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we are sparks in the universe to our own fire

by ruth weiss

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90 - set one 01:10
90 - set two 02:56


I first met ruth* in 2013 at a benefit concert for Arthur Blythe. She was introduced to me by George Russell who knew me from my work with Bill Noertker and Outsound Presents. In a sea of people at the concert her bright aqua green hair could not be denied. Later, I came to understand it was her ongoing tribute to the 1948 anti-war film ‘The Boy with the Green Hair’. When I got home from the concert I decided to do some research and found that she was a founder of the beat poetry community. Meeting a founder is rare and being in a position to produce grass roots concerts in San Francisco I thought it would be fascinating to hear her work with electronic synthesis pioneer Doug Lynner. As I extrapolated from her years of innovation, ruth was all for the idea and they performed at the 2014 Outsound New Music Summit in San Francisco. A year later ruth was looking for a sax player for her quartet and called me to perform. In 2018 I produced this recording live in San Francisco at the Musician’s Union Hall as part of the SIMM Music Series from Outsound Presents. ruth decided it would be fun and interesting to perform the same set of poems with Doug Lynner and then with her jazz quartet. The title, “we are sparks in the universe to our own fire”, is the last line written on her 91st birthday poem which we performed on the day of her induction into the Cinequest Maverick Award in March of 2020. For me the line speaks volumes on who she was and how she lived her life. We will always be grateful for the opportunity to work with her and miss her deeply. - Rent Romus


released January 26, 2021

Set 1
ruth weiss - poetry
doug lynner - serge synthesizer (the mystery serge)
hal davis - wooden log

Set 2
ruth weiss - poetry
rent romus - alto, soprano saxophones, flutes
doug o'connor - double bass
hal davis - wooden log

*tracks 4 & 13 EXPLICIT LYRICS
executive producer rent romus; all poems by ruth weiss, music tracks 1-9 by doug lynner, 10-18 by rent romus, doug o’conner, hall davis
recorded by michael zelner november 18, 2018 at simm series outsound presents outsound.org musicians union hall local 6 san francisco
mixed/mastered by john finkbeiner at new, improved recording
booklet page 1 and cover photo/cd ruth weiss’ royal delux typewriter by melody c. miller director/producer/film maker
‘ruth weiss the beat goddess’ www.ruthweissfilm.com
back cover/inside bottom right photo by charles smith, inside top right photo by perter b kaars
booklet pages 1-6 JAZZ & POETRY PIONEER AND WORD SHAMAN ruth weiss, 1928–2020 written by thomas antonic, ebsn.eu
booklet photo pages 7-12 image set list ruth weiss poems by rent romus


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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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