The Otherworld Cycle *​*​remastered​*​*

by Rent Romus' Life's Blood Ensemble

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1.
The Gift 00:55
Creation, water goddess to birth, to egg unfolding.... Grand Father sings life to the world... Falls into water, floats... birds to flight... strange northern land, lights at dusk, grey soil.... sings a boat on the sea.... to Ilmarinen to forge ... great power... metal, pounding... life bringer.... to love, for love... bright skies.... cold light... joy then loss... To float to seek the life... chase the light... steal the fire and power... Scattered to the wind, the sea, the earth, the fire, below... Life anew sings...
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Luominen, veden jumalattaren synty, muna kuoriutuu Mahtava isä laulaa eloa maailmaan ... Putoaa veteen, kelluu ... linnut lentoon ... outo pohjolan maa, valot illan hämyssä, harmahtava maa.. laulaa, veneen vesille .... Ilmariselle taottavaksi ... Suuri mahti... metallin kuminaa ... elämän tuoja .... rakastaen, rakkaudelle ... kirkas taivas .... kalsea valo ... riemu, sitten menetys ... kelluen, elämää etsimässä... valoa jahdaten... anastaa tulen ja mahdin ... hajoten tuuleen, mereen, maahan ja tuleen, alapuolella ... uusi elämä laulaa ..
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about

"...sinewy grooves...A Love Supreme's stratosphere..."
- Jazz Critic Tom Hull

"The Otherworld Cycle thus explores parallels between the oral and written sources of text and the improvised and composed practices of making music." - Stephen Smoliar, Examiner

"...a singular synthesis of postmodern jazz and traditional Finnish music in The Otherworld Cycle, an expansive suite..."
- writer/jazz critic Andy Gilbert, Berkeleyside

It's been five years since the original release of the Otherworld Cycle and in celebration of the sister project, Manala EDT4212, we're offering this newly remastered album.
The Otherworld Cycle is the culmination of over fourteen years of research of the Finno-Ugric 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 inspired elements of the native peoples of the north. The “other world” thematic, abstractly references the lost Finnish heritage and “Body of Memories” embedded in Romus’ musical psyche refracted through the multi-faceted lens of improvisation and postmodern jazz.
The first elements of the Otherworld Cycle took hold after Romus returned home from touring in Northern Europe in the mid-nineties. His experiences lead to continued research into the rich music and culture of his roots from Finland and the surrounding regions that hold a long and mystic history dating back to the end of the last ice age. Like many Americans whose families emigrated from other parts of the world, much of the details of Romus’ cultural identity, language and traditions were lost to integration. As a third generation Finnish American he has spent the last fourteen years delving deep into his roots piecing together stories from his family, photos of family members, and researching the depths of Finnish cultural history, land of his grandmothers.
“The other world is a place we all carry with us. Deep inside it manifests as unknown melodies, a feeling of Déjà Vu for people and places we’ve never been before, and a kinship with people we’ve never known.”
- Rent Romus

credits

released April 28, 2020

Ron Heglin•voice
Jason Hoopes•bass
Heikki Koskinen•tenor recorder, E-trumpet, flutes, kantele
Bob Marsh•voice
Joshua Marshall•tenor saxophone
Lisa Mezzacappa•bass
Bill Noertker•bass
Suki O'Kane•percussion, vibes
Timothy Orr•drums, percussion
Crystal Pascucci•cello
Mark Pino•percussion, bells
Mika Pontecorvo•flutes, rocks
Shanna Sordahl•cello
Rent Romus•alto saxophone, kantele, flutes, bells

Deepest thanks to all the hard working performing musicians who made this project a reality. Thanks to family and friends for their love and support: Collette McCaslin, Dave & Linda Repke, Roderick Repke, Charles Smith, Jack Viramontes,Robert Anbian, Andrew Jamieson, Jordan Glenn, Tony & Judy Pino, John Lee, Timothy Orr, Dina Emerson, Anna Geyer, Howard Ryan, Gerry Henkle, Mark E. Miller, Sung Kim, Peitsa Hirvonen, Ross Hammond, Amy Reed, Ray Schaeffer, Philip Everett.
With reverence and personal thanks to Heikki Koskinen for his kindness in helping me to discover my roots through music, culture, and ideas. Great appreciation to Joe Lasqo for introducing me to Heikki and Joik music, and to Mika Pontecorvo for pointing me in the right direction in research of the Kalevala.

CD & inner sleeve art “Black Spell” acrylic and pastel on paper 2011 by Brian Lucas brianlucas.tumblr.com
Cover and Transition Paintings Ink on Paper 2014 by Collette McCaslin cjborosque.wordpress.com/art
Kanteles played by Heikki Koskinen and Rent Romus courtesy of Gerry Henkel @ Kantele.com
Photos by Charles Smith
All recordings by Michael Zelner:
Recorded October 25, 26 2014 @ The Community Music Center San Francisco, CA
November 30, 2014 at House of Zoka Oakland, CA
January 18 2015 @ Gold Lion Arts Sacramento
Re-Mastered and mixed by Heikki Koskinen April 2020.

The appearance of the Rent Romus' Life's Blood Ensemble is made possible through the Musical Grant Program, which is administered by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, and supported by the Heller Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation and Grants for the Arts|San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund.
Fiscal sponsorship provided by Outsound Presents www.outsound.org
Artist Bios and more information romus.net/otherworld.html

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Edgetone Records San Francisco, California

Edgetone Records is place for new music crossing the genre boundaries. Founded by musician/producer, Rent Romus, the label took shape in 1991. After being on a long hiatus Rent re-opened Edgetone in January 2000 and expanded it to support D.I.Y. (do it yourself) artists looking for a ground base and community label identity. ... more

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