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NEW RELEASE! ODIN AND THOR: Norse Myths Told Live by Odds Bodkin

NEW RELEASE! ODIN AND THOR: Norse Myths Told Live by Odds Bodkin

Get ready for two GIANT Norse myths–a full 80-minute show captured live at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square–told with stunning music by master storyteller Odds Bodkin. The audience was brilliant that night. They even learned and sang an original song in one of the tales!

THOR’S JOURNEY TO UTGARD and THE MEAD OF POETRY pulse with humor, wickedness, murder and magic. After all, they’re Viking tales. Odds’ character voices for gods and giants leap to life in a bed of 12-string guitar music and vocal sound effects. Two new movies for the mind’s eye.

A great holiday gift for the myth lover in your family! Safe for kids ten and up.

$19.95. Download yours today!

Odds Bodkin performs THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST Nov. 19th in NH

Odds Bodkin performs THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST Nov. 19th at Nova Arts in Keene, NH at 8 pm.

Come hear this storyteller’s most renowned tale, his adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey. Scored throughout with music on 12-string guitar. From Troy to the Cave of the Cyclops, the early episodes of Bodkin’s 4 hour telling of the Classic is a favorite among high school and university audiences, not to mention adults.

 

THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST

Saturday, Nov. 19th at 8 pm (doors open at 7)

Nova Arts, 48 Emerald Street, Keene, NH

Tickets: $25

 

THE LORE OF HORROR: Adult Storytelling in Keene, NH on Oct. 29 at 8 pm

This coming Saturday Oct. 29 at 8 pm: THE LORE OF HORROR for adults at Nova Arts in Keene, NH. Four intense and artful tales of the supernatural. I’ll have two 12-strings, my alto recorder and the Celtic harp to play as I tell these tales. A fun night out if you don’t mind being scared while being delighted.

DARK TALES OF THE SUPERNATURAL…New Audio Release…Half Price Til Halloween!

DARK TALES OF THE SUPERNATURAL, Odds Bodkin’s new release, is 50 minutes of great storytelling. And it’s half price from today until Halloween. Two unforgettable scary stories. Music on 12-string guitar and Celtic harp. Lots of characters, vocal effects and narrations.

Visit Odds Bodkin’s download shop HERE!

A New Odds Bodkin Horror Tale: THE DEMON HEADS Live Oct. 29th in Keene, NH

A New Odds Bodkin horror tale, THE DEMON HEADS, goes live onstage at Nova Arts in Keene, NH at 8 pm on Saturday Oct. 29th. With a full, haunting score on specially-turned 12-string guitar, Odds uses characters to tell the tale of a dispirited samurai who swears off his sword forever. It’s only years later, when as a priest he’s battling forest demons, that he wishes he had his sword back. But it’s still buried, far away.

Plus there’s the rest of the evening’s international horror stories performed on Celtic harp, alto recorder and guitar. Grab some friends, dress up if you like, and enjoy a wild evening of entertaining and increasingly horrific tales.

 

 

FOREST DEMONS, WRAITHS & WERECATS: THE LORE OF HORROR

Saturday Oct 29 at 8 pm (doors open at 7)

Nova Arts, 48 Emerald Street, Keene NH

Tickets: $25

THE LORE OF HORROR: Halloween Tales Saturday Oct. 29 in Keene, NH

For years people have been asking me “Why isn’t Dark Tales of the Supernatural for sale at your web store?” It seems this recording is an old listener favorite. I declined to digitize it due to production flaws in the original and only this week have gotten around to producing a new studio recording of these horror tales, thanks to a mysterious benefactor. Truth be told, I’ll probably end up with two albums worth of stories, since the collection has grown. I’ll announce those publications soon.

Meanwhile, if you’re near Keene, New Hampshire this coming October 29th, you can hear them performed live at NOVA ARTS at 8 pm. I’ll be there with my instruments to do my best to make your blood race, but only after it has run cold.

 

 

FOREST DEMONS, WRAITHS AND WERECATS: THE LORE OF HORROR

Odds Bodkin

Saturday Oct 29 at 8 pm (doors open at 7)

Nova Arts, 48 Emerald Street, Keene NH

Tickets: $25

 

 

 

 

How Russia Got Its Name

How Russia Got Its Name

In 921 A.D., Ibn Fadlan, an emissary from Baghdad, left the city with a caravan of camels and horses heading north. Baghdad was arguably the most sophisticated city in the world at that time, and the Islam it practiced was broad-minded and still very young as a religion. Fadlan journeyed 2,500 miles north to the land of the Bulghars (modern Bulgaria) to convert the local Turkic pagans to Islam, and while doing so he discovered people “as tall as date palms” (his words) who went nowhere without a battle axe, a sword and a dagger at their heavy leather belts. These gigantic men were tattooed in green symbols from their necks to their wrists and had come to the Black Sea ports to trade in walrus tusk ivory, furs, metal weapons and finely wrought jewelry. The locals called them the “Rus”, the red-haired ones, and even though the Vikings sailed back home to Scandinavia after trading, they left their name in those environs forever.

Russia.

This is a bit of the lore I’ll be sharing this coming Saturday night during my show at Nova Arts in Keene, New Hampshire. Before launching into two long Norse myths, in these shows I always do my best to explain the spiritual outlook of the sea-tough Scandinavians, especially the Nine Worlds and the gods and goddesses, giants and dwarfs in whom the Vikings believed. It’s a fascinating and rugged mythology, and fun to learn about.

The tales are THOR’S JOURNEY TO UTGARD and THE MEAD OF POETRY, told with 12-string guitars. It’s a 90-minute show all told, pardon the pun. Grab a few friends and come to Keene. Doors open at 7 pm. Tickets are $25.

I hope to see you there.

 

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS

An Adult Storytelling by Odds Bodkin

Saturday, Sept. 24th at 7 pm (doors open)

Nova Arts, 48 Emerald Street, Keene NH

Tickets: $25

My Lazarus Guitar

My Lazarus Guitar

I own a Ro Ho custom-built jumbo 12-string guitar. Had it almost 35 years. I’ve had plenty of Taylor 12-strings and all have bitten the dust except for one. I’ve had Guilds and Martins, too, but the brand didn’t matter. The huge tension of twelve steel strings on their necks proved too much for all of them. But this old Ron Ho, it’s been through a thousand venues, decades of service, and never once failed me.

So you can imagine how I felt when, after a flight back from Boulder, I discovered that its neck had snapped at the

headstock, even though I’d loosened the strings as always. Frankly, I was devastated and fell into a mild depression. Or at least a guitar depression, if that makes sense. In order to do shows, I had to rely on an Alvarez 12. No fun at all. No resonance, no bass, no crispness. This went on for a while until I said to myself, “I can’t stand this. Bodkin, you’ll never have another guitar like this. Why not try to fix it?”

I took wood glue and watered it down to a runny liquid, and slowly dripped it in between the sharp shattered needles of wood after prying it open a little, letting the waterish glue soak into the injured places for a couple of hours, then I topped it off with thicker glue. Thinking, “Well, this will either work or it won’t,” I tightened three wood clamps onto the neck and head just so and left the poor thing standing there in the kitchen for a few days, dreading the test.

The thing I’d always loved about this guitar was its action—that is, how low the strings sit above the fret board. It had always felt like butter, even at the 12th position. For a 12-string, which is hard enough to bear down on in the playing, that’s heaven. Even a riser made of one thin sheet of paper inserted or removed under the bridge can make a huge difference.

Anyway, the test. That’s when you put on fresh strings, tighten them to pitch and then play, listening for buzzes and intonation problems. It’s nerve-wracking, because if it’s too low, it will buzz somewhere, and if it’s too high, you have to take off all twelve strings and make adjustments, then tighten them all again for another test.

As I put on the strings, I could see the scar on the neck. A thin crack, filled with dark. Still, they say wood glue is tougher than the wood around it, so I strung it and gingerly tuned it to the open E flat I usually play in, expecting the neck to explode off any second. I did all this at arm’s length. 12-string necks experience 400 pounds of tension.

So imagine my relief when it held. It felt and played just the way it always had. Same resonant boom. Same super-low action. It really was as if nothing had happened. Truly, it had come back from the dead. My Lazarus guitar.

This was about ten years ago now, and it still lives.

In fact, this Saturday night, Sept. 24 at 7pm, I’ll be playing it while telling The Mead of Poetry, a bloody and funny Viking myth at Nova Arts in Keene, NH. If you want to hear a Lazarus guitar, join me.

 

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS

Odds Bodkin Adult Storytelling with Music

Sept. 24, 2022 at 7 pm (door open)

Nova Arts, 48 Emerald Street, Keene NH

Tickets: $25

 

The Fun of Composing New Music

The Fun of Composing New Music

I work with two 12-string guitars, a Taylor and a hand-built Ro Ho custom. This week I’m preparing my musical scores for two Viking tales for Saturday’s show. Ever since I began performing these stories for adult audiences about six years ago, each season I return to the music afresh. Earlier this year, at a show down in Cambridge, I debuted a beautiful, relaxing theme that solved a musical puzzle I’d been struggling with for decades. The tale is THOR’S JOURNEY TO UTGARD. Much of the music conveys action or an impending strange fate, but moments do arrive where the feeling “all is well” needs to be expressed.

I finally found it. It makes me happy to play it when, at the story’s end, Thor and Loki realize that they scared the Frost Giants of Utgard quite handily, but had no idea they’d done so. They’d been fooled by Frost Giant magic ever since they’d arrived in Jotunheim.

If you’re at the show, you’ll know exactly what music I’m talking about.

Hope to see you there!

Odds Bodkin

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS

Adult Storytelling with Music

Saturday Sept. 24, 2022 at 7 pm (doors open)

Nova Arts, 48 Emerald Street, Keene NH

Tickets: $25

 

 

 

 

 

New Hampshire’s Nova Arts Invites Odds Bodkin to perform Viking Myths on Sept. 24th

New Hampshire’s Nova Arts Invites Odds Bodkin to perform Viking Myths on Sept. 24th

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS is cinematic storytelling with music. It’s the first of three appearances Bodkin will make at Nova Arts in Keene, NH this fall. It’s not jazz. It’s not rock. It’s not singer songwriter work. No, it’s intense musically-scored storytelling. The first is Saturday, Sept. 24th. If only for the sound of the 12-string guitars, it’s worth the ticket.

A former adjunct professor at Antioch in Keene who taught imagination and mythology as storytelling, The New York Times calls him “a consummate storyteller”. If you’ve ever wondered what a bard does, grab a ticket and enjoy this remarkable show of Viking myths and little-known lore. Where do the days of the week come from? Four out of seven of them come from Norse mythology. How did Russia get its name? The Vikings.

And then, there are the two long tales. Don’t miss it!

Odds Bodkin, Master Storyteller and Musician

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS

Saturday, Sept. 24 at 8 pm. Doors open at 7 pm.

Nova Arts, 48 Emerald Street, Keene, NH

Tickets: $25

 

 

A DEADLY, LONELY GIANTESS WHO SINGS REALLY BADLY–COME HEAR HER!

A DEADLY, LONELY GIANTESS WHO SINGS REALLY BADLY–COME HEAR HER!

I’m not sure why I added a song to The Mead of Poetry, a Norse myth I’ll be performing this month at Nova Arts in Keene, New Hampshire. It’s only a couple of years old, the song. I wrote it for Gunlod, the deadly giantess who guards her father’s elixir in a mountain cave. Poor lonely girl, she’s an unhappy virgin. That is until Odin arrives, disguised as a man. He’s there to seduce her into giving him a sip of the elixir–a mead of poetry and wisdom. I first urged an audience to sing it with me at a live show in Cambridge MA.

 

One soul, lost in loneliness

Down in the dark where nobody dares to go

One soul, none will ever see

My father’s will has now imprisoned me

Guard it, he says. Guard it, he says.

Guard it, let no one touch it at all.

 

The song worked really well when my audience at Grendel’s Den learned it in no time and sang it beautifully. And after two years of trying it out, I captured it on a live recording this year that will be out for Christmas 2022. ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS. You’ll find it at my download shop soon.

Most Norse myths are irredeemably violent. But not these two. I chose them from the canon for their humanity. Sort of.

Meanwhile, join me for a live version if you like. Maybe you can sing it even better.

 

 

ODDS BODKIN

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS

SEPT. 24TH at 8 pm

Nova Arts

48 Emerald Street

Keene, NH

Tickets: $25

https://www.novaarts.org/events/oddsbodkin924

 

 

 

 

 

Thor Defeated. Is That a Real Norse Myth? Yes, It Is.

Thor defeated. Is that a real Norse Myth? Yes, it is.

Thor the God of Thunder is known as a giant killer. Across the Norse mythos, in many tales, his hammer Mjolnir sends Frost Giants to their graves.

So what is this? You mean Thor is defeated? Well, no, but he is outwitted thoroughly, along with Loki, in the hall of the Frost Giant king.

To find out how, come join me Saturday night, Sept. 24th, at Nova Arts in Keene, NH. The show is at 8 pm. I’ll have my two 12-string guitars and Celtic harp for this 90-minute performance. Character voices. Sound effects. Narrative. Full musical scores for the tales. Plus amazing visuals, lore and plenty of humor.

Grab dinner, enjoy some wine, and sit back for some adult storytelling.

 

ODDS BODKIN

performs

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS

SEPT. 24TH at 8 pm

Nova Arts

48 Emerald Street

Keene, NH

Tickets: $25

https://www.novaarts.org/events/oddsbodkin924