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The Other World Cycle - visions of the Kalevala
Community Music Center
San Francisco, CA
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The Other World Cycle - visions of the Kalevala
Featuring The Life's Blood Ensemble:
Markus Hunt - double bass, Jason Hoopes - double bass, Timothy Orr - drums/percussion
Suki O'Kane - percussion, Mark Pino - percussion
Heikki Koskinen- tenor recorder, e-trumpet, flutes, kantele, Mika Pontecorvo - flute
Rent Romus - alto, soprano, c-melody saxophones, percussion, flutes, bells
Bob Marsh - voice, Ron Heglin - voice

The Otherworld Cycle is the culmination of over fourteen years of research of the Fino-Uralic traditions and music. The Cycle consists of a series of new compositions and improvisations inspired by the poems of the Finnish National Epic known as the Kalavela, as well as Karelian regional folk songs, and Sami Joik song elements of the native peoples of the north.
Cycle songs will be set instrumentally utilizing thematic elements both using melodic material while embedded structurally in ways that abstractly reference the Uralic "Body of Memory" embedded in Romus' musical psyche refracted through the multi-faceted lens of improvisation and postmodern jazz.

The Kalevala also known as the Finish National Epic tells of the creation of the world and the roles that the mythic characters played in that creation. The rune poems are constructed as Karelian folk song styles originally passed on verbally from person to person for ten millennia. Later these were documented as kantelas in the 19th century by physician, botanist and linguist Elias Lönnrot who assembled them under the banner of the Kalevala which helped to define a modern Finnish Cultural identity. Interweaving within the Kalevala are influences from the folklore of the native Sami people who have through new research a distant connection to early Finnish people and inhabited the northern regions for over ten thousand of years shortly after the last ice age. Their song elements under the descriptive heading of Joik (Yoik) are songs of people, objects, or animals.

Hailed by Downbeat as having "...a bold sound, unmistakeable sincerity and conviction", Rent Romus "swings like death and hell" according to the late Danish writer and producer Jack Lind. Born in the great north of upper Michigan and growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Romus' work on the saxophone has been dubbed "ferocious" by the San Francisco Weekly and "central to the creative music world of the West Coast" by writer jazz critic Frank Rubolino. From his very beginnings as a student of jazz while being exposed to the twilight tutelage of Stan Getz he found himself drawn to the outer realms of Sun Ra and Albert Ayler, as well as Derek Bailey and Merzbow.
He runs the collective ensembles the Lords of Outland as well as the Life's Blood Ensemble. Romus has recorded exploring improvisation and composition in a wide variety of musical settings on over 35 albums both as a leader and sideman which have included Chico Freeman, John Tchiai, Vinny Golia, Thollem McDonas, Stefan Pasborg, Dave Mihaly, James Zitro, Kash Killion, Jon Bridsong, Jim Ryan, and Ernesto Diaz-Infante. With over 25 years of D.I.Y. music production, performance, and curation he runs Edgetone Records a label for many forms of improvisation and experimentation. He is the founder and Executive Director of Outsound Presents under which curates the bi-weekly SIMM Music Series at the Musicians Union Hall, the weekly Luggage Store Gallery New Music Series, as well as annual Outsound New Music Summit, a creative music festival held every summer in San Francisco.


Community Music Center (View)
544 Capp Street
San Francisco, CA 94804
United States


Music > Experimental
Music > Folk
Music > Jazz

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Owner: Outsound Presents
On BPT Since: Apr 10, 2008
Rent Romus

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