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SWARMIUS Swarms in at CU Denver

King Center goes experimental

SWARMIUS took to the stage last Friday at Auraria’s own King Center. Much can be said of internationally-acclaimed music group SWARMIUS’ music, but, above all, it explores the psychedelic limits of sound. 

From songs like “Dragon,” a classical-techno groove based on old video games such as Super Mario Bros, to “Cherry Blossoms,” a slow and sensual “love poem” as composer Jozefius described it, Swarmius covers a vast range of beats and influences and does so with grace and flair.

Since the group’s debut in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2006, they have gained an international following that the band, without a doubt, deserves. They have performed across Europe and the United States. 

SWARMIUS bends boundaries in their King Center performance. Photo: Genessa Gutzait · The Sentry

As if SWARMIUS’ performance on campus was not exciting enough, CU Denver’s own Professor Gregory TS Walker performed with the group for the first time ever. Professor Walker, a renowned violinist and composer, complemented the four other visiting members: Jozefius, composer and laptop performer, Saximus on the saxophone, Peripateticus on piano, and Tempus on percussion. 

The concert formed, as Professor Walker himself described it at the beginning, a “clandestine gathering of musicians.” Indeed, given the small size of the concert hall, the venue was both electric and intimate as SWARMIUS performed nine songs, all of which were dramatically different. In addition to influences such as old video games and Japanese sensuality, the group’s music draws on African, Latin, and Middle Eastern inspiration, merged with rock, classical music, hip-hop, vaudeville, and more. 

Such boundary-bending jams would not happen without a veritable roster of all-star musicians, and SWARMIUS does not fall short in this regard. The total accolades of its members could fill an entire book. 

Saximus (Todd Rewoldt), once “A former sponsored amateur skateboarder and punk bassist,” according to their website, has performed solo saxophone concerts across the United States and in countless European and Asian countries.

Jozefius (Joseph Waters) is the mastermind behind most of SWARMIUS’ songs. His fascination with other cultures, particularly those of Europe and Africa, translates into his compositions.

The two other performing members of the group visiting CU Denver were Tempus (Daniel Pate) and Peripateticus (Geoffrey Burleson).

Pate, like his fellows, has performed internationally. He has taught music at NYU, Southeastern Louisiana University, Metro State, and multiple others. He performs often in New York City and sits at the forefront of the experimental music scene.

One must not mistake Geoffrey Burleson being mentioned last as a comment on his talent. Burleson, on top of performing across Europe and the United States, has been praised by the New York Times. He teaches piano at Princeton University and is Director of Piano Studies at Hunter College of the City University of New York. 

This impressive lineup came together to engage the audience with higher concept music. Not only did the group draw from an extensive list of international influences but they also delivered music that asked audiences to actively listen and decode their sound.

These brilliant musicians came together as SWARMIUS. Their limitless talent and creativity combined to make the group stand out within the experimental music scene. Their music can be found on iTunes, Spotify, and Pandora.

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