Photo by Raffi

2015 Metal Chaos Ensemble Albums (to date)

There is a lot in the works...  Lily Pad shows booked already in August and October...  Going to Play at Revolutionary Arts in Brooklyn mid-August, and then Downtown Music Gallery, the next day.   September Concert with both Leap of Faith and Metal Chaos Ensemble - MCE, then LOF, then MCE+LOF in Malden MA in September....


​PEK - 28 June 2015

Photo by Raffi

PEK, Yuri Zbitnov, Bill T Miller at Chrononauts Session

As of this writing, we've had sets with percussionist Tamora Gooding, guitarists Catherine "Axemunkee" Capozzi and Tony Savarino, and electronics wizard Bill T Miller.  Sets are in the planning stage with a number of other skilled players...​  

Rebirth of Leap of Faith

Photo by Bill T Miller

Photo by Raffi

Review by freejazzblog 

My inactive period lasted over 10 years, so getting back into playing after such a long break has given me the opportunity to reinvent myself.   I decided to broaden my palette of sounds significantly.  I the 90s I used six instruments - tenor and baritone sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, contra-bass clarinet and bassoon.   I have added a large number of instruments so that for each timbe set - clarinets, saxophones, and double reeds - I now have all of the common orchestral horns (and a few oddballs like tarogato) (17 horns in all) and can play in each timbre set in all the register increments from very low to very high.  I also got a number of other open hole reed instruments including Shenai, Nadaswaram, and a small open hole piccolo oboe.


"Why so many different horns?", you might ask...     Leap of Faith is all about transformation of sonority over time; we make complex textures that evolve and morph into other complex textures, the succession of changes over the length of the improvisation tell a story.  So having a very broad instrumental palette allows us to make these successive sonorities very different in texture.  This applies not only to me, but the ensemble as a whole as well.  Steve Norton also uses many woodwind instruments - he has 8 clarinets and saxophones.  Many permutations of instrument selection are available to Steve and myself  (same, or different register; same, or different family of instruments; exactly the same instrument, and others). Glynis uses aquasonic and voice in addition to the cello. 

New Equipment

Regenerations

PEK Bio     (1),      (2),       (3),      (4)

 PEK appears on                 (1),      (2)

PEK Bio (4)

Evil Clown ​

Reviewed by freejazzblog

Video by Keith Martin and Kevin Reilly

Reviewed by freejazzblog

PEK Bio     (1),      (2),       (3),      (4)

 PEK appears on                 (1),      (2)

PEK Bio     (1),      (2),       (3),      (4)

 PEK appears on                 (1),      (2)

PEK Bio     (1),      (2),       (3),      (4)

 PEK appears on                 (1),      (2)

PEK Bio     (1),      (2),       (3),      (4)

 PEK appears on                 (1),      (2)

2015 Leap of Faith Albums

Looking Forward...

Armed with this new arsenal, Leap of Faith has charged into new territory.  I am renting the Lily Pad in Cambridge every two months to get serious performance time in.  By buying the room for the whole night we can mobilize a greater portion of the equipment.  I also get to set the whole program, so I'm doing what we used to often do at the Zeitgeist Gallery in Cambridge...   Have two ensembles each play one set and then have both bands play together for the third set.  As of this writing (end of June 2015) We've done two of these shows with more on the schedule.

Photo by Raffi

Yuri and I founded a new band, Metal Chaos Ensemble, to explore the universe of sound in these metal objects.  The band name is descriptive of the intent and organization of this music.  Chaos is not random. Chaotic systems, like the weather, behave dynamically according to the rule based interaction of a very large number of small components.  Although the individual elements follow rules the structure of the whole and its evolution are difficult to predict.   Striking a drum or a xylophone with a length of chain, or a rattle made from a bunch of small bells creates a complex sound originating from simple actions - I call this style of playing Chaotic Percussion (John Cage named this kind of attack "aggregate" and created the prepared piano to achieve it), the instruments are metal, so therefore:  Metal Chaos Ensemble.  The structure of the music arises from the interaction of the small components.  I also use my horns, but the main rule is that roughly a third of each piece should be limited to the sonorities of Metal Percussion alone...   

Birth of Metal Chaos Ensemble

​​I decided that I wanted to expand the percussion pallet of Leap of Faith to include a strong component of metal instrumentation.  Metal instruments provide percussive timbres that blend with the sounds of the strings and horns.  So I bought some gongs, singing bowls, chains, Tibetan bells and chimes, an aquasonic and a variety of other instruments to realize this goal.  The very first time that Yuri and I tested these instruments, it was obvious that this was an ensemble by itself as well as for an augmented percussion section for Leap of Faith...   So, PEK being PEK, I basically quadrupled the number of instruments with the intent that 3 or 4 people could play together continuously for an hour or more with the ability to make rapid changes through the population of instruments achieving a transformation through an array of Chaotic Metal Sonorities.

Photos by Raffi

PEK Bio June 2015 Update

Shortly after returning to Boston following my Xmas vacation Leap of Faith did start up again.

We recorded "Regenerations" at Yuri's Haus.  I put the new track together with outakes from the Linear Transformations & Combinations Sessions well recorded at MIT.  Kevin Reilly had introduced me to Paul Acquaro who writes for freejazzblog who wrote a great review here.  We also had an interview conducted through email where I wrote for the first time about the theory of improvisation used by Leap of Faith and myself.

Leap of Faith,

Lily Pad shows, 2015

PEK

​On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG