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Leap of Faith Orchestra

performs The Photon Epoch by PEK

Leap of Faith Orchestra: performs The Photon Epoch by PEK (Evil Clown)

The full Boston-area Leap of Faith Orchestra in its largest configuration performing a Frame Notation Score composed by PEK to guide the improvisation, this work based on the The Photon Epoch, a period in the evolution of the early universe, using a vast assemblage of instruments and devices to create a unique narrative in an energetic and wonderfully unpredictable journey.
 

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product information:


Label: Evil Clown
Catalog ID: 9213
Squidco Product Code: 27981

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack w/ booklet
Recorded at Pickman Hall in theLongy School of Music Bard College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on April 30th, 2019.


Personnel:

David Peck (PEK)-clarinet, contralto clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass saxophone, tarota, sheng, melodica, chau gong, plate gong

Glynis Lomon-cello

Yuri Zbitnoff-drums, daiko, dan mo, englephone, vibraphone, paiste gong, brontosaurus bells, tank bells

Bob Moores-trumpet

Forbes Graham-trumpet

Zack Bartolomei-alto saxophone, flute, atlantis gong

Eric Dahlman-trumpet, overtone voice

Jim Warshauer-tenor saxophone, contralto clarinet, flute

Duane Reed-baritone horn, bass trombone

Greg Burbank-tuba

Abigale Reisman-violin

Sue Buzzard-violin

Adrienne Schoenfeld-bass

Reverend Grant Beale-guitar, electronics

Chris Florio-guitar synthesizer

Eric Woods-analog synthesizer

Eric Zinman-piano, log drums

Eric Rosenthal-drums, concert bass drum, balafon, Chinese gong, metal, wood

Sydney Smart-electronic drums, voice, log drums, glockenspiel, atlantis gong,metal, wood

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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)
10/15/2019

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)
10/15/2019

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"Yuri Zbitnoff is a drummer/composer/arranger who has been simultaneously providing cutting edge musical entertainment and fomenting revolution of the mind for over 20 years.

Yuri can be heard playing in Atompunk Go-Go Jazz pioneers Mission Creep as well as jazz/rock powerhouse, Axemunkee.

Yuri is perhaps best known for his nearly 10 year stint with the roiling cauldron of apocalyptic cosmic jazz thunder known as Enuma Elish.

From 2000 to 2008, Yuri ran Lithiq, a label dedicated to promoting music at the nexus of electronic music, jazz and rock. During this time, Yuri released albums by both Enuma Elish and Sky Saw and performed with SpiralZero, Caduceus, and many others.

Yuri's association with PEK dates back to the late 90's and includes numerous performances with Raqib Hassan's ensembles as well as Leap of Faith. All of these recordings are available on Evil Clown."

-Evil Clown Website (http://www.giantevilclown.com/bio-yuri-zbitnov.html)
10/15/2019

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"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)
10/15/2019

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

"Forbes Graham born 1977 in Washington, DC. Forbes Graham is a trumpet player, electronic musician, and composer living and working in Boston, Massachusetts. He has worked with a diverse array of musicians and currently is a member of Para Quintet, Rock Flint Contemporary Ensemble, Wild May, Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, Grizzler, Construction Party, Equal Time and Citizens Orchestra. He is the founder of the Rock Flint Artists Retreat, and has appeared at numerous festivals including High Zero, Full Force, and Vision."

-Evil Clown Website (http://www.giantevilclown.com/bio-forbes-graham.html)
10/15/2019

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

"Zachary Bartolomei teaches saxophone and flute for all ages and experience levels, as well as beginner piano, guitar, and bass guitar. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies from The Hartt School's Jackie McLean Institute, as well as a Master of Music degree in Jazz Composition & Arranging from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he taught jazz ensembles as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. He takes a holistic approach to teaching, giving a solid foundation in technique and theory while also emphasizing improvisation and creativity. He is active as a performer across many genres in the Pioneer Valley and beyond, as a member of Shokazoba and World Eaters, as well as his own jazz and creative music projects."

-Downtown Sounds (http://downtownsounds.com/teachers/zack-bartolomei/)
10/15/2019

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"- Performed with free jazz icon Hal Russell & his NRG Ensemble, Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Travis Chandler Philharmonic, Auddity, Rakalam Bob Moses, DMJE quartet and DME trio. Dahlman has appeared on Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty's Discovery Channel soundtrack "Bridges".

- Music appears in the documentary film "The Bear Cult" (2015 Hyperion).

- Studied with Ingrid Monson, Dave Frank, Anthony Davis & John Luther Adams."

-Evil Clown (http://www.evilclown.rocks/bio-eric-dahlman.html)
10/15/2019

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

Jim Warshauer is a saxophonist and multi-reed player in the Boston area. He runs the JWSax store selling vintage saxophones and mouthpieces.

-Squidco 10/15/2019

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"Chris Florio is an Ipswich, Mass. resident and award winning composer and performer. His works have been performed by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Metrowest Symphony, the Greater Trenton Symphony and the Berklee Contemporary Orchestra. He has released five albums of his compositions on Passion Records as well as albums of improvised duets with guitarist Jonathan Keezing, woodwind player Hiro Honshuku. He has performed and Recorded with Full Metal Revolutionary Jazz ensemble (Drimala Records). Chris teaches game audio, animation and game programming at the New England Institute of Art and lives in Ipswich with his wife Helen, a young terrier, a barn cat and a rescued race horse."

-Evil Clown (http://www.evilclown.rocks/bios.html)
10/15/2019

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"Originally trained as an electric bassist in funk and jazz in high school, Eric's interest in new music began after studying at Northeastern's Music Technology program, composing acousmatic music on the computer, with an interest in mixed electronic works for live performance, as well as algorithmic and chance operations. While at Northeastern, Eric honed his improvisation skills in the Electronic Music Ensemble, performing pieces such as John Zorn's "Cobra" and Stockhausen's "From the Seven Days".

After college, Eric began playing mandolin as a founding member of the improv collective Fable Grazer. Craving more of the sonic flexibility of his earlier computer music work, Eric was drawn to modular synthesizers in 2012, which has became his primary instrument. He records and performs solo work under the moniker Machine Machine that are largely unedited, improvised recordings. Last year, Eric went on his first nation-wide tour as the synth player in the psychedelic electronic folk trio Vilicon Sally."

-Evil Clown (http://www.evilclown.rocks/bio-eric-woods.html)
10/15/2019

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"Eric Zinman was born and educated in Boston, MA . He studied music/composition with Bill Dixon at Bennington College and later George Russell and Jimmy Giuffre at New England Conservatory. He formed a piano trio with percussionist Laurence Cook, bassist Craig Schildhauer and later bassists John Voigt and Jacob William. For years, he has been an active producer, performer and organizer and composer and arranger of ensembles in Boston including Citizen's Orchestra with Stanley Jason Zappa and the ensemble New Language Collaborative with Syd Smart, drums and Glynis Lomon, cello. Turning away from the music scene he worked in theatre, with poets and with painter Linda Clave. Mr. Zinman has collaborated with artist, Aldo Tambellini in presenting performances which used Tambellini's films, videos and poetry read with poet singer actress Lo Galluccio. In 2006, he began to play and gain recognition in Europe in collaboration with Austrian based musician/artist Mario Rechtern, and a trio with French bassist Benjamin Duboc and percussionist Didier Lasserre and later Makoto Sato with bassist Yoram Rosillio He has performed in 6 different countries and has been reviewed in 5 different languages. Since 2005 musician/composer Eric Zinman has been recorded and produced on Cadence(US), Ayler, (France) Studio234(USA), Improvising Beings(France. ) and"Nottwo Records(Poland). He is listed in the 19th edition Penguin Guide To Jazz Recordings."

-Evil Clown Website (http://www.giantevilclown.com/bio-eric-zinman.html)
10/15/2019

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"Drummer Eric Rosenthal is based out of the Boston area. The former student of Ed Blackwell has studied and performed more than American jazz drumming; he has also delved into West African traditional and South Indian classical percussion. Rosenthal has performed and improvised with Anthony Braxton, Mat Maneri, Pandelis Karayorgis, Mario Pavone, and the Either/Orchestra. He has performed all over North America and Europe, and appeared in Greece at the Patras Jazz Festival, at Montreal's North Sea Jazz festival, even at Finland's Pori Festival. Besides producing his own improvised music recordings, he also appears on CDs with the Hypnotic Clambake and the Zairean soukous band Freestyle. The late '90s found Rosenthal busy in the group Naftule's Dream. The band has two releases on John Zorn's Tzadik label, Search for the Golden Dreydl and Smash, Clap!"

-Evil Clown (http://www.evilclown.rocks/bio-eric-rosenthal.html)
10/15/2019

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"Syd Smart's life has been a path of using music to create community. He began studies in music appreciation as a child in Cleveland from his mother's vast record collection. Percussion training came from his father and older brother. Other major teachers include: Chief Bey, Milford Graves, Makanda Ken McIntyre, Cecil Taylor, Bill Dixon, Babatunde Olatunji, Steve Barrios, Ibrahima Camara, Jose Luis Quintana/"Changuito", Angel Sanchez/"Cepillo" and Deraldo Ferreira.

Syd majored in Music Education at Central State University and in 1973, received a Black Music Fellowship to teach and study at Bennington College in Vermont, where he completed his B. A. Degree. He was the founder of "Friends of Great Black Music", a Boston based organization established in the early 1970's to support local artists involved in the music in the African and African-American Diasporas. Syd is co-founder of Boston's annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert, now in its thirty-sixth year and the world's oldest living tribute to this master.

Syd has extensive experience composing for dance and with Joan Green, he co-founded the "Children's Dance Project" which eventually expanded to become the "Cambridge Performance Project". a city wide performing arts program. Syd was awarded a "Dance Belt Award" by the Mayor of the City of Cambridge for constant and long standing support of the movement arts community. With Stan Strickland, Syd annually co-conducted "Sound and Movement in Nature", a workshop offered by the Expressive Therapies Division of Lesley University.

In 1992, Syd was a resident performing Artist at the World Exposition, "Expo 92", in Seville, Spain. While there, he also began curriculum development of an Integrated Thematic Unit on Andalusian culture for third and fourth graders in the Cambridge Public Schools. He was part of a team of curriculum developers for a soon to be published curriculum that integrates African Drumming with mathematic concepts.

Syd holds a Masters Degree in Education from Lesley University and has taught instrumental music in the Cambridge Public Schools. He was the Education Manager and Learning Center Director for Mars Music, a national retail chain and largest provider of private music instruction in America.

Syd's performance experience includes: Karamu House, Art of Black Dance and Music, Rod Rodgers Dance Co., Boston Art Ensemble, Sam Rivers, Bill Dixon, Jimmy Lyons, in Spain With Juan Oliva, Angel de Jesus, and in Africa with the Kampala Jazz Allstars. Syd is most recently known for his work with Stan Strickland and "Express Yourself", New Language Collaborative, Samba Viva, Ann Silverman Band, The Tefilah Band of Beth El Temple Center, and action painter, Nancy Ostrovsky."

-Evil Clown (http://www.giantevilclown.com/bio-yedidyah-syd-smart-.html)
10/15/2019

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track listing:


1. The Photon Epoch 1:16:52

sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"In a decade of writing for All About Jazz, Chicago Jazz Magazine, and The New York Jazz Record, I've had the opportunity to listen to thousands of creative music recordings, of overwhelming diversity. I have heard nothing like the music of PEK.

Composer, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, and label founder, PEK is an audacious experimenter. Beyond that, there are no appropriate labels for the music associated with his numerous groups on his Evil Clown label. Listen to the Leap of Faith Orchestra on The Photon Epoch and you will find yourself at thirty-thousand feet, in a place with few identifiable landmarks, and then just trust that PEK will land the plane.

Twice each year, the Evil Clown family of groups convenes as a full orchestra, to perform and record before a live audience and without a substantial safety net. The groups, Leap of Faith (a flexible formation), Metal Chaos Ensemble, String Theory, Turbulence, and Mekaniks each feature distinct instrument groupings and different dynamics; PEK himself is the common connection and the creative force behind each band. The Photon Epoch is living, breathing art, best appreciated from all of the creative perspectives involved in the finished product. Watch the YouTube video of this seventy-seven-minute show; it should be seen to appreciate what PEK's Frame Notation method looks like when manifested through twenty musicians. Then there is the Frame Notation itself. This involved process, designed to eliminate the need for mass rehearsals, tells the musicians all they need to know; coding of instrument groups and score, when (and sometimes what) to play, for how long, and with what characteristics. On paper, the Frame Notation is a work of visual art, the hybrid of an intricate wiring diagram and Piet Mondrian's "Broadway Boogie Woogie".

One of the first things you notice about The Photon Epoch is the evolving maturity of LOFO. Many gadgets and odd instruments that populated the orchestra's previous Cosmological Horizons are minimalized here. There is a new collective depth to LOFO's sound; symphonious, and with greater complexity of emotion, but still bristling with an underlying rawness. While free improvisations, or as PEK prefers, "pure improvisations" are the unseen aspects within each frame, there is a consistent musicality running through the entire extended work. Through a half-dozen live LOFO recordings, this collective-many who have been on board from the outset-has gelled as a large, empathetic unit, taking an erudite approach to traversing some perilous territory. In the transitions from idyllic passages to visceral outbursts, the individual musicians have mastered the ability to dissociate themselves from unrelated stimuli while holding firm to interpreting ideas that, to this point, have only played out in PEK's head.

I have listened to the music of all the Evil Clown sub-groups without preconceived expectations, beyond the understanding there would be unusual dynamic forces at work. With the full orchestra, that energy grows exponentially. I've played The Photon Epoch multiple times; with and without headphones, in the light and in the dark. That is often the recipe for diluting the power of a piece of music, especially one of long duration. That is not the case here - something new presents itself each time, an instrument group may stand out, a bell rings, a silence seems more profound. The Photon Epoch marks a forward movement in PEK's music, and it also stands out as the highlight to-date, of one of the most prolific and unique composers of our time"-Karl Ackermann, from the liner notes



Program Notes for the Concert

"Leap of Faith Orchestra Performs The Photon by PEK

Once or twice a year Sparkles, The Giant Evil Clown, presents the full Leap of Faith Orchestra in its largest configuration performing a Frame Notation Score composed by PEK which guides the improvisation...

In physical cosmology, The Photon Epoch was the period in the evolution of the early universe in which photons dominated the energy of the universe. The Photon Epoch started after most leptons and anti-leptons were annihilated at the end of the lepton epoch, about 10 seconds after the Big Bang. Atomic nuclei were created in the process of nucleosynthesis which occurred during the first few minutes of The Photon Epoch. For the remainder of The Photon Epoch, the universe contained a hot dense plasma of nuclei, electrons and photons. 370,000 years after the Big Bang the temperature of the universe fell to the point where nuclei could combine with electrons to create neutral atoms. As a result, photons no longer interacted frequently with matter, the universe became transparent and the cosmic microwave background radiation was created and then structure formation took place.

I am giving all my Frame Notation compositions for the LOFO astronomical/cosmological titles - It seems fitting with the scale of these long complex works and fits well with my usual Leap of Faith/Evil Clown titles which largely draw on Scientific and Mathematical ideas. These very special full orchestra events occur only once or twice a year. For each performance, I compose a Frame Notation Score specifically for that show which is simultaneously a Density and Sonority map prescribing the improvised development of the work. These very special scores intend to solve a very tricky problem of composition for large improvisation ensembles: How do you rehearse complex works for large ensembles when all the participants are extremely busy? Answer: Compose works that do not need to be rehearsed.

My newest composition, The Photon Epoch, is being presented in a great room at The Longy School of Music called Pickman Hall. Pickman Hall is a wonderful modern chamber orchestra performance space with high ceilings, a great grand piano and a nice live sound. The Leap of Faith Orchestra performed Superclusters, my 4th Frame Notation Score, at Pickman Hall in December 2017. Peter Cassino, who plays with our star cellist Glynis Lomon, and who performed the piano part on the 1st Frame Notation Score, The Expanding Universe, has generously offered us the use of this amazing venue. Thanks, Peter...

When deciding that I wanted to create a large improvisation orchestra version of Leap of Faith in early 2015, I reflected on my prior experience with large groups in the 90s and early 00s where we tried with difficulty to gather the entire group to rehearse. I decided to take a different approach and to develop the orchestra slowly over time by working with many smaller sections and combinations ultimately leading to the full unit. For the first year and a half, we performed pure improvisations with each other in various combinations, and created a lot of great work by smaller units in the process. The debut performance of the first Frame Notation Score by PEK, The Expanding Universe, was performed by the full Leap of Faith Orchestra in June 2016 - then 4 more since: Supernovae (November 2016); Possible Universes (May 2017), SuperClusters (December 2017), and Cosmological Horizons (July 2018): All to critical acclaim. See reviews on AllAboutJazz.com, FreeJazzBlog, the New York City Jazz Record and elsewhere (Evil Clown website press page). The various small ensembles continue regularly to present pure improvisations at Boston Venues and now LIVE STREAMING of recording sessions from Evil Clown Headquarters.

The Frames control who plays what instrument and at what times during the 75 minute duration of the composition. The score does not contain conventionally notated melodic, harmonic or rhythmic information; instead, the Frames, aligned with Time Indices along the top of the page, contain simple graphic symbols and English language descriptions for each performer dictating the instrument played and texture desired for the Frame's Time Window specified by its Duration Bar. The score prescribes timbre sets (clouds of sounds of similar texture) by assigning auxiliary instruments (mostly wood or metal percussion) to each player and using the many possible permutations of primary and auxiliary instrument groupings across the orchestra to create an organic stream of transformations through highly varied sonorities. The ensemble tracks the time on the score with a large digital sports clock.

This system allows me to compose detailed Events without having to notate pitches or rhythms in conventional staff notation which would require significant rehearsal to accurately achieve and not take advantage of the distinct improvisational languages of the musicians. Skilled improvisers, like the ones I have recruited, can easily follow these instructions to create a highly structured improvisation without the need for rehearsal even when the ensemble is quite large as it is here. This allows enormous freedom and decision making for each performer and means that we do not have to rehearse these pieces prior to performance. We rely on all of the work of the overall Evil Clown project to tighten the ensembles' improvisation across its many cross sections while the score provides directions on timing, sonority and transformation.

Each of the scores has continued to utilize the compositional symbols and devices of the previous scores while adding something new to my notational system. Some examples of recurrent devices are large texture blocks with auxiliary instrument groupings (like wood or metal texture), pulse tracks with unison attacks at irregular intervals from different sub-groups, using the decay from large gongs as structural divisions of the work to pivot into a new sonority, and Group Action Frames assigned to named sub-groups in the ensemble..For the last three scores I have used different time scales for different sections of the work on the page timeline (1, 3 and 5 minute page widths), each of which allows the Events to lay differently on the page. Short detailed Events are easier to notate and interpret when the page is a one minute wide and longer, more general Events easier to notate and interpret when the page is five minutes wide. For The Photon Epoch, all of the page scales trigger Frames at the 1 second interval (i.e. 12:27), as opposed to a 5 second interval (i.e. 12:25) of the earliest score. I use spreadsheets with random number functions to generate time structures at several scales which are used in planning the Events. These structures are in use in nearly every section of the work, and the 1 second interval is required at every page scale to represent these structures.

Most of the musicians have performed several of or all the earlier scores, so they have learned how to interpret the basic Group Action Frame symbols and the other notational devices. I have increased the rate of and the number of transformations in each score and new Group Action Frames are added to my compositional vocabulary for the next one. I have learned how the notation is interpreted by the ensemble and that, in fact, they can interpret detailed directions successfully even without rehearsal. With a much larger well-defined universe of notation and a knowledgeable pool of performers each of the scores has become significantly more sophisticated than its predecessors. The audience will experience a steady flow of distinct sonorities over the duration of the performance.

All the other contemporaneous Evil Clown performances and recordings by all the ensembles - Leap of Faith, String Theory, Mekaniks, Metal Chaos Ensemble and the Sub-Units - are preparation for these full Leap of Faith Orchestra performances. The performances by these smaller ensembles stand by themselves as improvisation performances as well as getting us ready to improvise in a full orchestra setting. Please look for our regular concerts at Outpost 186 and Third Life Studios."-PEK, 3/10/2019

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Unusual Vocal Forms
Boston Area Improvisers
Large Ensembles
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers


Other Releases With These Artists:
Metal Chaos Ensemble
Beyond the Holy Mountain
(Evil Clown)
Metal Chaos Ensemble
Basilisk
(Evil Clown)
Leap of Faith Orchestra & Sub-Units
Virtual Particles [2 CDS]
(Evil Clown)
Leap of Faith
Potential and Actual Infinities
(Evil Clown)
Leap of Faith
Nucleosynthesis
(Evil Clown)
Leap of Faith
First Principles
(Evil Clown)
Leap of Faith
Charge Transfer Complex
(Evil Clown)
Axioms
Manifestations
(Evil Clown)
Turbulence
Flow Across Scales
(Evil Clown)
String Theory
Thickness Of The Present
(Evil Clown)
Metal Chaos Ensemble
Luminiferous Aether
(Evil Clown)
Metal Chaos Ensemble
Electric Sword Machine
(Evil Clown)
Leap Of Faith
Tangled Hierachies
(Evil Clown)
Leap Of Faith
Order Of Ramifications
(Evil Clown)
Metal Chaos Ensemble
Syncretic Discipline
(Evil Clown)
Leap Of Faith
Topological Constructions
(Evil Clown)
Leap Of Faith Orchestra
Cosmological Horizons
(Evil Clown)
Leap Of Faith
Proof Theory
(Evil Clown)
Metal Chaos Ensemble
Cryptomorphism
(Evil Clown)
Metal Chaos Ensemble
Blast Furnace
(Evil Clown)
Turbulence
Amorphous Solids
(Evil Clown)
PEK Solo
Fulcrum
(Evil Clown)
Metal Chaos Ensemble
Shape Memory
(Evil Clown)
Mekaniks
The Great Klown Panik of 2017 - Klownpocalypse
(Evil Clown)
Leap Of Faith
Gravitation
(Evil Clown)
Leap Of Faith
Thought Experiment
(Evil Clown)
Leap of Faith Orchestra
SuperClusters
(Evil Clown)
Leap Of Faith
Domains
(Evil Clown)
Turbulence Doom Choir
Energy Cascades
(Evil Clown)
Leap of Faith
Unbounded Sets
(Evil Clown)
String Theory [Boston, USA]
Condensed Phases of Matter
(Evil Clown)
Metal Chaos Ensemble
Intermetallic Compounds
(Evil Clown)
Leap of Faith Orchestra
The Expanding Universe
(Evil Clown)
Leap of Faith Orchestra
Supernovae
(Evil Clown)
Leap of Faith Orchestra
Possible Universes
(Evil Clown)
Wright, Jack
Rattle OK & Rattle Still OK
(Spring Garden Music)
BOLT (Dijkstra / Fujiwara / Rosenthal / Hofbauer)
Shuffle
(Driff Records)
Zinman, Eric & Laurence Cook
Double Action
(Ayler)
Dixon, Bill
Tapestries for Small Orchestra
(Firehouse 12 Records)
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