The Squid's Ear Magazine


Leap Of Faith: Coherence Disturbed (Evil Clown)

A new quartet lineup for the Boston-based Evil Clown Collective group Leap of Faith, expanding the core duet of David Peck (PEK) on clarinets, saxophones, clarinets & flutes, and Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice with multi-reedists Melanie Howell and Todd Brunel, all four employing their extensive arsenal of percussive instruments.
 

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David Peck (PEK)-clarinet, contralto clarinet, contrabass clarinets, tenor, alto saxophone, bass saxophones, bass flute, piccolo oboe, English horn, bass ocarinas, gongs, xylophone, balafon, Tibetan bowls, chimes, orchestral chimes, electric chimes, [d[ronin, chime rod, spring boxes, telstar, aquasonic

Glynis Lomon-cello, aquasonic, voice

Melanie Howell-Brooks-contrabass clarinet, alto saxophone, flute, piccolo, crotales, glockenspiel, wood blocks, temple blocks, log drums, chimes, cow bells, almglocken, brontosaurus bells, tank bells, Englephone, xylophone, balafon, Tibetan bowls

Todd Brunel-clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, brontosaurus bells, tank bells, wood blocks, temple blocks, log drums, chimes, Tibetan bowls, cymbals


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Label: Evil Clown
Catalog ID: 9285
Squidco Product Code: 32141

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters, in Waltham, Massachusetts, on September 29th, 2021.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Leap of Faith is the core duet of the Leap of Faith Orchestra (LOFO) comprised of PEK on clarinets, saxophones, clarinets & flutes, and Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice. 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. At times, the core unit has been a trio or even a quartet. The longest running core unit was comprised of PEK, Glynis and drummer Yuri Zbitnov, who played for the last couple of years of the archival period and the first 5 years of the reboot starting in 2015. The ensemble has always been highly modular and our many recordings (well over 100) feature the core unit in dozens of configurations with a huge list of guests and occasionally as only the core unit with no guests. Currently, the core unit is PEK and Lomon and we are regularly presenting LIVESTREAMs to YouTube from Evil Clown Headquarters with other guest performers

This is the first Leap of Faith set with this quartet lineup. There have been some changes to the Evil Clown roster over the pandemic. While many of the regulars are still around and have been participating in the LIVESTREAMING shows from Evil Clown Headquarters, some have changed up in one way or another and are no longer available. Likewise, I have some new players, and I have some that participated in the past and are now rejoining us. Melanie is new, this is her second Evil Clown session, the first being with Turbulence a few months back. I met her during the pandemic when she bought my old contrabass clarinet, and of course, I recruited her. Todd did a few sessions with Leap of Faith and the Leap of Faith Orchestra maybe four years back and then withdrew due to scheduling issues

Todd and Glynis have played together in the past and Todd and Melanie have played together in the past outside of the Evil Clown umbrella. I love to bring in skilled players like these who have pre-existing experience with each other: The combination of reacting to the completely new and the existing connections between the various sub-groups creates an interesting and exciting dynamic

Another interesting dynamic at work here is the contrast between the dirty and chaotic sounds that typically dominate my improvisations with Glynis and the clean, precisely articulated sounds that typically dominate both Todd and Melanie's expression. I discovered long ago that it is not necessary for all the players in an improvisation to share the same backgrounds and musical languages: for example, we've played with a number of players who come from the world of classical performance and others who are much more jazz than we tend to be. The pull between different approaches often produces a sound space which would not occur but for these contrasts. When the players are all as strong as those in this quartet and skilled at listening/reacting/predicting, extraordinary performances are the natural results.


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)
2/16/2024

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)
2/16/2024

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

"Born in Hartland, Wisconsin, Melanie Howell-Brooks currently lives in Canton, MA and performs throughout the New England area. She received her Bachelors of Music in Music Performance and Music Education from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music and her Masters in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory. Though her main focus is the baritone saxophone and bass clarinet, especially when it comes to jazz and rock, she primarily plays alto saxophone, flute, and clarinet for musical theater and in more classical settings.

Mrs. Brooks is an active musician in the Boston area and is a member of the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, as well as smaller permutations of that group - Oddsong and the Jazz Composers Alliance Saxophone Quartet. She also performs with Mehmet Ali Sanlikol's large jazz ensemble, Whatsnext?, the John AllmarkOrchestra, and has formed her own group, The Phoenix Fire Collective. She can also be seen playing with The Ward Eights and Soul City bands. Other performance groups include appearances with the BT/ALC Big Band, as well as the Fernando Huergo Big Band. She was a member of the Beantown Swing Orchestra since its inception in 2006 until its membership direction moved to musicians much more new to plaing in big bands.

Other more recent notable performances include recording with David Liebman under the direction of Ken Schaphorst with Mr. Sanlikol's band, Whatsnext? as well as a Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra performance with special guests, Jerry Bergonzi, Marshall Gilkes, and Lewis Porter. She has also played in the backing bands for The Temptations/Four Tops as well as with Johnny Mathis, performed with Symphony New Hampshire, and has been a pit orchestra musician with the North Shore Music Theatre. She has also performed and touredwith Whatsnext? on baritone sax and bass clarinet performing alongside David Liebman and Tiger Okoshi. Mrs. Brooks toured Turkey and Cyprus and played at the Istanbul Jazz Festival in 2017 along with Mr. Okoshi and Whatsnext?. In 2016 she had the honor of performing with Aretha Franklin in her band when she cameto Boston. That year she also celebrated the life of David Bowie with a concert led by Russ Gershon of the Either/Orchestra on baritone sax, flute, and bass clarinet performing all of his last recording, Blackstar.

Over the years Mrs. Brooks has also been a guest soloist on alto saxophone with the Waltham Symphony Orchestra, a pit musician for numerous community, college, and high school theater groups, been a show band musician with Carnival Cruise Lines, and has played on a number of recordings."

-Evil Clown (https://www.evilclown.rocks/bio-melanie-howell-brooks.html)
2/16/2024

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

"Todd Brunel is a clarinetist and sax player, who performs extensively as a classical and jazz musician. He is a member of several acclaimed original music projects including: Musaner (Music of Armenia re-imagined), The Eric Hofbauer Quintet, Made In the Shade, the Dylan Jack Quartet, the David Haas Group, the Last Taxi with Pat Battstone, the Sonic Explorers and the avante-funk band, The Circadian Rhythm Kings. He performs frequently with Peter Cassino and Sal Baglio and has worked with Andy Pratt, Laurence 'Butch' Morris, Jonathan Stout and his Campus 5, Garrison Fewell, Louis Bellson, John McLellan, Dave Maxwell, Daniel Carter, Bobby Watson, John Tchicai and Guo Yhazhi. Brunel is the director of the Vortex Series for New and Improvised Music and has been awarded grants by the Somerville, Cambridge, Arlington and Massachusetts Cultural Councils.

Mr Brunel is a member of Music at Eden's Edge and has appeared as a guest artist with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra Salon Series, The Arlington Philharmonic, the Chaminade Music Club, ALEA III, The Chromatic Club of Boston, The International Cat Murr Composers Society, The Bulgarian Virtuosi, Xanthos Ensemble and Opal Ensemble which he co-founded in 2012. He has premiered new works by composers John Mcdonald, Alla Cohen, Brian Buch, John Kusiak, Pamela Watson, Vache Sharafyan, Vuk Kulenovic, Pamela Marshall and many others. Some of his recent appearances include Carnegie Hall, ISIM 2015-16, Dartmouth College, Bard College, Boston College and Spazio Teatro NO'HMA in Milan. The Boston Globe has hailed: "Clarinetist Todd Brunel and pianist Cynthia Sture played with tremendous virtuosity and heart." He can be heard on several critically acclaimed albums including the Eric Hofbauer Quintet Prehistoric Jazz Volumes One, Two, Three and Four (CNM), Musaner (Lucent Music), Alla Elana Cohen: Red Lillies of Bells (Ravello Records), The Dylan Jack Quartet: Diagrams (CNM) and the soundtrack to several independent films including: One Cut One Life, and the PBS documentaries, the Battle of Chosin and Paul Robeson, 'Here I Stand'. Brunel is a recording artist with CNM, PARMA Records and is currently the bass clarinetist and saxophonist with the Claflin Hill Symphony and principal clarinet of the Waltham Symphony Orchestra.

Mr Brunel is currently the music director at the Sarah Greenwood School in Dorchester, MA and faculty of clarinet and saxophone at Middlesex Community College in Bedford, MA. He is a 2020 grant recipient of the Arlington cultural Council and now serves on the Council. Brunel is a NEST artist with the New England Foundation for the Arts and a 'Centerstage' endorsing artist and clinician with Conn-Selmer. He was the saxophone/clarinet professor and interim jazz band director at Wheaton College and former faculty member of the Powers Music where he taught for 18 years.He holds an MM from the Brooklyn College Conservatory and a BM from the Boston Conservatory where he was a clarinet student of Atilio Poto."

-Todd Brunel Website (https://clarinetconspiracy.com/biographical-information)
2/16/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Coherence Disturbed 1:10:48

Related Categories of Interest:


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

Search for other titles on the label:
Evil Clown.


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