What happens when you take an ex-rocker keyboardist, an ex-skate-board champion, & a former child prodigy classical violinist, and put them together on the beaches of San Diego for 2 years? You get a new type of music, that rips up clubs or concert halls.
Says Saximus, skate board-hero-turned-saxophone-wizard: “You have to have balls, you have to go for it. If you are speeding across a parking lot, about to kickflip-ollie down a set of 15 stairs, you have a choice to make. Either you pull the trick or you''re going to end up bloody as hell, getting stitches and picking at scabs for the next three weeks.”
That is the mentality that Swarmius keeps when performing.
“It’s about taking risks. I’ve always had one foot in Europe and the other in Africa,” says Jozefius (aka Joseph Waters) the band’s composer and laptopist. "Swarmius is the result.”
Comprised of Saximus (saxophone), Fiddlus el Gato (violin), and composer/laptop performer Jozefius Vaatierz Rattus, assisted most ably by esteemed guest percussionist Crotalius Redfoot, the quartet is committed to creating edgy classical music that connects to the music in the streets, clubs, and bedrooms of today''s world. Each of Swarmius'' members is a virtuoso in his own right.
Once he switched, deep dedication to the sax quickly replaced long hours on the half-pipe. Saximus (aka Todd Rewoldt) completed his Doctorate in Saxophone performance at the tender young age of 26 at the prestigious Eastman School of Music.
Fiddlus el Gato (aka Felix Olschofka) was a recording artist at the age of fourteen and a star at the renowned Berliner Hochschule für Musik (Germany''s best conservatory). He performed for the president of Germany at age nineteen, and concertized widely across Europe as teenage prodigy.
As much sought after guest soloist Fiddlus covers a lot of the world. "Most of my friends are not musicians – they are hip, active, modern young professionals on every continent. They love classical music intensely but want new music in a language that speaks to our time, our interests, our passions. I want to make that music for them!"
At six-feet and three-inches tall, Fiddlus el Gato is a towering presence with long, subtle fingers that nimbly caress his fragile, priceless violin. Of his partner in crime Saximus remarks, “Fiddlus has that whole European look going for him. You know, the ''fan'' hairstyle, the tight jeans, and that rakish grin, with a laugh just behind the eyes. Each of us has a wild side. For Fiddlus it emerges when he plays. Onstage he is a giant cat — prowling, pacing, making the violin sing, purr and growl, ready to pounce.”
Fiddlus continues to play the great classics with orchestras throughout the world, and now is also focusing on new works, in particular, the music of Swarmius composer Jozefius Vaatierz Rattus (aka Joseph Waters). Jozefius is a classical composer who grew up playing in rock bands, studied at Yale and conjures a musical brew that juxtaposes hip-hop and Mahler.
"I''m not interested in making simple, or, ''dumbed-down'' music for the masses. On the contrary, I think in general people are smart, that the musical choices they make are important and worthy of serious consideration. I love classical music, and realize that for it to remain healthy it must connect in the most vital way with the music that most people listen to in their daily lives and that speaks to them and that they care about. And I also love rock — it’s where I come from and is deep inside me.”
Contemporary African-American Music
Saximus, in addition to having impeccable chops as an avant garde classical performer, also has deep love and knowledge of contemporary African-American music, electronica, punk and contemporary rock. He played bass in a punk band for several years as a teenager, and this music had a formative effect on his tastes and attitudes as a mature musician.
Equally important to his performing style are the years when he was sponsored as amateur skateboarder. That gave him his work ethic, sense of style and the courage to skate on the brink, be it landing 360º flips on a board with tiny wheels or blazing at light speed through a treacherous musical landscape of melodic twists and turns with fingers & tongue dancing and breath racing to keep up.
Crotalius Red Foot (aka Joel “Doc” Bluestone) was tapping things before he could walk, maintains a rigorous performance schedule of horse racing, rock drumming & world percussion. According to Crotalius, "At heart I''m just a kid with two sticks who likes to rock and extract sound from anything that does not protest too loudly." Crotalius'' unique flair provides Swarmius with a blast of rhythmic color.
Traveling the World
Swarmius plays at diverse venues across the planet in places such as Beethoven''s home in Bonn, Germany, The International Sax Congress, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the Veneto Jazz Festival in Venice Italy, rave club Rivolta in Marghera, Italy, and ultra-underground club Zentrale Rauntlage, Berlin. In fall 2007 they wowed professors and students alike at a mini- east coast tour among some of the world’s best music schools, including Yale and Eastman School of Music.
They have finished their first self-titled CD release. Available early 2008.
"The violin is near perfect and the sax never sounded so classy" - San Diego CityBeat
"The music is intense, crammed with dramatic crescendos followed by abrupt pauses. It’s gorgeous, but un-definable" - San Diego CityBeat
"...first-class performance expertise" - Wolfgang Badun, Associate Vice Director of the School of Music Bonn
"… Intelligent Designs is a courageous step forward in the evolution of saxophone literature" - Todd Oxford, Elision Quartet
"WOW!" - Paul Rudy, Associate Professor of Composition, UMKC Conservatory of Music
"Your music and showcase is perfect" - Erik Ellsworth - aka INCOHERENT STUDENT
"Nothing short of genius! You guys are amazing" - Justus Prevalis
"Your band sounds great...very cool!" - Jason Treuting, So Percussion, Brooklyn You should create your own MySpace Layouts like me by using https://www.tradebit.com''s MySpace Profile Editor!
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