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

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 on March 24th

After a wonderful sold out performance of Beowulf: The Only One last Sunday, my final show in this year’s Grendel’s Den series is two weeks away.

Fall of the Titans is my feature-length version of the Greek myth of Gaia and her Titan children, and how Zeus and the Olympian gods overthrew these creators of the world. It’s a wild and beautiful tale, with no few modern reverberations.

Grab your tickets now!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOMEN FREE TO BE ANGRY

All right. I don’t look like much, I agree.

A portly, middle-aged white dude in a chair with a couple of instruments. Two microphones on booms. Not much else. No flashing lights. No background dancers or singers. No pyrotechnics to burn the house down.

I’m definitely not pretty.

Nevertheless, this coming Sunday night, Feb. 10th, 2019 at 5 pm at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA, I’m performing WORLDS APART: TALES FOR LOVERS. The show is two stories, The Crane Wife and The Dame Ragnell. Two ancient love tales about women either being thrilled or disappointed by the men in their lives, or feeling both emotions at the same time. And how their men, following their own rules, see the women.

Old, old stuff.

I once heard a beautiful woman say, “I married a prince. And look, he turned into a frog.”

These stories might well make you weep.

 

Odds Bodkin

WORLDS APART: TALES FOR LOVERS

Feb. 10, 2019 at 5 pm

Grendel’s Den, Cambridge MA

 

TICKETS

Beginning of the World: The Ancient Greek Version–Tomorrow Night!

Beginning of the World: The Ancient Greek Version–Tomorrow Night!

Master Storyteller and Musician Odds Bodkin performs FALL OF THE TITANS tomorrow night, Sunday Sept. 23, 2018, at the Riverwalk Cafe and Music Bar in Nashua, NH. Showtime: 7 p.m. Ancient cosmological lore and Gaia Theory explored on Celtic harp with commentary, and then an epic tale for adults with a full score on 12-string guitar.

An evening’s spoken-word immersion into how Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Hades and the Gods of Olympus came to be, and how they deceived their parents–the Titans–and took over the world.

Tickets: $13

 

FANTASTICAL GREEK MYTHOLOGY FOR ADULTS this Coming Sunday

Odds Bodkin brings his Celtic harp and 12-string guitar to perform FALL OF THE TITANS at the Riverwalk Cafe and Music Bar Sunday, Sept. 23 at 7 pm. The story of Gaia, her Titan children, and their overthrow by their pea-sized grandchildren, the Gods of Olympus.

Tickets $13

 

FALL OF THE TITANS/Adult Storytelling in Nashua NH on Sept. 23rd

FALL OF THE TITANS/Adult Storytelling in Nashua NH on Sept. 23rd.

Cronus, her last born Titan, will do anything for power, and so when his mother Gaia asks him to castrate his father, he’s more than willing to do it, but only if he rules the cosmos in his father’s stead. Gaia is so deeply furious with her husband Ouranos that she urges Cronus on. After the deed is done, he hurls the family jewels into the sea, but they don’t sink. Instead, from the bloody package surges a pink froth that shoves a giant seashell up into the waves. When it comes to shore and opens, out steps a tiny, unbelievably beautiful little thing. Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, the first of the Olympians. The eldest of them all.

The Titans have no idea what she is.

That’s a mistake.

And so their fall from power begins.

Fall of the Titans

An adult evening event with storyteller and musician Odds Bodkin. A full score on 12-string guitar accompanies the tale.

Sunday, Sept. 23rd at 7 pm at the Riverwalk Café and Music Bar, Nashua NH.

Tickets $13

Something From Nothing

Most folks are familiar with the Biblical account from the Book of Genesis. How God, the Prime Mover, made the earth in six days and rested on the seventh. It’s a cultural touchstone in our part of the world. Modern science doesn’t support it, but as an early origin story, it’s quite elegant.

1:21  “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”

While the ancient Hebrews were erecting monotheism in the Middle East, across the Mediterranean to the northwest, the Greeks were still polytheists; Zeus, Hera, Poseidon et. al. personified forces of nature, but with human foibles. Nevertheless, in the Greek origin story, a Prime Mover did start it all.

They called her Gaia, the Earth.

According to Hesiod, a contemporary of Homer, before Gaia’s appearance, all was absolute darkness. Absolute stillness. Absolute quiet. The Universe essentially did not exist. Only the nothingness the Greeks called Chaos existed, or didn’t, depending on how you look at it. Then Gaia appeared in the Chaos. No stars yet. No sun or moon. No mountains or seas, either. Just a featureless, lifeless globe spinning in total darkness.

If you’d like to hear how this innocent start to existence ended up torn apart by warring Titans and Olympians in a tale of betrayal, castration, hidden babies and super-weapons, get your tickets today for FALL OF THE TITANS. You’ll learn how the Gods of Olympus were born.

An adult storytelling with characters and music on Celtic harp and 12-string guitar.

 

Odds Bodkin’s FALL OF THE TITANS

Sunday, September 23rd 2018 at 7 pm

Riverwalk Café and Music Bar, Nashua NH

 

We Should Learn to Grow Coffee in America

We Should Learn to Grow Coffee in America

We’ve learned to grow wine grapes in the U.S., so why not coffee? Only two states, Hawaii and California, grow coffee currently, but surely there are slopes in the Smokies where coffee bushes would thrive. And at moist Pacific Northwest elevations. After all, the tropics are moving north at a great clip and coffee-friendly biomes should be opening up fairly soon in the U.S.

With a little directed science, could new coffee growing regions could be established across North America? In areas distant enough from coffee leaf rust, a leaf-killing fungus, Hemileia vastatrix, to remain uninfected? The rust turns the leaves yellow and photosynthesis stops. Of course, the coffee “cherries” can’t grow, or the seeds inside. Especially those seeds dried and roasted to produce Arabica beans.

So how would soon-to-be American coffee growers explore that business? Well, they’d need some directed science. What temperatures and atmospheric pressures do coffee bushes and Robusta trees like? What sorts of mountain slope soils? Preferred PH? How much rain, and when? Do they like morning light from the east, or afternoon light from the west, or does it matter much to them as long as they get enough sun? And the big question: is there enough sun in the first place, so far north of the equator?

What about greenhouses?

If were a wealthy coffee drinker, I’d invest in that research, just to find out.

 

–Odds Bodkin