The Luxembourg dark folk artist ROME will be in residency at Kulturfabrik from Monday, July 17 to Thursday, July 20, 2023 to work on his new live set. The internationally renowned artist will be focusing mainly on developing the new scenography and the lightshow for his upcoming tour.
Jerome Reuter's musical project ROME connects more to its Ukrainian audience than the occasional live appearance. Since 2015, shortly after Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity and Russia’s covert invasion of the Donbass, the Luxembourgish singer-songwriter has regularly been including various Ukrainian cities on his European tours. Furthermore, ROME happened to give solo performances in Kyiv and Odesa only a few days before Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022; a time at which foreign residents and visitors were urged most strongly to leave the country at once.
Reuter, however, a man ever driven to mark out his own path, remained undeterred, visited his Ukrainian friends and vowed to return with the full band in the foreseeable future. A few months later, after having played several online charity shows in support of Ukraine, he returned for a solo appearance and thus was the first foreign artist to play a full-set show on Ukrainian soil since the beginning of the war. This appearance in July 2022 was used to gather donations for a refugee shelter in Lviv. In addition to that, one year to the day after Reuter's last appearance in Kyiv, ROME delivered on their promise and played two already legendary full-band shows in Lviv and Kyiv to commemorate the first anniversary of the beginning of the war.
Reuter’s support for Ukraine’s fight for freedom was never a surprise to anyone familiar with ROME’s catalogue. For almost two decades, Reuter has been emphasizing European culture and unity in his many works, so it is only logical that ROME delivers a conceptual effort on the ongoing war in Europe.
‘Gates of Europe’ starts off with a burst - a haunting collage of the sounds of February 24th, 2022, the beginning of the full-scale invasion - and proceeds almost chronologically through the first year of war via meticulously crafted songs. In ROME, traditional songwriting craftsmanship is blended with more radical arrangements, and carefully combined with intricate and obscure poetry. The 14 songs are captivating glimpses into the inner life of a country that against all expectations is facing the storm with absolute resolve and courage. Thus ‘Gates of Europe’ is a both humble an honest pledge of commitment to a free Europe from the pen of an artist who seems tied by a thousand threads to our European heritage and past centuries and whose work nonetheless aspires to timeless truth.
This album in many ways appears to be the culmination of all of Reuter’s previous efforts, as though the last two decades were only the training ground for this moment in European history. Over more than 50 official releases, including circa 20 albums, live sessions and various other official releases, ROME has managed to create a world of its own entirely and built a strong and devoted following in Europe and the world.
‘Gates of Europe’ is the sonic oath of allegiance to a free and democratic Europe...