HORROR TALES IN BRADFORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE ON OCT. 25TH

When Hanna and I first talked about it, there was no outdoor stage at 11 West Main Street, here in Bradford, New Hampshire, otherwise known as the Sweet Beet Cultural Center. At least that’s how I think of it. It’s not called that yet.

 

And so Pierre built me a stage up against the woods. It’s still there, three years later.

And when Hanna and I attempted our first fundraiser for the Sweet Beet—now a cluster of entrepreneurial ventures housed in the old inn, a rebirth of a time when our little town was a destination for horse and buggy tourists, but which inn has now been gloriously renovated by the Two Mikes (Mike Bauer and Mike James)—I said, “Well, if we can get around 150 people to show up at ten bucks a head, all the money is yours. Consider it my in-kind donation.”

That was Halloween 2017. Lo and behold, we had 150 crazy Bradford souls and other crazies from other towns show up, bundled in winter hats, gloves and blankets, eating chili, and generally settling in to hear the local storyteller tell some tales with guitars, alto recorder and harp.

Other than adding a mysterious new horror tale to this upcoming evening’s entertainment, I’ll be reprising my show of two years ago on Pierre’s stage this Oct. 25th at 7:30 pm. Please bear in mind that as a musician, performing outside in the cold is a challenge. Cold slows the fingers. However, it quickens the mind.

The Storm Breeder, a New England ghost legend. 12-string guitar.

The Panther Boys, a tale of lycanthropy from Confucian China. Alto recorder.

Treasure Trove, a deeply unsettling story from Old Russia. 12-string guitar.

And the new story, which shall remain as cloaked as a ghost. This will be its debut.

You’ve never heard it, because I’ve never told it.

 

Bundle up. BYOB. Hot food for sale. Braziers will be burning.

Odds Bodkin’s

HEARTPOUNDERS I +

Friday, October 25, 2019

7:30 p.m.

11 West Main Street, Bradford NH

TICKETS $20

A DEEPLY FRIGHTENING MYTH OF SURVIVAL

In the sparse life of the ancient Eskimos, a daughter who will not marry is a death sentence.

Sedna is just such a girl. No suitor quite suits her, not even when a mysterious stranger pulls up his kayak onto the pebbly beach and brags of his staggering wealth.

Sedna’s angry, aging father insists she go with the man to become his wife. With no choice in the matter, she slides down into his kayak.

As events unfold, both father and daughter end up in a situation that is beyond horror, beyond betrayal.

A dark, elemental tale from the traditional Inuit of the Arctic Circle, Sedna the Ocean Mother is possibly the scariest, most unsettling story Odds Bodkin tells. Especially for women. It is not cultural appropriation. It is cultural reverence.

This tale is performed with 12-string guitar and a few character voices, plus vocal effects of sea birds, gales and frantic paddling.

To benefit the New Hampshire Telephone Museum, which is a must-see on its own, Odds Bodkin’s Heartpounders II tales are for an adult audience only. Please do not bring children. Original acoustic music–much of it created live, on Celtic harp, 6-string guitar, and 12-string guitars–accompanies the stories.

Friday Oct. 18, 2019 at 7 pm/Warner Town Hall, Warner NH

TICKETS $10 MEMBERS, $15 NON-MEMBERS

ESCAPE FROM THE TOWER: Danika the Rose

A NEW SPOKEN-WORD STORY

In Danika the Rose, Danika’s tower rises two hundred feet in the air, and once she’s imprisoned there, her single window with its view of the meadows, forest and river is all that she has. It’s a sheer drop to the hard earth far below, and so when the Cuckoos swoop into her window to warn her that the Duke is coming up the stairs with murder in his heart, Danika fears for her life. There is no escape.

“Throw a blanket out your window!” the Cuckoos cry in their strange, slow tongue. The Duke and his men are outside the door. She hears his angry voice as the key enters the lock. Wondering what good a blanket can do, she hurls one out the window anyway.

“The Duke yells, “Open it!” and the lock turns.

Just when he bursts in, Danika sees a marvel appear in the air beyond her window.

 

A PREMIERE EVENT

Danika the Rose, a new performance work that combines Dvorak’s Moravian Duets for women’s voices with Odds Bodkin’s adult fairy tale told live, premieres Sunday Oct. 6th at 4 pm at Bass Hall, Peterborough, New Hampshire.

The songs are sung by Jazimina MacNeil and Sarah Shafer, while Emely Phelps accompanies on piano and Odds Bodkin narrates and creates character voices and sounds.

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

BEWARE THE POACHING LAWS: Feudal Rules in Danika the Rose

AN ANCIENT TIME

When Danika first speaks to Dano the gamekeeper, he steps from the forest with a deer slung over his shoulders. Every day he supplies the Duke’s castle with venison.

In turn, she learns, Dano can hunt whatever he wishes in the Duke’s forest without falling afoul of the poaching laws. In the entire duchy, only Dano owns this privilege, which impresses her greatly. She has yet to fall in love with him, for it takes a summer’s conversations for her to do so, but once she does, her faithfulness to him drives the story of Danika the Rose.

That faithfulness is especially important during her three years in the Duke’s castle, when Dano has been sent away, and she goes from a pampered, privileged guest to a lonely prisoner in the tower.

PREMIERE OF A NEW PERFORMANCE WORK

As sopranos Jazimina MacNeil and Sarah Shafer interweave Dvorak’s Moravian Duets throughout, Odds Bodkin tells this original adult fairy tale with character voices and sound effects. Emely Phelps accompanies on grand piano. The story is told in English, the Duets are sung in Czech.

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

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

DANIKA THE ROSE: A TALE SPOKEN AND SUNG with Odds Bodkin, Jazimina MacNeil and Sarah Shafer

DEER AND THORNS

In young Danika’s river valley, her friends the deer have always kept the meadows clear of the dangerous brambles. If allowed to grow, these brambles produce long black thorns, like upright knives. But when, to impress Danika, the Duke launches a mass deer hunt and brings back more dead ones than the castle’s denizens can ever eat, all the animals who have survived the hunt escape across the Danube.

The Duke’s forest is now empty.

And the thorns begin to spread. The Duke comes to regret that.

 

A NEW PERFORMANCE WORK

Come listen to Odds Bodkin tell his original adult fairy tale with character voices and sound effects while sopranos Jazimina MacNeil and Sarah Shafer interweave Dvorak’s Moravian Duets throughout.

And hear an astonishing new Bodkin character voice—a bird who speaks in understandable chirps.

This new work of classical music and 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.

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.

THE ODYSSEY this Saturday Night/Odds Bodkin

THE ODYSSEY: A Storytelling Evening with Odds Bodkin. Show starts at 8 pm at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH. Older kids and teens welcome. Enjoy an immersion into Greek mythology you’ll never forget!

TICKETS are $13 in advance, $15 at the door.

THE WORLD’S FIRST WEATHER MACHINE

Aeolus is the King of the Winds and lives in luxury on Aeolia, his island in the middle of the Mediterranean. One day twelve Greek triremes sail into his harbor, crewed by thirsty, starving men. It turns out they’re lost soldiers from the war at Troy, led by a fellow named Odysseus. Utterly entertained by this warrior captain’s tales, Aeolus hosts the hungry Greeks for a month. They rest, grow strong again, and he lavishly provisions their fleet for the journey home.

Before they leave, Aeolus secretly hands Odysseus a leather bag tied with a silver wire. “In this bag,” he says, “are all the storm winds of the sea. Keep the bag closed, and you’ll have good winds at your stern all the way to Ithaca.”

Sadly, it turns out, as they approach Ithaca, jealous sailors open the bag, thinking there’s gold inside, and release the winds. Sudden storms blow the fleet all the way back to Aeolia, where this time the king curses them.

Hapless again, the fleet next comes upon an island swarming with giant cannibals.

——–

I’ll be telling this episode, and many others, this Saturday night at 8 pm at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH, when I perform The Odyssey: An Epic Telling.

Music on 12-string guitar and Celtic harp. Vivid character voices. Sounds of winds and sea.

Grab some friends and enjoy a different kind of night on the town.

 

Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door.

A WEEK FROM TODAY: Odds Bodkin performs The Odyssey in NH

Grab your tickets today to see Odds Bodkin perform his epic version of Homer’s THE ODYSSEY next Saturday night, July 27th, in Nashua, NH. The show starts at 8 pm at the Riverwalk Music Bar. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door.

TICKETS

ON DEVOURING PEOPLE AND OTHER IMAGINARY ACTS

Polyphemus is a Cyclops, a one-eyed giant, and as with many giants, he enjoys devouring people. He’s not very bright, but stands as tall as thirteen men on one another’s shoulders and so has a long reach when he grabs at something. His voice is low, like word thunder, and he’s quick to anger. And so when Odysseus and his 24 men appear unexpectedly in the Cyclops’ cave after a long day tending his flocks, Polyphemus roars his fury, shoves a giant boulder into the exit and snatches up two men, popping off their heads and eating them.

Horrible as it sounds, of all the characters I enact when I perform The Odyssey, Polyphemus is probably the most fun. My right eye shuts, leaving only the left one open, and I’ve been told my face contorts into something truly ugly once he shows up in the story.

Along with the 12-string guitar score that races along during these grisly scenes, his voice and actions make for a crazy combination of stimuli. Intense enough, I hope, to become cinematic for listeners.

I’ll be performing large sections of The Odyssey Saturday night, July 27, 2019 at 8 pm at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH. It’s a great venue with excellent sound and intimate seating, not to mention delicious food.

Just try to be done eating by the time Polyphemus snacks on the humans!

————

 

Odds Bodkin’s The Odyssey

July 27th at 8 pm

The Riverwalk Music Bar, Nashua, NH

$13 in advance, $15 at the door

 

TICKETS

Legendary for Toughness

When you think of physical toughness, who comes to mind? Army Rangers? Navy Seals? Elite athletes? Well, add one more category: the White Mountains Professional Trail Crew of the Appalachian Mountain Club. With 80 pound packs on their backs, they are known for sprinting the trails of the Presidential Range, including Mt. Washington. Steep trails. Up into the clouds, in sun or fog or downpours, they run at full speed with their axes, freeing the forest trails of downed trees and hoisting five hundred pound rocks around to build stairs.

Every hiker who has ever climbed New Hampshire’s White Mountains has walked over bridges the Trail Crew has built, or rock stairs they have constructed. You don’t see them much. When you pass a sign that reads, “Trail Closed,” that’s where they are. A crew of men and women, living in the open for long stretches of time, unable to bathe for days, covered with spruce pitch to fend off bugs. A wild bunch. Smelly. Dirty. When they emerge from the trees to surprise hikers, they often resemble something out of Deliverance. Many hail from the country’s best universities.

Founded in 1919, the AMC Professional Trail Crew is a hundred years old this summer, and to celebrate their centennial on Mt. Washington this August, they’ve asked me to tell their story.

I’ve been working on it for a year. It’s called THE OLD MAN SPEAKS.

More to follow.

 

An ODYSSEY in Summer/Adult Epic Storytelling in NH July 27th with Odds Bodkin

The Riverwalk Music Bar is a hip place to perform. Usually the venue hosts bands and young singer-songwriters, but a few times each year I arrive in my ancient hoariness with an epic for adults.

If you count them, there are 37 character voices in my telling of Homer’s The Odyssey:  Odysseus himself, his crew, the Cyclops, cannibals, Circe, Lotus Eaters, on and on. It’s Greek mythology told in modern English with a score on 12-string guitar and Celtic harp, peppered throughout with vocal effects like wind and seabirds. Of all the epics I tell, I’ve been telling this one the longest.

The show starts at 8 pm. So grab a delicious dinner, order from the bar and settle in for some imaginative, out-of-body storytelling.

Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door.