UPCOMING PREMIERE: DANIKA THE ROSE

Classical Singers

Author and Storyteller Odds Bodkin’s Danika the Rose is an adult fairy tale, over an hour in length. Each episode introduces a sublime Moravian Duet sung by Jazimina MacNeil and Sarah Shafer, with piano accompaniments by Emely Phelps. Dvorak’s melodies are joyous in places, in others, haunting. It premieres in Peterborough, New Hampshire on Sunday, October 6th.

A Consummate Storyteller

The New York Times calls Odds Bodkin “a consummate storyteller.” Danika the Rose is his original tale.

A Compelling Story

Here’s part of the exciting new story he will tell:

In the shadow of a spoiled Duke’s castle, Danika, a peasant girl, thinks of the Duke’s gamekeeper as “Dano the Arrow,” because quiet, lithe and handsome Dano never misses when he draws his bow. He is a good man of the forest, but when Danika falls in love with him, her parents recoil.

“A cuckoo will sing at Christmas before you marry this lowly, woodsy man!” her father scoffs, because both he and her mother think that once Duke Maximilian sees Danika––she is preternaturally beautiful––he’ll want her for his duchess. Cuckoos in the Danube valley, of course, fly south in winter. They never sing at Christmas.

Soon enough Duke Maximilian sees her, and just as quickly he develops an obsession for her. He sends Dano away to war, and on a promise that he won’t touch her until she decides that she loves him, Danika reluctantly moves into the Duke’s castle.

He is cruel. Not to her, but to her animal friends, the deer and birds. Cluelessly, he abuses them to impress her and his efforts have the opposite effect. She cannot find a way to love him. Thorns grow over her heart, even as real thorns, giant ones, begin to choke the meadows.

Premiere on October 6th

Danika the Rose premieres Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 4 p.m. in Bass Hall in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Tickets are $30. Seating is limited. Grab your tickets today at ElectricEarthConcerts.

COMING IN OCTOBER: A STORY HIDDEN IN ANTONIN DVORAK’S SONG LYRICS

THE MORAVIAN DUETS

Antonin Dvorak, the great 19th Century Czech composer, wrote sophisticated folk songs he named the Moravian Duets, after Moravia, a land along the Danube River. In translation, the lyrics tell of young lovers torn apart by parents and war, of farm life among meadows and forests owned by powerful landlords, and other details of agrarian life in those times. Songbirds figure in many of the songs.

A NEW WORK

However, these works aren’t particularly well-known to the public. Commissioned by singer Jazimina MacNeil and guided by these snippets of story, Odds Bodkin took on the task of crafting them together into a cohesive fiction. The result is Danika the Rose–over an hour of richly textured storytelling and music.

As with most fairy tales, there are innocents and a villain, but this story also digs deep into environmental awareness and ecosystems pushed out of balance, along with exploring human beings’ complex relationships with game animals.

 

PREMIERES IN OCTOBER

If you attend the adult premiere on Sunday Oct. 6th, 4 pm at Bass Hall in Peterborough, New Hampshire, expect a compelling story told in English interspersed with songs sung in Czech. Unless you know the Czech language, you’ll simply be absorbed by the sheer beauty of two renowned young sopranos singing Dvorak’s music, together with an accompanist.

 

Odds Bodkin’s Danika the Rose

With Jazimina MacNeil and Sarah Shafer

Emely Phelps at the piano

 

October 6, 2019 at 4 p.m. in Bass Hall in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Tickets are $30. Seating is limited. Grab your tickets today at ElectricEarthConcerts.

There’s Something About Danika

There’s something about Danika––how she communicates with animals––that sets her apart from the other peasant girls. Deep into the story, after the furious and jealous Duke has locked her in the tower for striking him and calling him a liar to his face, a starling lands on her windowsill. In secret she teaches him human speech. But he is just one of the animals who help her. The pale Cuckoos do, too, guiding her in a dream to her true love, Dano, whom the Duke has sent to a far away war. And in the end, when a hundred stags lower their antlers and charge the Duke’s pack of killer dogs, the stags do so at Danika’s command.

Come listen to Odds Bodkin tell his original tale as mezzo soprano Jazimina MacNeil and soprano Sarah Shafer sing the glorious Moravian Duets of Antonin Dvorak, giving this story an interwoven musical life like no other.

Jazimina MacNeil                                      Sarah Shafer

 

If as a child you loved Peter and the Wolf, you’ll love Danika the Rose.

This new work of classical music and powerful storytelling premieres October 6, 2019 at 4 p.m. in Bass Hall in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

 

Tickets are $30. Seating is limited. Grab your tickets today at ElectricEarthConcerts.

LOVE IS CONFLICT: Old Stories Have Something To Say

Love between men and women nowadays in the Western World is marked by increasing conflict, it really is. The ancient compact between women seeking children and protection and men, longing in their hearts to give women those things and surge life forward, seems, at least in this dubious historical moment, to be over. Or at least in flux.

Enter these two ancient stories about love. The Crane Wife, a simple-on-its-surface folktale from old Japan, and The Dame Ragnell, a more intellectually complex but nevertheless fraught tale from the French courtly poets of the 1400’s, those iconoclasts who dared to suggest that without their families’ approval, a woman and a man could fall in love and marry each other anyway, just from the sheer magic of their souls having found one another.

“Romantic love” is a Western notion. It was born in Europe. It speaks to a time when towns became cities.

If you’d like to listen to and think about these two ancient love stories, by all means, join me at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square this coming Sunday, Feb. 10th at 5 pm. It’s a Valentine’s Day show, one I do each year.

The music is on pentatonically tuned Celtic harp and pretty lush 12-string guitar. Lots of character voices, sound effects and other drama-inducing illusions to keep the tales moving.

Hope to see you there.

TICKETS $15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SALE ENDS TOMORROW! Odds Bodkin Story Drives

40% Off on Odds Bodkin’s story drives ends tomorrow, December 10th. Check them out. Instant downloads of individual titles always available, too!

Explore a world of myths, folktales, legends and original stories, told with live music, here.

45% Off Odds Bodkin Storytelling Drives Now through December 10!

Save today on the magical storytelling of Odds Bodkin, all on a flash drive. Voices. Original music. Amazing vocal effects. Classic tales. Award-winning titles.

 

The Beginner Drive $39.95

9 full-length storytelling albums for kids ages 4-7. Includes three movie-length Little Proto dinosaur adventures with songs. Explore here.

 

The Epic Drive $99.95

19 full-length storytelling albums for all ages. Includes The Odyssey, Beowulf Live, David and Goliath and many others. Explore here.

Special bonus: For Odyssey listeners, an autographed Odyssey Adventure Map with all 42 of Odysseus’s adventures across the Mediterranean world.

 

The Master Drive $149.95

Odds Bodkin’s Complete Works. 19 full-length storytelling albums for all ages plus 7 original music compositions and Odds’ 13,000-line epic high fantasy poem, The Water Mage’s Daughter. Explore here.

Special bonus: For Odyssey listeners, an autographed Odyssey Adventure Map with all 42 of Odysseus’s adventures across the Mediterranean world.

FLASH DRIVES of Odds Bodkin Story Collections Make Great Gifts

If you’re going to an Odds Bodkin show this season, consider leaving with an EPIC DRIVE, a BEGINNER DRIVE or a MASTER DRIVE. Credit cards accepted via Square.com.

Or purchase yours at Odds Bodkin’s Shop.

Downloads of all recordings available too!

American Mythology: The Phantom Train of Marshall’s Pass

During the late 1800’s in Colorado, narrow gauge railroads crossed the Great Divide of the Rockies heading for Sante Fe and other parts west. In those days, nothing facilitated the Westward Expansion and what Americans thought of as Manifest Destiny more than the invention of the steam locomotive. The Iron Horse, as it was known.

Various folklores grew up around the railroads, including those of ghostly trains. Much as in earlier seafaring times when folklores centered around phantom ships—the Flying Dutchman being the most famous—where dead souls seeking vengeance chased the living, so too in the early Industrial Age in America similar tales were handed down about the captains of the locomotives. The engineers.

Whether these frightening accounts were actual events or not remains open to debate. Still, they are a part of American mythology.

The attached early map from the Denver and Santa Fe Railroad shows Marshall Pass (in the story, Marshall’s Pass) the topmost rail crossing of the Great Divide. It is at this Rocky Mountain pass that one of the tales I’ll be telling this weekend takes place.

It’s accompanied with a flat-picked score on a Taylor 6-string guitar.

 

DARK TALES OF THE SUPERNATURAL

Friday, October 19th at 8 p.m. at the Sweet Beet, Bradford, New Hampshire.

An outdoor event. Bring warm clothes, chairs and blankets.

Freshly made hot food and drinks available for purchase.

 

Tickets $13 in advance, $15 at the gate

12-String Guitar and Celtic Harp Fourth of July Concert this Saturday in Bradford NH

Odds Bodkin Free Music on June 30th in NH

I first started playing 12-string guitar in the stairwell of my dorm at Duke University. This was some time ago, and over the years I’ve scored all sorts of tales, from epics to short ones, with 12-strings in various tunings. Often folks come up after shows and say something like, “Wow, I could just listen to the music without the story and still be entertained.”

I’ve heard this a lot.

And so, for folks who like to listen to 12-string instrumental music, as well as Celtic harp music (all original stuff), I’ll be doing a 2-hour concert on the sunny porch of the Sweet Beet Market in Bradford, NH this coming Saturday morning at 10:00.

This is part of Bradford’s renowned Fourth of July celebration which takes place this year on June 30th. There’s a full day of fun events all over town.

The event is free and you can grab a chair and fresh breakfast food while you listen. It’s very informal.

Hope to see you there!

 

PS: I’ll have Epic Drives and Master Drives for sale at the event.

NEW MUSIC BY ODDS BODKIN AND GAVIN BODKIN/The Faery Hop

NEW MUSIC BY ODDS BODKIN AND GAVIN BODKIN/The Faery Hop

One night recently Gavin, my middle son, and I sat down in the living room to play guitars as we often do when he visits. It’s one of our great joys, extemporizing together. He had the Taylor 6-string and I pulled out my Ron Ho 12-string. Since it was his turn to come up with the idea and my turn to follow wherever he went, I sipped my scotch and listened to his music, a bouncy notion in major to start, almost immediately followed by a very different, percussive slap in minor.

“Okay,” I thought, “here we go.”

As almost everybody experiences at one point or another, sometimes you’re just on. In basketball, it’s when you can’t miss those three pointers, one after another. In our case, it was this three-minute blast of acoustic music. Totally spontaneous and joyous, especially when the shape of the idea fully emerged. It felt like telepathy, as if we were reading each other’s minds.

So I’ve taken that piece and named it The Faery Hop: Musical Telepathy for Duo Guitars and published it at my download shop. It’s unedited from start to finish, and you’ll hear my recliner cushion creaking each time I lean in, but it’s fun to listen to, especially when you know how it was created.

There’s a sample of the beginning to listen to at the shop page.

–Odds Bodkin

For Father’s Day: Odds Bodkin’s $174.95 MASTER DRIVE on sale for $99!

For Father’s Day: Odds Bodkin’s $174.95 MASTER DRIVE on sale for $99!

For you dads out there, a one-day-only sale of Odds Bodkin’s complete works.

25 hours of storytelling for all ages. Original music. Plus Odds’ 555-page epic work of high fantasy in verse, The Water Mage’s Daughter.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

THE MASTER DRIVE: A World of Fantasy and Legends for the Mind’s Eye

 

THE MASTER DRIVE: A World of Fantasy and Legends for the Mind’s Eye

The Collected Works of Odds Bodkin on a flash drive. 25 hours of audio storytelling and music, plus a 555-page epic poem for adult readers, with glossary.

A $269.95 value for $175.95.