on these auxiliary instruments, so the recording still has a significant percussion presence. When several of the members of an Evil Clown Ensemble do a lot of doubling during a performance, the differences in the sonority across movements increase and the development becomes more pronounced.

Combining the improvisation world of Leap of Faith with a strong player from China creates a very broad sonority set and the resulting performance is an excellent example of the broad palette concept showing radical transformations across varied sonorities over the length of the work."-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)
7/10/2024

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)
7/10/2024

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)
7/10/2024

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

"John Fugarino received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He then attended the New England Conservatory of Music and earned a Masters in Music Composition. John has performed and taught trumpet in both the classical and jazz idioms. Has performed a wide range of music including Orchestral, Jazz, Rhythm and Blues, Free Form Improvisation and Microtonal Music. Currently John can be seen playing his own jazz compositions and lead trumpet with "The Hornzone" an R&B/ Funk band. John is a music teacher at the Butler Middle School where he teaches in the Midi-Music Lab and directs the school Jazz Ensemble. Trumpet recordings are on the Lyra Ohm label and Zoning Records. Orchestral music recorded by the Radio and Television Orchestra of Bratislava."

-Real School Music (https://therealschoolofmusic.com/instructors/john-fugarino/)
7/10/2024

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)
7/10/2024

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)
7/10/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Graviton Propagates 1:08:10

2. Massless States 5:05

Related Categories of Interest:


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

Search for other titles on the label:
Evil Clown.


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