Emptiness Smiles

by Jakob Pek

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One of Full Spectrum’s longest running active artists, we are thrilled to release Jakob Pek’s second entry in our catalog. Originally from Las Vegas, NV, Pek’s approach to the American Primitive style caught our collective ear with its loose vibe and monastic dedication to the tenets of Free Music. It was fresh, raw and open – which is to say, exactly the sort of thing that we get off on.

In the time since we released his first album – Open Mystery – Pek attended the venerable Mills College in Oakland, CA, where he studied with notable luminaries of the American avant-garde Fred Frith and William Winant. That experience triggered a fundamental transformation in Pek’s approach to improvisation and performance. Whereas Open Mystery provided a comprehensive examination of the American Primitive style championed by his former teachers, Emptiness Smiles expands out from that center, incorporating more diverse instrumentation and an evolved sense of both rhythm and texture.

Recorded and mixed in sessions with FS Fam Aaron Oppenheim and Andrew Weathers, the album was assembled from hours of live studio improvisation. Four recordings have been chosen for this release, each honing in on different aspects of Pek’s current practice. Piano meditations, deconstructed blues riffs and percussive explorations of the guitar itself are all on display here, providing an evocative follow-up to his debut; and an album which serves as an intriguing document of a vital young artist operating at the fringes of American experimentalism.


released April 1, 2016

recorded at ex'pression college in Emeryville, CA, engineered by Aaron Oppenheim

all music by Jakob Pek

gratitude to all! especially to

my mamas my papas

my brothers my sisters

to Andrew Weathers Gretchen Korsmo

Aaron Oppenheim Nava Dunkelman

to all the musicians who have taught me so much here in the Bay and beyond

Boundless Love to All! May emptiness smile in our hearts minds bodies beings
and may the silent song of suchness sing its soft sublimity for all to know

with love, Jakob

Mixed & Mastered by Andrew Weathers

Artwork by Gretchen Korsmo




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Full Spectrum Records Littlefield, Texas

Full Spectrum Records releases the works of experimental musicians and sound artists, with an ear towards idiosyncratic tones, extended time frames and unique compositional approaches.

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