THE OLD MAN SPEAKS: A Story for the AMC Trail Crew

Here’s a quick preview of this new commissioned work, to be debuted in August 2019.

The Neuroscience of Music in Real Time

At my web site I’ve got a new picture of my ugly mug, recently taken by my friend and fellow storyteller, Simon Brooks. I’ve been heavily right-brained all my life, and it shows in my left eye. It’s always slightly larger and more alive than the other one, no matter how much I try to keep my right eye open to look passably normal.

The right hemisphere of the brain–the seat of imagery and intuition–is connected to the left eye via the optic chiasm. Ask any brain scientist. They’ll confirm it. Same thing with the left brain; it’s wired up to the right eye.

You’d think since I use language in my work, it would be the other way around, but nope, the imagery side remains dominant, so I’ve just lived with it since my twenties and worn sun glasses whenever possible.

Of course, in my approach to storytelling, there’s music happening. According to Wikipedia on the Neuroscience of Music, the music part is a bit more complex:

Sequencing

Motor sequencing has been explored in terms of either the ordering of individual movements, such as finger sequences for key presses, or the coordination of subcomponents of complex multi-joint movements.[19] Implicated in this process are various cortical and sub-cortical regions, including the basal ganglia, the SMA and the pre-SMA, the cerebellum, and the premotor and prefrontal cortices, all involved in the production and learning of motor sequences but without explicit evidence of their specific contributions or interactions amongst one another.[19] In animals, neurophysiological studies have demonstrated an interaction between the frontal cortex and the basal ganglia during the learning of movement sequences.[26] Human neuroimaging studies have also emphasized the contribution of the basal ganglia for well-learned sequences.[27]

So it looks as if they’re really not sure what’s going on, other than while creating and playing music, all these regions are firing away together in happy harmony.

I’ve been thinking about all this because coming up in a week, I’ll be doing it in public down in Cambridge, MA, for a return appearance at Grendel’s Den. ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS. Two 12-strings and a harp. Lots of language. Lots of music.

We’ll see how it all spins together this time.

As for my ugly mug, you needn’t worry. Half the audience listens with their eyes closed anyway.

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.

Odds Bodkin School Performances for 2018-2019

What better way to start the school year than with magical harp music echoing through your school’s halls? The children wonder where it’s coming from, and teachers stand smiling at their doors because they know Odds Bodkin is beckoning to his audience. Soon the children file in and see a man playing the harp, surrounded by instruments. Quietly, three hundred students sit, forgetting to talk to each other, and Odds weaves the rich music, preparing them for stories.

“By the time I’m ready to speak words, we’re all friends,” says the storyteller. “The music does it. It uplifts them. The harp is a crystalline, magical starship, it really is.”

And then the stories for GOLDEN RULE begin. Stories from around the world that teach empathy. A collection for K-2 audiences. Another for grades 3-5. All with ongoing music, blended with the words.

It’s literacy, performing arts and solid ethical learning for kids, all in one show. To learn how to bring Odds Bodkin to your children’s school this year, visit:

Elementary School

 

 

 

 

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!

What a Night! Sold out in Cambridge…

What a night I had Sunday evening at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA. ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS, my adult show of Viking myths, was sold out, which was great, of course, but the highlight was when the audience sang with me.

For the second long tale, The Mead of Poetry, I wrote a song that the lonely but deadly giantess, Gunlod, sings in her cave in the heart of a mountain. Her father has commanded her to guard the magical mead, an elixir brewed from Odin’s best friend’s blood. His friend has been murdered for it, and Odin is on a quest to return it to Asgard where it belongs.

As he approaches Gunlod’s cave, he hears

One soul, lost in loneliness/Down in the dark where nobody dares to go

One soul, none will ever see/My father’s will has now imprisoned me

Guard it, he says/Guard it, he says/Guard it. Let no one touch it at all.

I sang this in Gunlod’s voice, but then invited the audience to sing it with me. What a moment! In natural voice I sang, and lo, all those nice people joined in on the haunting tune. The room rang with men’s and women’s voices. They learned it almost immediately. Nice moment, along with all the laughs I heard throughout the two stories.

For New Hampshire audiences, I’ll be reprising this show this coming Sunday, Jan. 21 at 6:00 pm at Schoodacs Coffeehouse in Warner, NH. Intimate setting. Tickets are $15.

The show begins with little-known Viking lore, accompanied by Celtic harp music, then moves to Thor’s Journey to Utgard, a hilarious and magical adventure that Thor and Loki experience with Frost Giants (12-string guitar score), and then The Mead of Poetry (with a second 12-string). It’s fine for older kids, but is essentially an adult show.

So if you’d like to immerse in some adult storytelling, and even learn about the Medieval Climate Optimum and how we got our days of the week, come!

“No blades will kill it. Iron. Bronze. Silver. Gold. We have tried them all. If you wish to kill Grendel, you must do it with your hands.”

As Beowulf stands before him, King Hrothgar further describes the giant man-devouring beast that kills his people every night. Stunned, a thane whispers, “Beowulf. No blades? Then how…”

“Shhh,” Beowulf replies in low tones. “Fate often saves an undoomed man if his courage holds.”

Beowulf: The Only One is an hour and twenty minutes long. Unlike movies about Beowulf, this storyteller’s version honors the original classic tale. Shot through with surging 12-string guitar music mapped precisely onto the story’s battle action in real time, it’s Odds Bodkin’s latest spoken-word tale. The character voices created by this master storyteller bring you close to every hope and fear.

Experience it today. Grab the download here and enter the dark, windy world of the Vikings.

Or get it as part of the Mythic Adventure Collection of Odds Bodkin’s epics along with The Odyssey, The Myth of Hercules, David and Goliath, The Hidden Grail and Viking Myths. Save over $50 on hours of imagination entertainment for teens and adults.

Listening samples for every tale.

A Childhood Dinosaur Storytelling Epic

Imagine you’re four to seven years old and you love dinosaurs. You’ve seen movies like Land Before Time and The Good Dinosaur, but there’s not much else other than books full of dinosaur pictures and fluffy cartoons where nothing happens. You’re still a little too young for Jurassic Park. Still, you love T-Rexes and Stegosaurs because they’re so huge, and you don’t mind dinosaurs who talk like people because, well, you’re a kid.

Still, with all that, nothing has prepared you for The Little Proto Trilogy, once your parents buy it for you. Suddenly you’re in a sonic world of dinosaur sounds, voices and 12-string guitar music. And these dinosaurs don’t just talk, they have endearing personalities and even sing songs. They’re funny, at least the civilized ones. They’re named Tex, Colette, Old Wrinkles, Bump, Ankles, King Geoffrey and Plessy. But your favorite voice, the young hero of all three adventures, is Little Proto.

He’s a Protoceratops. He’s not very big, but he’s gutsy, funny and compassionate.

As Proto grows up, he befriends Old Wrinkles the Triceratops, although Proto’s never quite sure if his wise mentor really is the Vanished One-Horned King of the Great Migration herds. King Geoffrey the T-Rex has sworn off eating dinosaurs as long as he has plenty of fish brought to him. Despite King Geoffrey’s aloof manner, he burps horribly and has terrible bad breath. The two old dinos, former enemies, now grumpy old friends, save Proto’s life more than once in the tales.

But Proto’s best friends are Plessy the Plesiosaur, who lives in the sea and swims up Big River to play with the boys, Ankles the Ankylosaur, who wants to swim but can’t because of his armor plates, and Bump, the Pachycephalosaurus. Proto meets Bump just after Proto escapes the winged thieves of Pteranodon Gorge. Bump has a bone dome on top of his head and likes to bump things with it. He’s an orphan, and so Proto’s mom and dad have adopted him and he’s like Proto’s silly brother. They all live together in the Sea Forest, a protected world of peaceful dinosaurs. But things don’t stay peaceful for long, just like in real life.

If you’re that kid whose parents buy The Little Proto Trilogy (no CDs, just mp3s), you won’t know or care that the stories are Parents’ Choice award-winning storytelling audios. You’ll just enter a world of pure imagination and you’ll fall asleep listening to them, over and over again.

PS: at 3 hours and 20 minutes across all three tales, it really is an epic. Hear a sample and buy it here.

BACK TO THE CEMETERY: Heartpounders Horror Tales on Friday the 13th

Is it an old haunted inn? It looks that way. Abandoned for years, it sat overgrown and neglected, a hulking eyesore on Main Street in Bradford, New Hampshire, my town. Weeds grew. The old sign faded. I drove by it every day.

But then a group of young people in town had a dream. Now its ground floor is a thriving locavore food heaven, filled with organic produce and meats, ice creams and locally-made specialty items.

Today when I drive by it’s the Sweet Beet Market, and even bigger dreams surround it. A bakery. A new arts venue. A commercial kitchen for food artisans. On weekends, the parking lot is filled with cars. Folks eat freshly made breakfasts, cooked up on the wraparound veranda as families sit at picnic tables. At this time of year, artfully piled pumpkins have turned the place orange. The old inn has come alive.

To help with this Kearsarge Food Hub project, I’m donating the scariest show in my repertory this coming Friday the 13th at 8 pm, an outdoor event with jack-o-lanterns glowing, under the big tent. HEARTPOUNDERS: Halloween Tales of Horror is an adult evening of stories. No kids, please. Mini-horror movies for the mind’s eye, these tales have entertained audiences from Lincoln Center in New York to the National Storytelling Festival. Each with driving music on 12-string guitars, Celtic harp, and other instruments, plus lots of creepy character voices and sounds, they’re unnerving and fun. The show is two hours.

Hot cider. Good hot food. On a cool October evening beneath the waning moon, these stories will come to life, or horrible death (agh!!!) depending on how you like it.

If you know folks in New Hampshire, please let them know. Nothing like this anywhere else in the Granite State.

Tickets are $10, $12 at the door.

Check it out on Facebook.

Odds Bodkin’s Odyssey epic $24.95 this week

Storyteller Odds Bodkin’s 4-hour epic telling of The Odyssey is on sale at 50% off this week through Sunday, June 25th. Visit Odds’ Shop.

ODDS BODKIN SUMMER SALE #1: The Odyssey: An Epic Telling/50% Off

Hi. I’m Odds Bodkin, author, musician and professional storyteller. Along with performing at thousands of schools and universities, for over three decades I’ve also recorded classic tales with music and characters to inspire listeners of all ages. From heroic myths to nature folktales drawn from many lands, all include original music I play live on 12-string guitars, Celtic harp and other instruments. It’s storytelling with heart, a kind of art you’ll never forget. This summer, I invite you to discover it.

This week’s summer sale at my online download shop is The Odyssey: An Epic Telling. It’s 4 hours of Greek mythology and vivid adventure. Regular price: $49.95. This week only it’s on sale for $24.95 here, from June 18 to June 25. Check out the audio sample and see if you’re not fascinated. Families love listening to it on road trips. Get yours today and enjoy! Share the sale with friends, too!