The Squid's Ear Magazine


Leap of Faith: First Principles (Evil Clown)

Performed by a core set of 7 players who frequent the Boston-area Evil Clown collective, this subgroup from the Leap of Faith Orchestra is caught live at Third Life Studios in Somerville, MA, in a drummer-less setting of rhythm from PEK's arsenal of percussive devices and instruments, for a diverse & extended work of transformations across highly varied sonorities.
 

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David Peck (PEK)-clarinet, contralto clarinets, bamboo soprano, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass saxophone, contrabassoon, tarota, alto flute, sheng, melodica, tank bell, Englephone, slide whistle, gongs, thunder sheet, flex a tone, slide whistle, wind siren

Glynis Lomon-cello, aquasonic, voice

Jim Warshauer-alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute, wood flute

Bob Moores-trumpet, Englephone, wood flute, game calls, flex a tone, slide whistle, gongs

Eric Dahlman-trumpet, overtone voice, wood flute, game calls, gongs, whistle

Duane Reed-baritone horn, bass trombone, slide whistle, wind siren

Eric Zinman-piano


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Label: Evil Clown
Catalog ID: 9214
Squidco Product Code: 27978

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Third Life Studios, in Somerville, Massachusetts, on May 11th, 2019.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"This particular performance was originally intended to be Leap of Faith Orchestra and Sub-Units - First Principles. We do the Orch + Sub-Units performances every other month at Third Life Studios in Somerville MA. I arrange the dates far in advance, and this one happened to line up with the Union Square porch fest which drew an enormous crowd, completely jamming the streets and blocking traffic. Susan, who runs the space, let me know it was going on earlier in the day, so I went very early - a good thing, since it took a full hour to go around one block to get to the closest load in point. In fact, I did not see how I was going to be able to unload my van full of equipment at all and I emailed Susan from my phone that I might have to cancel. Gradually, I crawled up the street with the other blocked traffic, and then at the last second, just as I got there, the car in the best possible parking spot left!!! So, I parked and unloaded.

Others from the group also had difficulty, even several hours after the end of the formal porch fest event, so we ended up postponing the start of the concert by an hour and changing the format of the performance. We usually do an hour's worth of shorter (15 or 20 minute) improvisations by small sub-units of the orchestra, followed by a 50 minute set with everyone. Since, for this show, we were smaller than usual and an hour late, I decided to a single 70 minute full length set with everyone, which is the format we typically follow at small ensemble shows presented monthly at Outpost 186 in Cambridge. Seven or Eight players is almost, but not quite large enough, to qualify as an LOFO show, so I decided to categorize this ensemble as Leap of Faith.

The seven players on this session are all hard-core Evil Clown regulars. I love it when this happens, since everyone is familiar with the auxiliary instruments I bring, which leads to very broad transformations between sonorities. Also, there are multiple paths of long prior history between various sub-groups of the players going back decades. We did not have a drummer on traps, so the percussion sounds come from the rest of the players on the auxiliary instruments. Leap of Faith's earliest formats both were drummerless, so we do well with no drummer as the overall sound takes on a more chamber / orchestral quality that one does not typically get with a drum set.

This hardcore Leap of Faith large chamber set demonstrates very well the Evil Clown broad-pallet aesthetic.



Leap of Faith is the core trio of the Leap of Faith Orchestra (LOFO) comprised of PEK on clarinets, saxophones, double reeds & flutes, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, and Yuri Zbitnov on drums & percussion. The 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. The ensemble has always been highly modular and our many recordings feature the core trio in dozens of configurations with a huge list of guests."-Liner notes by David Peck


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)
11/29/2023

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)
11/29/2023

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 11/29/2023

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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)
11/29/2023

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

"- 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)
11/29/2023

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

"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)
11/29/2023

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


Track Listing:



1. A Priori 1:10:53

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Boston Area Improvisers
Septet recordings

Search for other titles on the label:
Evil Clown.


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