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Axioms: Manifestations (Evil Clown)

Boston's Evil Clown collective led by reedist/multi-instrumentalist David Peck introduces a new ensemble, Axioms, a quartet with Peck, Jane, Alby onBass, and Joel Simches, in a mammoth work of mysterious intent and rich sonorities, orchestrated with reeds, brass, daxophones, percussion, bells and chimes, electric bass, keys, spoken word, and real-time signal processing.
 

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product information:


Label: Evil Clown
Catalog ID: 9203
Squidco Product Code: 27218

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters, in Waltham, Massachusetts, on December 13th, 2018, by David Peck.


Personnel:

Janek Schaefer-spoken word

David Peck (PEK)-alto saxophone, bass saxophone, clarinet, contralto clarinet, bass tromboon, AKai EWI5000, [d]ronin, daxophone, gongs, tank bells, brontosaurus bells, Tibetan bowls, crotales, cymbells, orchestral chimes

Albey onBass-electric upright bass, gongs

Joel Simches-live to 2 track recording, real time signal processing

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Artist Biographies:

"Janek Schaefer is a London-based sound artist, composer and entertainer, born in England to Polish and Canadian parents in 1970. He is known for his innovative work with sound and installation art. In 2008, he won The British Composer of the Year Award for Sonic Art & The Paul Hamlyn Award for Composers Prize. He is Visiting Professor at Oxford Brookes Sonic Research Unit, and In 2009 the Bluecoat gallery in Liverpool mounted a retrospective exhibition of his 20-year career.

While studying architecture at the Royal College of Art [RCA annual prize], Schaefer recorded the fragmented noises of a sound activated dictaphone travelling overnight through the Post Office. That work, titled 'Recorded Delivery' 1995 was made for the 'Self Storage' exhibition Time Out critics choice with one time postman Brian Eno and Artangel. Since then the multiple aspects of sound became his focus, resulting in many releases, installations, soundtracks for exhibitions, and concerts using his self built/invented record players with manipulated found sound collage. The 'Tri-phonic Turntable' is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the 'World's Most Versatile Record Player'. He has performed, lectured and exhibited widely throughout Europe Sonar, Tate Modern, ICA, USA/Canada, The Walker, XI, Mutek, Princeton, Japan, and Australia Sydney Opera House.

The context of each idea is central to its development and resolution. His concerts and installations explore the spatial and architectural aspect that sound can evoke and the twisting of technology. Hybrid analogue and digital techniques are used to manipulate field recordings with live modified vinyl and found sound to create evocative and involving environments. His CD Above Buildings was released on Fat Cat to considerable praise, [The Guardian CD of the week]. He has played in duos and released albums with Philip Jeck (Songs for Europe CD), Robert Hampson (Comae CD), Stephan Mathieu (Hidden Name CD) and Charlemagne Palestine [Day of the Demons LP], with a forthcoming LP with William Basinski. He lives and works at the audiOh! Room in Walton-on-Thames on the left edge of London, with his wife and two children.

In 2008, Schaefer won The British Composer of The Year Award for Sonic Art for his project Extended Play Triptych for the child survivors of war and conflict. The same year he won The Paul Hamlyn Award for Composers Prize. He was the 'McKnight Composer in Residence' for the American Composers Forum, USA 2002/3. In 2004 his Random Playing LP called 'Skate' received the 'Award of Distinction' at the Prix Ars Electronica, Austria. He has two Guinness World Records [1997 & 2003]"

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janek_Schaefer)
3/20/2019

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

"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)
3/20/2019

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)
3/20/2019

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)
3/20/2019

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


1. Manifestations 1:07:27

sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"This is a brand new Evil Clown Ensemble which I have decided to call Axioms, which to me is an apt name for a band which features words - something that most Evil Clown sessions do not.. There are two definitions: 1) a statement or proposition that is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true 2) a statement or proposition on which an abstractly defined structure is based (mathematics). These two meanings bridge the distance between discussion of truths and abstract musical structures..

IMHO this is a profound opening set - Jane's spoken word delivery is brilliant, and it makes me wonder why we do not see more poetry in modern improvisation. It seems like an obvious way to engage audience with the words which are by their nature more concrete than the abstractions presented by purely instrumental improvisations. Jane has a large body of poems that she has fully memorized, allowing her the flexibility and rapid decision making which is the main stay of pure improvisation. She uses the words from the poems along with poetic articulation as her improvised expression..

In just a short period Albey has done a bunch of Evil Clown sets - tearing it up on each one - but this is the first performance where the ensemble was small enough that we had so much direct interaction. Over the years I have observed that when improvising musicians play in larger ensembles (developing common language and core unity in the larger setting) that often extraordinary things happen when that core is exposed in smaller ensembles. This is often visible in core trio Leap of Faith sets which do occur, although much less often than the LOF core trio driving a larger unit.

In both the sections of the piece where we supported Jane's spoken word and where we opened up in interludes between the spoken elements, I felt we communicated at a deep level that I find astonishing considering the short period of our performances to date. This is what happens when deeply seasoned improvisers create a new ongoing relationship.. Along with the natural form provided by the poetry, Manifestations benefits from the interaction of a large number of instrument changes by myself, producing a steady progression through a wide variety of sonorities."-Evil Clown

Related Categories of Interest:


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


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