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
Photos by Raffi, Tweaks by PEK
"'This is living, breathing art in every sense of the word."
- Karl Ackermann, AllAboutJazz.com (On Intermetallic Compounds)
"The blend of several layers of percussion, metals bowed & banged, synth, vibes is like a dream unfolding. The Metal Chaos Ensemble may be one of the best unrecognized units to emerge in a while, they are certainly in top notch form here."
- Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery (on Hyperbolic Spirals)
The band name, Metal Chaos Ensemble, 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...
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...
PEK - 2 June 2015
Now just into 2016... Last year was incredible for MCE: 15 Albums an EP and a single.... Five Core members ... Half a dozen reviews.... A set of equipment that won't all fit in my studio at once! Busy busy busy...
Check out my newsletter on 2015 in Review for the continuing story in some detail!
PEK - 2 January 2016
When I reformed Leap of Faith in January 2015, I decided that I wanted to expand the percussion pallet of the band to include a strong component of metal instrumentation. Leap of Faith is all about transformation of sonority over time; we make complex textures that evolve and morph into other complex textures. 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.
Photo by PEK
2015 to present
Photos by Bill T Miller - Tweaked by PEK
Photo by Yuri Zbinov
Photos by Raffi
Photo by Raffi - tweaked by Bill T Miller
Photos by Raffi
Metal Chaos Ensemble is a brand new Evil Clown project launched in March 2015. The core ensemble is PEK and Yuri Zbitnov both from Leap of Faith with a pool of additional percussionists including Tamora Gooding, Matt Samolis and Kevin Dacey. Most sessions also include other guests who play the percussion instruments along with their primary Axes.
Metal Chaos Ensemble