The Squid's Ear Magazine


Simulacrum: Mechatronics (Evil Clown)

This ensemble features 3 core Evil Clown members--David Peck on reeds, winds, percussion & electronics; Eric Woods on analog synth; and Bob Moores on space trumpet, guitar & electronics--with guests Michael Caglianone on reeds & percussion, Robin Amos on electric zither and keyboards; Faruq Hassan on samplers & keys; Albey OnBass on bass; and Michael Knoblach on military devices.
 

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David Peck (PEK)-clarinet, contralto & contrabass clarinets, sopranino, alto tenor & bass saxophones, 5 hole wood flute, theremin with moogerfooger, ms20, moog subsequent, novation peak, Linnstrument controllers, almglocken, brontosaurus & tank bells, Englephone, danmo, wood blocks, log drums, cow bells, gongs, plate gong, [d]ronin, 17 string bass, crotales, glockenspiel, spring & chime rod boxes, array mbira, nagoya

Michael Caglianone-soprano, alto & tenor saxophones, clarinet, flute, Englephone, gongs, almglocken, syntrx, novation peak, moog subsequent, Linnstrument controllers, ms20, log drums, wood blocks, temple blocks, cow, brontosaurus & tank bells, game calls, hulusi, spring & chime rod boxes, almglocken, orchestral anvils, balafon, xylophone

Bob Moores-space trumpet, electric guitar, emulators and soft synths on MacBook pro, drone generator, signal processing, crotales, glockenspiel, nord stage 3, psychic mumbling

Robin Amos-electric zither, waldorfblofeld, roland system 1, novation mininova

Faruq Hassan-Koala sampler & Akai Apc 40, Boss DR5, Roland SP404 MK2, Shure 584

Albey onBass-electric upright bass, almglocken, orchestral anvils, seed pod rattle

Michael Knoblach-Vietnam Era U. S. Navy Practice Bombs, Brass Propellers, U. S. Army Helmet, Various Artillery Shells: 5 inch U. S. Navy, WWI German 75mm, WWII Japanese 75mm, several other various caliber shells, sword, baby booties w/ attached sleigh bells, African Gun Gon, African Spear, Signal Horn, Bass Martin Horn, chain, bones, machine gun bullet casings

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


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Label: Evil Clown
Catalog ID: 9360
Squidco Product Code: 34568

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Evil Clown Headquarters, Waltham MA on December 5, 2023.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Simulacrum is an offshoot of Metal Chaos Ensemble that was conceived just prior to the Virus shutting things down. The ensemble features 3 core members PEK on all my stuff, Eric Woods on analog synth, and Bob Moores on space trumpet, guitar, and electronics. The basic idea of this band is to increase the amount of electronics, to keep the ancillary percussion and loose the drum set, along with PEK and Bob holding down the horn parts.

I've been looking for more electronics geniuses for the last few years. We've got Eric Woods, who specializes in analog synthesis plus Bob Moores who doubles trumpet, guitar & electronics plus me who also doubles. We have Bonnie Kane who always puts electronic processing on her horn playing. We have Bill T Miller who is great, but is busy and has only come twice. I've courted a few others but never managed to get them to participate.

A principal means of adding musicians to the roster is via recommendations from current Evil Clown players. Several people have made multiple fruitful recommendations. Michael Knoblach (percussion) has brought in multiple players including Jimmy Zhao who in turn brought a bunch of other Chinese musicians. So, I was excited when we scheduled an Expanse trio set for me, Michael and Michael's friend electronics wizard Robin Amos. Robin is an excellent player who was a founding member of the seminal 90s era Boston band Cul de Sac with which he toured in Europe a lot. He knows and has played with many seminal European electronic musicians. He also played keyboards in a Black Metal band for years.

This set, Mechatronics, is the third album with Robin and the largest Simulacrum ensemble to date. In fact, it was almost credited to Simulacrum Orchestra since when the ensemble size reaches 8 players or more I tack "Orchestra" on to the end of the band name. Eric Woods was unable to make it since the flu got his whole family...

In Eric's place we had a newcomer, Faruq Hassan, who came in with a breakbeat sensibility that we have not had before. Faruq is the son of one of my early Boston mentors, Raqib Hassan. It is good to see that Raqib's musical talents have been passed on. So, for a minute until Eric called in sick, we would have been 8 players.

The result is pretty exciting, since one of my goals with this project was to increase the electronics section. Here we have Robin and Faruq full time on electronics, with Bob about half time and occasionally Michael Caglianone and me. While many of the Evil Clown recordings feature electronics, this is the first larger ensemble with roughly half the players on electronic instruments."-David Peck, from the liner notes


Artist Biographies

"PEK (aka David Peck) is a multi-instrument improviser who plays all kinds of instruments including saxophones, clarinets, double reeds, percussion, electronics and auxiliary sound making devices of all kinds.

PEK was born in 1964 and started playing clarinet and piano in elementary school. In 7th grade he started saxophones, first on alto, then switching to tenor in high school. He spent 10 years playing in rock bands and studying classical and jazz saxophone with Kurt Heisig in the San Jose CA area before moving to Boston in 1989 to attend Berklee where he studied performance with George Garzone. While Berklee was an excellent place to study harmony, voice training and other important aspects of a conventional formal music training course of study, it was not a very good environment for learning contemporary (or pure) improvisation (apart from his work with George). PEK did find, however, that Boston had a thriving improvisation scene, and it was here that he developed his mature pure improvisation language.

During the 90s, PEK performed with many notable improvisers including Masashi Harada, Glynis Lomon, William Parker, Laurence Cooke, Eric Zinman, Glenn Spearman, Raqib Hassan, Charlie Kohlhase, Steve Norton, Keith Hedger, Mark McGrain, Sydney Smart, Matt Samolis, Martha Ritchey, Larry Roland, Dennis Warren, Yuri Zbitnov, Craig Schildhauer, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Leslie Ross, Rob Bethel, Wayne Rogers, Eric Rosenthal, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tatsuya Nakatani, James Coleman, B'hob Rainey and George Garzone.

PEK met cellist Glynis Lomon when they played together in the Masashi Harada Sextet which existed between 1990 and 1992. They developed a deep musical connection which they continued following the MHS; first with the Leaping Water Trio for a few years and then with the first version of Leap of Faith in 1994. Leap of Faith was very active in Boston from that time until 2001 and went through a series of several core ensembles which always included both PEK and Glynis. Other key Leap of Faith core members during this period were Mark McGrain (trombone), Craig Schildhauer (double bass), Sydney Smart (drums), Yuri Zbitnov (drums) and James Coleman (theremin). Leap of Faith was always a very modular unit with constantly shifting personnel and many different guests. The early Leap of Faith period concluded in 2001 with a dual bill at an excellent room at MIT called Killian Hall with George Garzone's seminal trio the Fringe.

At this time, PEK changed careers for his day gig, returning to college for a computer science degree and beginning to work in the structural engineering industry at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger. He became far too busy to continue the heavy music schedule, and preferring not to do music casually, he entered a long musically dormant period.

Flash forward to early 2014. PEK was a regular mail order customer of Downtown Music Gallery, the premiere specialty shop in Manhattan for free jazz, contemporary classical and other new music. While in New York on SGH business, he went down to DMG and had a lengthy conversation with proprietor Bruce Lee Gallanter about the early Leap of Faith period. He then sent Bruce a package of about 15 CD titles from the 90s and was pleasantly surprised when Bruce managed to sell nearly all of it. This public interest in the old catalog spurred PEK into getting back into performance. He reformed Leap of Faith with Glynis Lomon (cello, voice, aquasonic), Yuri Zbitnov (drums) and newcomer Steve Norton (clarinets and saxophones) and started to record and perform in early 2015.

Now having access to financial resources always absent in the early period, PEK began to accumulate a huge collection of instruments both for himself and also to expand the palate of Leap of Faith and the other projects soon to follow. He acquired new recording equipment and many new saxophones, clarinets, double reeds, metal and wooden percussion instruments, electronic instruments, signal processing equipment and other sound-making devices from many cultures. He revived his old record label, Evil Clown, and created reissues and new releases for much of the early period work by Leap of Faith and many of his other projects to sell at shows, DMG and the internet (around 100 archival titles).

The Arsenal of equipment has a grand purpose: To establish a large scale aesthetic problem to use the instruments to make long form broad palate improvisations with dramatic transformation and development. The very broad palate enables the long improvisations to evolve with very different movements and pronounced development over their length. PEK started the Leap of Faith Orchestra, a greatly expanded Leap of Faith, to achieve this purpose along with a number of smaller ensembles which are sub-units of the full orchestra including String Theory (focusing on orchestral strings), Metal Chaos Ensemble (focusing on metallic percussion), Turbulence (horn players), Mekaniks (electronics) and Chicxulub (space rock). In all, the Evil Clown roster includes over 40 musicians who contribute to one or more of the various projects, with PEK participating in all of them. Leap of Faith has also had some special guests like Steve Swell (trombone), Thomas Heberer (trumpet), Jeremiah Cymerman (clarinet) and Jim Hobbs (alto sax). The Leap of Faith Orchestra happens whenever several of these groups play together at the same time, or the ensemble exceeds 7 or 8 players. The Full Orchestra is a special case discussed below.

The current roster is comprised in part of: - Core Leap of Faith: PEK, Glynis Lomon, Yuri Zbitnov (Steve Norton has since left to go to Graduate School) - Percussion: Andria Nicodemou (vibes), Kevin Dacey (perc), Joe Hartigan (perc), Syd Smart (drums) - Strings: Jane Wang (cello), Clara Kebabian (violin), Tony Leva (bass), Mimi Rabson (violin), Kirsten Lamb (bass), Brendan Higgins (bass), Silvain Castellano (bass), Rob Bethel (cello), Kit Demos (bass), Matt Scutchfield (violin), Helen Sherrah-Davies (violin) - Piano: Eric Zinman, Peter Cassino, Emilio Gonzales - Horns: Dave Harris (tuba, trombone), Charlie Kohlhase (saxes), Bob Moores (trumpet), Sara Honeywell (trombone), Forbes Graham (trumpet), John Baylies (tuba), Dan O'Brien (woodwinds), Zack Bartolomei (woodwinds), Kat Dobbins (trombone), Steve Provizer (trumpet, baritone horn), Matt Samolis (flute) - Electronics: Greg Grinnell, Jason Adams (electric bass, electronics) - Guitar: Dru Wesely, Grant Beale, Chris Florio - Voice: Dei Xhrist

Evil Clown is documenting the ongoing solutions to this aesthetic challenge by creating limited CD editions and digital download albums of every performance and studio session by this array of ensembles. Interested audience can track the development of the grand scale project over the many releases - over 80 albums recorded and released so far between Jan of 2015 and March of 2017. All of the bands are highly modular, changing personnel and instrumentation with each meeting. The result is an enormous amount of music that shares the same fundamental improvisational language but differs from event to event greatly both in sonority (overall sound) and specific detail.

For the full Leap of Faith Orchestra, PEK composes a graphic notation score to guide the improvisation. The full Orchestra is comprised of roughly 20 players from the roster and performs twice a year. Two performances have occurred to date - The Expanding Universe in June of 2016 and Supernovae in November of 2016. Composition for Possible Universes is completed and the work will be performed on May 28, 2017 with another performance (score not yet begun) scheduled for November.

The scores use a device called Frame Notation where written English descriptions of the overall sonority desired and simple graphic symbols are given durations for each player on their part along with direction on when to play and when not to play. The directions are put in little boxes called frames which are arranged on a timeline and are simple enough to be immediately understood by the performers. Horizontal lines, called Duration Bars, extend across the page indicating when each Event (the Frame + the Duration Bar) begins and ends. An Event can be intended for the full ensemble, a defined group within the ensemble (for example, Metal Chaos Ensemble), a custom group (for example, Tubas), or an individual (for example, Andria Feature).

Parts are the full score annotated with Hiliters so that each player's instructions stand out. They can clearly see their individual instructions, but can also see the big picture, enabling far more knowledge about the pending actions of the rest of the ensemble than typical in pure improvisation. The players track the elapsed time on a very large sports clock. There is no melodic, harmonic or rhythmic information specified. This system allows PEK to compose detailed Ensemble Events without having to notate pitches or rhythms which would require significant rehearsal to accurately achieve."

-All About Jazz (https://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/pek)
4/22/2024

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

Michael Anthony Caglianone is an American sax player, producer, recording, mixing & mastering engineer, voice-over actor, co-founder of Studio 7A West. Based out of Boston, MA. He is known for the band Zen Bastards.

-Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/artist/378779-Michael-Caglianone)
4/22/2024

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

"Bob Moores Having spent most of his life flying under the radar working on obscure projects that may some day come to the light of day, trumpeter/guitarist/composer/improviser/artist/photographer/poet/conceptualist Bob Moores has finally started to emerge into the light playing in the free improvisation collective Fable Grazer and through his solo project Resonator.

Having played every kind of music imaginable on trumpet in every kind of setting from classical to funk to blues to R&B to pop punk and metal to jazz, in small and large ensembles, Bob has settled on playing only freely improvised music at this stage of his evolution, both in group situations and as a solo artist. Moores is an exponent of what he calls unschooled primitive coloristic guitar having started to play in earnest with Fable Grazer.

He has been composing music since he was a child and composes and arranges for a variety of ensembles types, instrumentations and genres."

-Evil Clown Website (http://www.giantevilclown.com/bio-bob-moores.html)
4/22/2024

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

"Robin Amos is an American keyboardist and founding member of the band Cul de Sac. His first band was The Girls, a punk band that Amos founded in the late 1970s with George Condo, Mark Dagley and Daved Hild. He continued to explore that band's sound with his next band Shut Up, which he formed with guitarist Glenn Jones."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Amos)
4/22/2024

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)
4/22/2024

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"Michael Knoblach Percussion---Knoblach has played with Ad Frank, Twitcher, Reg Bloor (from Glenn Branca Ensemble), Cul de Sac, John Fahey, Jon LaMaster's Saturnalia, Neovoxer Ensemble, The Boston Village Gamelan, Kiniwe African Percussion Ensemble, Donald "the junkman" Knaack (ex-John Cage), The Calypso Invaders, The Valhalla Kittens, Emily Grogan, Ted Drozdowski's The Scissormen, The Trojan Ponies, Ken Lovelett, John Amaral, Tim Mungenast, Bill T. Miller and others. He played the New Year's Countdown in Copley Square for Boston, MA for a number of years. He has done soundtrack work for the Troma Films release "Terror Firmer." Michael has had extensive studies in Arabic hand drumming and classical Egyptian tambourine, as well as having studied tabla and North Indian classical music with Ali Akbar Khan and Swapan Chaudhuri. He studied drum set with Gene Piccolo (ex-Jack McDuff, ex-Woody Herman, ex-Glenn Miller Band and Piccolo was a long time student of Ed Thigpen (Oscar Peterson Trio, more...) and Shelly Manne (Stan Kenton, more...)). He is currently playing percussion with Dahlman & Nugent in the band Auddity and is playing washboard and old timey percussion with banjo/fiddle player Nicholas Bogosian, as well as other projects."

-Touhey Gallery (http://www.touhey.com/upcoming.html)
4/22/2024

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

"Joel Simches: A multi-instrumentalist born 10/18/65, Joel Simches has been an active member of the Boston music scene for 35 years, played in well over 40 bands, traveling the world as a musician, audio engineer, tour manager and record producer. He has worked with a diverse array of bands including Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys, DeVotchKa, Bang Camaro, Dresden Dolls and Big Dipper, to name a few. He has also written for The Noise and Boston Soundcheck Magazine. Currently a staff engineer at Watch City Studios, Joel also plays in Count Zero, Joe Turner and the Seven Levels, Butterscott, Nisi Period, Didactics, Curious Ritual and is executive producer/talent booker of On The Town with Mikey Dee on WMFO."

-Evil Clown (http://www.giantevilclown.com/bio-joel-simches.html)
4/22/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Mechatronics (AKA Mary Had a Little Lamb) 1:09:43

2. Robots on Parade 5:34

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Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Boston Area Improvisers
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