12-STRING GUITAR MOTIFS for Fall of the Titans

 

I’ve had a wonderful run of well-attended shows at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square this winter and want to thank Kari Kuelzer, Charlie Gargano, Joe Froeber and the great staff at Grendel’s for making all the evenings run so smoothly.

Everybody’s having a good time.

This season’s last show is Sunday night, March 31 at 6 p.m.

FALL OF THE TITANS

TICKETS $15

The Eldest Olympian is Love, But With a Dark Origin

You’ve seen Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. There she stands at the sea’s edge, demure in her newly opened scallop shell. Her hair is plenty long enough to cover all of her, since she’s in her birthday suit, but she’s no prude, not this goddess, and so she’s left one breast uncovered.

A reception committee has arrived to greet her. A handsome winged god, Zephyr, hovers on the left with his cute girlfriend, Aura. Both are blowing a breeze that is driving Venus toward shore and fluffing her hair, almost like a fashion shoot. On the right is the Hora of Spring (one of the Hours), a lovely minor goddess who seems to be doing a bit of floating herself as she holds out a garment for Venus to put on, when she’s ready, of course. Pink mallow flowers hover in the air and appear in miniature on the garment, as well.

In 1480 or so, when Boticelli painted his Renaissance masterpiece, he did not include any blood in the water, notice. There is no Titan on the distant cliffs, laughing, while another Titan, his father, clutches his bloody loins. Nope. Wisely, Botticelli left out the rest of the story.

If you’d like to learn the terrifying origin of The Goddess of Love, the eldest Olympian, join me in my performance of Fall of the Titans, this coming Sunday on Harvard Square at Grendel’s Den.

As gruesome as it is, it makes a strange kind of sense.

An adult storytelling with music on Celtic harp and 12-string guitar. No children please.

 

FALL OF THE TITANS

Odds Bodkin

Sunday, March 31 at 6 pm

Grendel’s Den, Cambridge MA

 

Tickets $15

FALL OF THE TITANS: Adult Storytelling in Cambridge on March 31st

Don’t miss Odds Bodkin’s final story performance of the season at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square this coming Sunday, March 31st at 6 p.m.

FALL OF THE TITANS is the sweeping saga of ancient Greek Titans, first birthing and then battling, the Gods of Olympus.

 

TICKETS $15

NEXT SUNDAY IN CAMBRIDGE: Fall of the Titans Adult Epic Storytelling

This coming Sunday, March 24th, Odds Bodkin performs FALL OF THE TITANS: The Original Game of Thrones at Gendel’s Den in Cambridge MA at 5 pm. Character voices, sound effects and a full score on 12-string guitar bring this epic Greek myth to life.

After sold-out shows this winter, this is Bodkin’s last appearance on Harvard Square this season.

Arrive at 5, order drinks and food from a great menu, and then settle in for this cosmic tale of creation, family jealousy and the overthrow of worlds.

Tickets $15

 

 

 

A Supercontinent Led Me to this Ancient Greek Myth

Pangea—you’ve heard of it. The ancient supercontinent of the Late Triassic that slowly broke apart into the continents we have today. Geologists have successfully matched so many rock formations at the edges of so many modern continents that they’ve reverse-engineered the rock patchwork puzzle all the way back to Pangea, or “All Earth.”

A few hundred million years of continents drifting an inch a year.

While looking at reconstruction maps of these long-lost continents, I noticed that scientists had named the ancient oceans around them with names like the Rheic Ocean, the Iapetus Ocean and the Tethys Ocean.

Rhea. Iapetus. Tethys. These were names I’d not heard.

A little googling revealed that they were Titans from ancient Greek mythology, first named by a poet, Hesiod, around 700 B.C. in a work called Theogony, or “Birth of the Gods.”

A little unclear about who the Titans were exactly (other than evil giants in Hollywood movies) and what if anything they had to do with the Greek gods, I found a translation of Theogony and lo, realized I’d come upon the Greek genesis story, like Adam and Eve in the Bible.

The story of Gaia and her Titan children, the builders of the earth. At least in the Greek imagination.

Here, ten years later, Fall of the Titans is one of my favorite epic tales to perform. The character voices are wild. The scenes of origins are exciting and revelatory and fun to enact. And as always with my tales, I’ve composed a score for it on 12-string guitar.

Since it usually takes me ten years of telling such a story to be ready to record it, I’m ripe for the plucking now, and so will be recording Fall of the Titans live at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square this coming Sunday, March 24th at 5 pm.

If you’d like to be part of this live recording event, grab a ticket and I’ll see you there!

TICKETS $15

 

AMBITION, JEALOUSY AND HIGH IRONY: Cronus the Titan

He’s Gaia’s last-born Titan child and talentless, his mother observes. All the other Titans build things—seas, mountains, river systems—but not Cronus. He simply wants to control everything others build.

By the time he’s grown, he’s insanely jealous of Ouranos, his father and Gaia’s husband.

Ouranos rules the universe well until he makes the mistake of angering Gaia by imprisoning a few of her monstrous offspring. Cyclopses and others. In her fury she promises Cronus he can become king if he topples his father from power.

He does it, becomes king and marries his sister Rhea, also, it seems, a talentless Titan. That is until she becomes pregnant and a prophecy is whispered: one of Cronus’s children will overthrow him.

In a rage of fear, he swallows down each of Rhea’s babies after they are born. Demeter. Hades. Hera. Poseidon.

The irony of the overthrower living in fear of being overthrown is not lost on Gaia, but she’s busy creating plants and animals, watching life thrive on her surface, and so let’s things stay as they are. At least for now…

———————–

Come listen to Fall of the Titans, my last show at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square for this winter. Told with a full score on 12-string guitar, character voices and vocal effects, it’s a full evening of adult storytelling. Introduction on Celtic harp. No children please.

Fall of the Titans

March 24, 2019 at 5 pm

Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA

Tickets are $15.

FALL OF THE TITANS at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA/Adult storytelling on March 24th

The poet Hesiod was a contemporary of Homer, circa 700 B.C. in ancient Greece, and together, the two of them essentially codified the Greek myths into the wondrously creative interlocking system of magical adventures we still marvel at, to this very day.

Zeus. Hera. Poseidon. Hades. Demeter. Ares. Aphrodite. Apollo. Hestia. Eris. The strange whole bunch of them.

Without a doubt, they were ancient projections of human truths, utterly imaginary, but who, in ancient times, the Greeks took extremely seriously, as did the Romans after them.

The Olympian Gods.

It’s always good to bear in mind when thinking about fossil spiritual systems like this, that as fervently as whatever deity, if any, or deities, that you yourself, dear reader, might worship today–if you worship any at all–well, the ancient Greeks worshiped their pantheon of imperfect gods just as fervently.

Every day.

Prayers for survival.

Supplications before tiny statuettes lit by burning oil in dark, elemental dwellings or stone palaces where, above everybody, equally, the lightning flashed, nearby volcanoes erupted, invisible diseases appeared and storms inexplicably swept in from the sea.

——————————

 

Odds Bodkin

FALL OF THE TITANS: An Adult Storytelling Performance at Grendel’s Den

Sunday, March 24th, 2019 at 5 p.m.

Tickets: $15

 

 

 

 

 

 

Odds Bodkin tells THE ODYSSEY in South Windsor CT Sunday Jan. 13

Wapping Community Church in South Windsor, CT will host Odds’ performance THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 4 p.m.

While playing Celtic harp, Odds will offer background on Homer, ancient Greek Singers of Tales and Bronze Age spirituality before telling the tale itself with a score on 12-string guitar.

Voices for Odysseus, his men, the Lotus Eaters and Polyphemus the cannibal cyclops are all part of the fun.

Tickets are $15, $40 per family, and can be reserved by calling Wapping Community Church at 860-644-0833.

 

THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST in South Windsor, CT on Sunday Jan. 13

Master Storyteller and Musician Odds Bodkin will perform The Odyssey: Belly of the Beast, his renowned modern-language version of Homer’s epic, on Sunday January 13, 2019 at 4 p.m. at Wapping Community Church in South Windsor, Connecticut.

The 80-minute show features an introduction to Homer’s Bronze Age world performed with Celtic harp.

Then, with a full score on 12-string guitar and characters, Bodkin tells the tale of Odysseus, from the Trojan Horse to the cave of the ravenous cyclops.

Tickets are $15 or $40 family price. Cash or checks only.

Appropriate for children 10 and up.

Call 860-644-0833 to reserve your seat.

Called “a consummate storyteller” by the New York Times and “a modern-day Orpheus” by Billboard, Bodkin’s bardic storytelling style is unique among spoken-word artists.

 

 

SPOKEN WORD WORLDS

“What is it?” asks the ten year old.

“It’s one of Odds Bodkin the Storyteller’s drives. Come on, let’s plug it in.” The parent inserts the Epic Drive into the parent’s computer and a list of titles appears. “Ever heard of The Odyssey?”

“No.”

“Ever heard of Zeus, Athena and the ancient Greek gods?”

“In some books at school.”

“All right. Well, way back when, people didn’t have books.”

“Why not?”

“Because they hadn’t been invented yet. No books. No TVs. No tablets or phones. But they did have stories. And people called Singers of Tales would come to town to tell stories to crowds of people. A famous one was named Homer. The Odyssey is one of his stories. He used voices and music, and people imagined his adventure, like going to the movies in their minds. That’s how Odds Bodkin does it.”

“So there’s no pictures?”

The parent starts to play the recording. The ten year old hears wind, then bird cries and music. A voice from inside a horse fashioned of wood begins to speak. All is danger, and stealth. In the ten year old’s mind, the walled city of Troy appears in the dawn light.

It’s 1300 B.C. and the Odyssey has begun.

That night, the child stays up late, under the covers, listening, since the tale is four hours long.

 

 

 

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“a modern-day Orpheus”–Billboard Magazine

“one of the great voices in American storytelling”–Wired