On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation." - Squidco website staff
Berklee Period Gigs...
Moved to Boston to attend Berklee...
Early PEK - in California...
Pointy Toes Ensemble
First 40 minutes of Expansions score
In late 1992, after completing the Berklee certificate, PEK spent two years composing Expansions, a 90 minute work for 10 instrumentalists and 4 performing engineers. The work utilized frame notation to trigger musical events at times displayed on a digital clock and included tape music and abstract video. The score was assembled into a single sheet of paper about 30 feet wide and 40 inches tall. Expansions was performed 3 times in September 1994 at the Mobius performance space in Boston by the Pointy Toes Ensemble which was comprised of PEK (clarinets and saxes), Sam Lobel (clarinets, tenor sax), Raqib Hassan (bass clarinet, saxes, mussette), Steve Norton (clarinets and saxes), Keith Hedger (trumpet), Mark McGrain (trombone), Glynis Lomon (cello), David “Tiger” Lyons (guitar), Nick Lloyd (double bass), Sydney Smart (drums), Aib Gomez-Delgado (timekeeper), Thom Jones (tape preparation, mixer, tape manipulation, guitar), Glen Peterson (tape preparation, primary mixer, microtonal guitar), Matt Samolis (mixer, tape manipulation), Macha (sound reinforcement engineer, recording engineer), and Lynton Vanderstein (video documentation).
Within several months of his arrival in Boston he entered an immersive association with Masashi Harada. Masashi had performed and recorded with Cecil Taylor, William Parker, Joe Maneri, Mat Maneri, Randy Peterson and Glynis Lomon and was rightly a leader in the New Music scene in Boston, later becoming a member of the New England Conservatory faculty teaching improvisation. Masashi had a number of bands with PEK including the Masashi Harada Sextet (Masashi on composition and piano, PEK on clarinets and saxes, John Fugarino on slide trumpet, Glynis Lomon on cello and voice, Atemu Aton on bass, and Laurence Cooke on drums with guest William Parker on bass for one gig), Asterismos (Masashi on percussion, PEK, Ricardo Frota on violin with Glynis and Taylor McLean on percussion as guests on some occasions), and The Candanction Ensemble where Masashi used dance to conduct a much larger ensemble (PEK, Glynis, Sam Lobel on tenor sax and clarinets, Glen Peterson on microtonal guitar and many others). In 1991, Masashi organized a performance of Cecil Taylor’s composition Burning Poles at New England Conservatory for a large ensemble of students and pros that included PEK, Glynis, Raphe Malik on trumpet, Glen Spearman on tenor sax, Eric Zinman on piano and many others. Cecil Taylor was in attendance at the performance.
In 1989, he left California to study performance with George Garzone and composition with Mark McGrain and others at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. While at Berklee he performed with George Garzone’s Avante Garde Ensemble and fronted a recital with the Swamp Men comprised of PEK, George Garzone (tenor sax), Masashi Harada (percussion and piano) and John Fugarino (trumpet). He knew several people studying Recording Engineering and was able to create new recordings of his composition Descent Into Madness, Masashi Harada’s composition Plexus for sextet, and several pieces by Eric Zinman.
He went to the University of California at Davis to study mathematics and philosophy, changing schools to the University of Santa Cruz a few years later, and then leaving school to focus on music exclusively. He resumed studying with Kurt Heisig from 1984 to 1989, spending these 5 years on heavy woodshedding and playing in Heisig's Sax Quartet. During this time he also played with several rock bands including Thieves, Villains and Scoundrels Union, Local 12; Ring of Fire, Kings of Hilarity and No Such Thing, among others. He made experimental tape music with Mike Grialou, Jim Smith and Dave Murray. He wrote and recorded several compositions including Fission, The Safety Device and Descent Into Madness. His day job was at a camping and climbing equipment retailer where he knew rock climbers and he went on many trips to the wilderness with these people where they would go climbing and he would play his instruments all day in natural settings. He acquired his initial collection of instruments which included clarinet, flute and soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones.
During the Berklee period he also performed with the Insane Sax Quartet (including PEK on tenor saxophone and Charlie Kolhase on baritone saxophone), the Lourdes Avenue Trio (PEK, Eric Zinman on piano and John Fugarino on slide trumpet) and the Jump Cut Orchestra lead by Chris Florio. He met Martha Ritchey (piano), who became an important collaborator and supporter, and played stretched out jazz standards and then later improvisations with her. He continued making tape music with Glen Peterson.
PEK (born 1964), began playing music in elementary school on clarinet and then piano. In junior high school he switched to alto saxophone and then tenor saxophone at the start of high school. As a senior he was the Drum Major of the marching band, lead tenor sax in the jazz band and played flute in the concert band. From grades 7 to 10 he studied classical and jazz saxophone with Kurt Heisig.
Photos by Raffi, Steve Peck
PEK Bio (1)
Photo by Rob Miller,
Tweak by PEK
Photo by Rob Miller
Photo by Rob Miller,
Tweak by PEK