The Expanding Universe

by Leap of Faith Orchestra

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Evil Clown Webpage
    YouTube - Track 1 - Leap of Faith - Dark Matter
    YouTube - Track 2 - Leap of Faith Orchestra - The Expanding Universe
    Review in by Karl Ackermann
    The creative music cooperative known as Leap of Faith had a long initial run from 1993 to 2001 and then re-booted in 2015. At their core, from the beginning, have been multi-instrumentalists David Peck (aka PEK) and Glynis Lomon. PEK, however, assumes a more than democratic leadership role across the many manifestations of the collective that live on his Evil Clown label. On The Expanding Universe the Leap of Faith Orchestra—true the album title—escalates with full (but non-conventional) ensemble of fifteen.
    At fifty-thousand feet, one could describe the overall vibe of The Expanding Universe as running the gamut from melodic to shambolic. The latter perception may be driven by the presence of more than four-dozen instruments/devices in the hands of these fifteen artists. The sole track (being the title track) is a sprawling epic at seventy-seven minutes and does indeed deviate between the austere and the chaotic, but as always, composer PEK has a higher purpose. Swerving whistles and a siren usher in the piece with no small amount of urgency building to a crescendo of noise before a lone tuba replaces near-calamity with dark mystery. Later, piano and alternate devices struggle for dominance, lopsided melodies collide with bells, blocks and cymbals in a musical representation of the album's stated theme.
    PEK and the Leap of Faith Orchestra collectively have the gift of being able to discover music where it lives and one would be justified in believing that they could find aesthetic value in the rhythm of windshield wipers as certainly as with a saxophone. The Expanding Universe only marginally revolves around recognizable spheres like the bass, vibes or cello. There are nebulas of boomwhakers, fog horns, sirens and pieces of metal attracted by the gravitational pull. Like any uncharted exploration, attention to detail makes this experimental journey a memorable experience.
    Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
    METAL CHAOS ENSEMBLE [PEK / ANDRIA NICODEMOU / YURI ZBITNOV] - Intermetallic Compounds (Evil Clown 9091; USA) Featuring Dave PEK on tenor & alto sax, contra-alto clarinet, sheng, saxophone, aquasonic, etc., Andria Nicodemou on vibes, percussion, guzheng, yanqin and Yuri Zbitnov on drums, assorted percussion, dax, etc. The Metal Chaos Ensemble (MCE) is the prolific of all of the Leap of Faith offshoot units with some ten discs that we’ve listed. This disc features the smallest version of MCE, a trio with PEK & Yuri Zbitnov, both longtime members of LoF and newcomer, Andria Nicodemou, on vibes. This disc was recorded at Evil Clown home/studio in January of 2016. The band name refers to the fact that each member plays metal percussion of some sort. The music unfolds slowly and mysteriously with the eerie sounds of bowed percussion, gongs, vibes, creating a hypnotic, floating world. The music here has a rather ritualistic, near-spiritual sound, which does occasionally erupt but never too much. At one point, there are some spooky vocal sounds which seem to push into some darker waters. Very effective. Overall, the music is quite like a ceremony, perhaps even wake up the dead from a deep slumber. Spirits rejoice!
    PEK Liner notes - June 2016:
    This was a very special event, so be sure to check it out!
    The Leap of Faith Orchestra is a large improvisation ensemble comprised of 5 Sub-Units that can play independently or in combination. Any two or more of these units in combination are the LOFO, but this was the first event with all of the performers and Sub-Units simultaneously.
    Those Sub-Units are:
    Leap of Faith (an improv ensemble dating back to 1995)
    Metal Chaos Ensemble (an expanded percussion section)
    String Theory (an expanded string section)
    Turbulence (an expanded horn section)
    New Language Collaborative (cellist Glynis Lomon's trio)
    For the last year we have been preparing for this concert - the first presentation of the Full Orchestra!! Each of the Sub-Units has had two performances with Leap of Faith with a short set for each band and a longer combined set. We have also had several concerts with 9 or 10 performers with short sets by different smaller sections of and a longer combined set... About 30 talented Boston area improvisers have participated....
    When deciding that I wanted to create a large improvisation ensemble version of Leap of Faith I reflected on my prior experience with large groups where we tried to gather the entire group and rehearse. I decided to take a different approach and to develop the orchestra slowly over time by working with many smaller sections and combinations ultimately leading to the full unit. Now, all the orchestra members have experience performing with each other in various combinations, and we have created a lot of great work in the process.
    This work, The Expanding Universe, unlike the preparation performances, has a score. The score does not contain notated melodic, harmonic or rhythmic information, but is composed of time indices and English language descriptions of the instrument and texture desired which control who plays what at what times during the 75 minute duration of the composition. The score is simultaneously a Density and Sonority map defining the development of the work.
    The ensemble tracks the time on the score with a large digital sports clock.
    Included in the downloads is a pdf file of the Score.
    Track 1 is a Special Bonus track for the Download Edition. Short opening set with Leap of Faith.
    ... more

      $5 USD  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    First performance of the full Leap of Faith Orchestra

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Expanding Universe via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days

      $10 USD




Evil Clown 9110:
Nave Gallery,
Clarendon Presbyterian Church
Somerville, MA - 6/4/2016


released June 5, 2016

1) Leap of Faith - Dark Matter
.PEK - tenor sax, clarinet, alto & contraalto clarinets, contrabassoon, dulzaina, sheng, metal, daxophone, aquasonic, game calls
.Glynis Lomon - cello, aquasonic, voice
.Steve Norton - sopranino & alto & baritone saxes, bass & Contraalto clarinets
.Andria Nicodemou - vibes, bells, crotales, metal
.Yuri Zbitnov - drums, metal, chains
2) Leap of Faith Orchestra - The Expanding Universe
.PEK - dulzaina, sopranino & alto & tenor saxes, oboe, clarinet, contraalto clarinet, sheng, bass tromboon, fog horn, ms-20, boomwhakers, slide whistles, siren whistle
.Glynis Lomon - cello, aquasonic, voice, slide whistle
.Steve Norton - sopranino & alto & baritone saxes, bass & contraalto clarinets, celeste, fog horn, boomwhakers
.Andria Nicodemou - vibes, bells, crotales, slide whistle
.Yuri Zbitnov - drum set, lead gong, metal, balfon, blocks, festival drum, daiko, chains, siren whistle, boomwhakers, percussion
.Mimi Rabson - metal, slide whistle, siren whistle, percussion
.Clara Kebabian - slide whistle, siren whistle, percussion
.Bob Moores - trumpet, electronics, tiny slide whistle, percussion
.Charlie Kohlhase - alto & tenor & baritone saxes, slide whistle, percussion
.Dave Harris - tuba, trombone, fog horn, crank siren, slide whistle, boomwhaker
.Peter Cassino - piano, slide whistle
.Tony Leva - bass, slide whistle
.Brendan Higgins - bass, slide whistle
.Yedidyah Syd Smart - edrums, percussion
.Kevin Dacey - drum set, balfon, blocks, metal, chains, percussion, crank siren, taxi horn



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Leap Of Faith Boston, Massachusetts

Leap of Faith is a long-term collaboration active from 1993 to 2001 and resuming in 2015 between Glynis Lomon (cello, voice) and PEK (clarinets, saxes, double reeds, voice) with various other regulars (Mark McGrain trombone, Craig Schildhauer bass, Yuri Zbitnov drums, James Coleman theremin, Steve Norton saxes, clarinets) + many guests. Pure improv with little or no planning prior to performance ... more

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