I also feel really proud to have been part of Rent Romus's Life's Blood Ensemble again. Playing the Otherworld Cycle is pretty emotionally draining, but always worth the effort. My sense of our performance at the Kaleva Hall is that that particular grouping really gelled, in the way groups do over time. Our playing of the written pieces, while probably not technically perfect (which just makes me think about how Sun Ra, when notating recordings that he'd heard of the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, made sure that the "mistakes" were notated as played), felt really solid to me. There was a feeling of boldness, especially within the rhythm section. I figure that it helped that we had the full complement of players: all cellos, all basses, all horns were present.
There were some really fine solos, especially from Josh Marshall and Heiki Koskinen, the vocals from Bob Marsh and Ron Heglin felt really powerful, the strings of Bill Noertker, Jason Hoopes, Crystal Pasucci, and Shanna Sordahl were thick; again, everything just felt ON to me. A nice feeling! I suspect that Rent felt quite moved, as it sounded as if he got a bit choked up when introducing the musicians upon conclusion of the second set. I was very happy for Rent at that moment.
Of course, it was a real pleasure to be part to the battery with Suki O'Kane and Tim Orr. I have a lot of learning to take in from that experience.
Below: setting up and soundchecking
Below: part of the Life's Blood Ensemble in action!
So, yesterday's performance of Rent's Otherworld Cycle will probably be the last in the SF Bay Area for a while. I don't know where it will be performed again, but I've been really honored to have participated in it. Hopefully it won't be my last time to do so!
Many thanks to Rent Romus and all the musicians that have performed the Otherworld Cycle!
Below: very cool frieze on the wall of Kaleva Hall