FALL OF THE TITANS: Adult Storytelling in Cambridge on March 31st

Don’t miss Odds Bodkin’s final story performance of the season at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square this coming Sunday, March 31st at 6 p.m.

FALL OF THE TITANS is the sweeping saga of ancient Greek Titans, first birthing and then battling, the Gods of Olympus.

 

TICKETS $15

NEXT SUNDAY IN CAMBRIDGE: Fall of the Titans Adult Epic Storytelling

This coming Sunday, March 24th, Odds Bodkin performs FALL OF THE TITANS: The Original Game of Thrones at Gendel’s Den in Cambridge MA at 5 pm. Character voices, sound effects and a full score on 12-string guitar bring this epic Greek myth to life.

After sold-out shows this winter, this is Bodkin’s last appearance on Harvard Square this season.

Arrive at 5, order drinks and food from a great menu, and then settle in for this cosmic tale of creation, family jealousy and the overthrow of worlds.

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

 

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!

A TRUSTED VOICE

Studies warn nowadays that increasing numbers of young kids are entering school without deep trust in an adult figure. Any adult figure. You can blame it on family breakup, drugs, poverty, or just frenetic modern life in general, I suppose, because even in affluent families, plenty of kids have to compete with their parents’ smartphones to get their attention.

Whatever the causes, Story Preservation Initiative (SPI) has decided that my audio stories for young kids might help by providing a consistent and trusted voice in their lives.

I’m honored and delighted to have my works viewed in this way, and to be part of a school-based program like SPI’s.

LEARN MORE.

 

 

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.

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Odds Bodkin

FALL OF THE TITANS: An Adult Storytelling Performance at Grendel’s Den

Sunday, March 24th, 2019 at 5 p.m.

Tickets: $15

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

The Takeover Before Christmas

The Takeover Before Christmas
A Rhyme by Odds Bodkin

‘Twas the month before Christmas, fifty-seventh floor.
The Chairman of the Board had just stormed in the door.
All the VPs tugged their collars and started to sweat.
He looked about as mad as a Chairman could get.

He yelled, “I hear there’s competition coming from up north!”
Then he swiped at his iPhone, looking back and forth.
“And yes, I’ve looked into the problem, figured out the cause.
Some old man working nights they call Santa Claus.”

So they filed a complaint with the SEC,
Said this Santa Claus guy’s got a monopoly.
Why, all the children in the world wait for him to appear!
So what if he delivers only one night a year?

So they wrote him out a writ that read from left to right,
Hired a hundred lawyers in case he put up a fight,
And they flew in their choppers up to the North Pole.
From his parka, the Chairman stared out at the cold:

“Santa Claus, Santa Clause, where do you belong?
I’m gonna send you down south to an old folks’ home.
Kick your feet up in the sun on Biscayne Bay,
And let the snow in your soul, melt away.”

Well, Santa welcomed in those hostile takeover guys,
Dressed in striped shirts, suspenders, and little bow ties,
But before he could get in any words edgewise
They slapped him with the writ, then offered compromise.

They said, “It’s cold and you’re old and elves aren’t that much fun.
Wouldn’t you rather be golfing down in the sun?
Where the beach people mingle and play all day?
Here’s a solid gold watch. We’ll give you severance pay.”

But Santa looked at them all and pulled on his glove.
“‘Tis a long way from earth, to heaven above.
And between, there are children. Not all are properly loved.”
And between them the old boy shoved.

But the Chairman said, “Wait! Someone’s getting bilked!
We’ve heard you’ve taken bribes of cookies and milk!
And that you’ve flown without a license in restricted airspace!
So either go down south, Santa, or go down in disgrace!”

Well, they flew old broken Santa down to Key Biscayne,
Where the only snow that ever falls is rain.
They traded in his snowsuit for sandals and lotion,
And left him in a beach chair, looking out at the ocean.

Meanwhile up north, poor Rudolf went out of his mind,
And elves showed up in unemployment lines.
And all the letters from the children lay unopened, unread,
For Santa Claus was gone. The Christmas Spirit seemed dead.

That Christmas Eve, the world’s children, all snug in bed,
Had fitful dreams as chopper blades roared overhead.
Down the chimneys fell presents, all wrapped by machine,
With computer bills that read, “Send no money ‘til spring.”

Meanwhile, down south, old Santa was a different man,
Betting fantasy football and sporting a tan.
He drove a fifty-seven Ford with lots of polished wood,
And instead of reindeer, had horses, under the hood.

But the tan and the shades, they were all just for show.
For though the beaches were white, they weren’t white as snow.
And though on Christmas Eve all the presents came,
To the kids, it just wasn’t the same.

But the TV’s cried out, “Sure the toys are the same!
So somebody else brought them? Hey, what’s in a name?
Oh, yes, and “Dear Santa” letters don’t apply anymore.
Just cross out “North Pole.” Write: “Fifty-seventh floor.”

And sure enough, the next Christmas, all the letters poured in,
All addressed in crayon, filling bin after bin,
And the Chairman saw his future––endless Christmas bull markets––
As he jumped from his limo and told his chauffeur to park it.

But imagine his surprise. His office was a tomb.
His golden parachute was falling toward financial doom.
The firm was in trouble. It was all on his head!
For they’d opened all those letters and every last one had said:

“We the kids of the world, we don’t think it’s funny,
How you took Santa’s love and all that’s left is money.
Our parents think so, too, and promise they’ll assist us.
So either bring Santa back or we’ll boycott Christmas!”

Well, the Chairman, he resigned. I mean, circumstances forced him.
He lost his limo, stocks and bonds. His lovely wife divorced him.
Salvation Army took him in and served him soup and fruit.
Next day he showed up at the mall dressed in a Santa suit.

So Christmas was put back to the way it once had been.
Santa blew out his Ford, but quickly traded it in,
Rounded up all his reindeer, got his elves off the dole,
And headed north listening to rock’n’roll.

Yes, Santa got back to the snow and ice
And started keeping his list of who’s naughty and nice,
And he wrote the world’s kids and said, “Thanks. Glad you missed us.
Peace on Earth. Rudolf’s fine. Oh, and Merry Christmas.”

 


 

Ho Ho Ho and Merry Christmas to All!

EPICS AND CHILDREN’S DOWNLOADS for CHRISTMAS

Epics and Children’s Downloads for Christmas. Explore Odds Bodkin’s Shop for last minute storytelling gifts like The Odyssey: An Epic Telling (four hours) for older kids and teens, The Little Proto Trilogy for the 4-6 year olds in your life, or Beowulf: The Only One for adults who love a classic yarn.

All told with live character voices, music and sounds .

Downloads. Fast. Easy. Direct to your device.

 

“a consummate storyteller” — The New York Times

After the Holidays, A Time for Vikings!

On January 6th at 5 p.m. join Odds Bodkin at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square for Odin and Thor Battle the Frost Giants, an adult storytelling.

Two wild Viking adventure myths scored on 12-string guitars, introduced with lore while Odds plays Celtic harp. A full evening of entertainment,humor and elemental imagination.

Tickets $15.



SPOKEN WORD WORLDS

“What is it?” asks the ten year old.

“It’s one of Odds Bodkin the Storyteller’s drives. Come on, let’s plug it in.” The parent inserts the Epic Drive into the parent’s computer and a list of titles appears. “Ever heard of The Odyssey?”

“No.”

“Ever heard of Zeus, Athena and the ancient Greek gods?”

“In some books at school.”

“All right. Well, way back when, people didn’t have books.”

“Why not?”

“Because they hadn’t been invented yet. No books. No TVs. No tablets or phones. But they did have stories. And people called Singers of Tales would come to town to tell stories to crowds of people. A famous one was named Homer. The Odyssey is one of his stories. He used voices and music, and people imagined his adventure, like going to the movies in their minds. That’s how Odds Bodkin does it.”

“So there’s no pictures?”

The parent starts to play the recording. The ten year old hears wind, then bird cries and music. A voice from inside a horse fashioned of wood begins to speak. All is danger, and stealth. In the ten year old’s mind, the walled city of Troy appears in the dawn light.

It’s 1300 B.C. and the Odyssey has begun.

That night, the child stays up late, under the covers, listening, since the tale is four hours long.