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.
With 12-string guitar in hand, Odds Bodkin sits down with interviewer Brother Wolf to answer questions about creating character voices, vocal effects and music in Bodkin’s brand of muse-inspired storytelling. Here are the secrets this “modern day Orpheus” (Billboard) uses to create his unique performance art. Click to listen!
Downloadable Myths, Epics, Folktales and More…Starting at $.99
The Odyssey: An Epic Telling
The Wise Little Girl: Tales of the Feminine
Beowulf: The Only One
David and Goliath
Paul Bunyan Tall Tales
The Little Proto Dinosaur Trilogy
And many other unforgettable titles by Odds Bodkin. Use PayPal for instant downloads! Great for vacation listening!
11 pages of storytelling products
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!
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.
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.
“After sending the email, I wished I had written more. My daughter and I still listen to Little Proto 8 years later ( she’s 18 and I am 61!). We are both thrilled to have more works to surprise and inspire us cross-country…I have tried listening to other books on tape and find my mind wandering after 5 minutes. On the other hand, I am mesmerized by every word and sound on your recordings. I think seeing you perform in person helped fuel our admiration.”
—An Odds Bodkin Listener
Become your own Master of Family Stories! One Master Drive allows you to load any of Odds Bodkin’s storytelling albums onto your children’s media players, or into your car system. All age-coded for appropriate listening, ages four to adult. Includes great tales for teens!
SUMMER IS COMING/Intelligent Learning for Well-Adjusted Children
Here’s a song I wrote and sang long ago with my friend, Steve Schuch. It’s based on my childhood memories of watching The Wizard of Oz with Judy Garland.
Take a listen. It’s free.
SUPER-FAN CHARLOTTE PEZZO PLANS A CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD TRIP WITH HER MASTER DRIVE
At Odds Bodkin HQ we received an order for a Master Drive, but then, very quickly, a follow-up email from the customer wondering why she couldn’t download her purchase. We wrote back explaining what a Master Drive was (a heavily loaded flash drive of Odds Bodkin’s collected works) and offered her a refund, but she wrote back:
Thank you so much for your prompt reply. I want all of his works so I will wait for the flash drive. DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING!
I need it by May 15 at the VERY latest for a long road trip. I will pay more for expedited shipping to ensure it arrives on time if it is necessary. Please advise!!
Thank you and please relay the message about how excited we are to have his entertainment on our road trip. The Odyssey and Proto made our last road trip so much more enjoyable.
It will be so nice to have his whole collection. Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you!!
As you can imagine, when Odds saw this email he was delighted, and so he wrote to Charlotte personally to ask whether he could share her letter to let others know about the Master Drive. Charlotte wrote back.
Dear Mr. Bodkin,
I was so pleased to receive this email and find out that they did indeed share my excitement with you.
Yes- it is completely fine to quote me and to use my name. After sending the email, I wished I had written more. My daughter and I still listen to Little Proto 8 years later ( she’s 18 and I am 61!). We are both thrilled to have more works to surprise and inspire us cross-country.
I have tried listening to other books on tape and find my mind wandering after 5 minutes. On the other hand, I am mesmerized by every word and sound on your tapes. I think seeing you perform in person helped fuel our admiration.
Anyway, I now have a year old granddaughter that I can’t wait to share your stories with too.
Thanks again from a lifelong fan!! 🙂
HARPING FOR BEOWULF/Video
I sat in my living room beneath my old tin ceiling this morning and recorded this quick extemporization on my Celtic harp. It’s a lovely instrument that creates an atmospheric music, which fits well while describing how in 1563, the year before Shakespeare’s birth, a scholar named Lawrence Nowell discovered the dusty manuscript of Beowulf in his master’s library. No one had seen it in five hundred years.
I’ll be returning to Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square this Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. to talk about that and then perform BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE, probably my favorite story to tell these days. The score is on 12-string guitar, with leitmotifs for various characters. It’s a rather bloody and elemental story, and so children aren’t invited to experience it. But adults are.
(a video of “Beowulf’s Theme” played by Odds Bodkin)
In Robert Zemeckis’s animated movie version of Beowulf, Angelina Jolie plays Grendel the monster’s mother. She is gold-skinned and womanly, a tip of the hat to Hollywood’s worship of the female form. Not only that, the she-demon’s voice is soft and seductive as she bewitches the men around her.
None of these scenes appear in the 1,000 A.D. Viking story, originally set down in Old English.
In the version of Beowulf I’ll be telling this coming Sunday on Harvard Square, like the monster Grendel himself, his mother is immense, wolf-like and anything but seductive. In fact, she’s terrifying. Creating a voice for her drags me to an extremity of dramatic expression I seldom visit in my right mind. Grendel the wolf-demon isn’t easy to voice either, roaring and slavering as he does; he has no language and speaks exclusively in aggressive animal tones. I just disappear and let him growl.
Both characters give me the willies, but this brand of storytelling—enacting characters—means I can’t legitimately leave them out of this wondrous old story. The human voices––Beowulf, Hrothgar and others––are much easier to embody.
In the past my storytelling style has been characterized as “over the top.” In the case of this tale, I’m afraid there’s no escaping it.
Beowulf: The Only One, a feature-length imagination entertainment for adults. Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at Grendel’s Den, Cambridge MA.
An adult performance. Not recommended for children.
Hi from Odds Bodkin.
Click the green link to watch a video of some 12-string guitar music. This clip is of Wars Along the Baltic, a theme from BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE. At the story’s beginning, I set the scene by describing how the Geats, the Franks, the Swedes and the Wylfings, among other Viking tribes, fought each other constantly over sea routes and standing feuds.
This music is played as I tell the tale.
To hear this music live, and a monster of a story to go with it, join the crowd at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA this coming Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.
Fun show. An adult evening of imagination entertainment.