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“a modern-day Orpheus”–Billboard Magazine
“one of the great voices in American storytelling”–Wired
Why do Silicon Valley executives raise their children technology-free? This headline from The Guardian says it all: TABLETS OUT, IMAGINATION IN: THE SCHOOLS THAT SHUN TECHNOLOGY.
They do it because they want their kids to be imaginative and mentally healthy, basically. Looking out over the wasteland of anger, narcissism, teen suicides, obesity and incivility that social media networks have caused in young lives recently, many of these tech wizards are scared for their own kids.
Like King Midas, everything they touched has turned to gold. But don’t forget the old story: When King Midas touches his own daughter, whom he loves, she turns to gold, too. That’s the end of her.
Digital Addiction begins with kids interacting with screens. The colorful, always-changing worlds they find are so much fun that when they’re suddenly without their screens and look up to see the real world around them, it simply moves too slowly. It’s boring. This causes a kind of free-floating, stimulation-seeking depression.
Down through the ages, kids engaged in creative play with toys and role-playing, attempting to do what grownups did, but in miniature. It has always been this way. But not now, not in the dopamine-laden world of video games and social networks. Not unless the kids’ lives are balanced by getting them away from these devices.
It’s ironic. Now that the digital masters of the universe are having families, too, they realize this, smart as they are. Heck, they built these things to be addictive. And yes, they love their kids, too.
So what is the indispensable skill they want their children to develop at these very expensive, very selective kindergartens and elementary schools where less is more?
What grows imagination best?
Creative outdoor play, kids playing with kids, without any adults around.
If that’s not possible, what’s the next best thing?
As Einstein said, “If you want your child to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.”
Wait a moment, you might say. Odds Bodkin is using digital media at the moment. Isn’t that a bit hypocritical?
That’s because my imagination developed long ago, when I was a kid, playing outside all day, and then, after coming back home, listening to my dad tell me stories.
“a consummate storyteller”–The New York Times
Join Odds Bodkin tonight at 5 p.m. at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA for a full evening of adult horror tales. Music on Celtic harp, 12-string guitars, 6-string guitar and alto recorder.
No culture exists without supernatural tales, and these come from all over the world, including Colonial New England, Colorado, Russia, China and elsewhere.
Available for the Holidays, here’s a great 1-hour show, A CHRISTMAS CAROL in Dickens’ Words with Odds Bodkin.
Every line in this dramatic reading is drawn from Charles Dickens’ beloved novella. With plenty of Odds Bodkin characters.
Hear a sample:
HEARTPOUNDERS: HALLOWEEN TALES OF HORROR is Odds Bodkin’s adult storytelling evening with live music for 2018. Two shows remain:
Plaistow, New Hampshire on Friday Oct. 26th at 7 p.m. FREE TO THE PUBLIC
Cambridge, Massachusetts on Sunday, Oct. 28th at 5 p.m. Tickets: $15
‘Tis the season for horror, just about everywhere. But you can refresh yourself with some fictional creepiness, replete with live music, with Odds Bodkin and his evening of tales, Heartpounders: Halloween Tales of Horror. A New England man chased by storms. Boys who turn to panthers. A Rocky Mountain ghost train nightmare. A tale from the angry serfs of Russia. And others. All with driving music.
Tickets are $15. Buy dinner and drinks at settle in for a fun evening!
Kairyo the samurai quickly left the slain on the battlefield. It was getting toward dark. Once night fell, the Jikininki would emerge from the forest to eat the dead.
It was best to not meet them. They were ghosts of the night woods.
That night he slept far enough away from the river not to hear the voice of the Kawa-Akago, the demon in the water. It used a baby’s cry to lure its unwitting victims to the shore as they searched for the lost child. It struck from just beneath the surface.
A story excerpt from a Japanese tale of the supernatural.
Come hear it and three other chilling tales this coming Friday night, Oct. 19th, at 8 pm at the Sweet Beet Market in Bradford, New Hampshire. Music on two 12-string guitars, 6-string guitar and Celtic harp.
No children, please. An adult evening of storytelling with Odds Bodkin.
Special thanks to Hanna Koby, event producer.
The Demon Heads is a new story I’ll be debuting this coming October 19th at an outdoor Dark Tales of the Supernatural show for adults. It’s about a samurai turned Shinto priest who encounters a group of Rokuro-Kubi, particularly nasty forest demons from Japanese folklore. Creating this tale has been fun. A new tuning on 12-string guitar, historical research into the Battle of Odaihara in 1546, new character voices and vocal effects, and most especially informative, learning about how the fear of night demons kept many Japanese out of their own forests after nightfall.
The tale is truly shocking and horrible, perfect for an adult evening of tale telling. Along with three others to round out the nightmare.
HORROR TALES FROM THE DEEP VAULT/October 19th Outdoor Show
I stopped performing Sedna the Ocean Mother because it’s just too unsettling, especially in the #MeToo era. Still, I’m going to do it. I haven’t told The Phantom Train of Marshall’s Pass in years because the flat picking on 6-string guitar is so fast. Still, I’m going to do it. I haven’t told The Infallible Doctor since I made the mistake of doing so in New Jersey shortly after 9/11 for schoolkids who, I only learned afterwards, had lost loved ones in the Twin Towers. Despite that bad memory, I’m going to do it. And I’ve never told The Demon Heads ever, so I’m going to debut it and see what people think.
Music on Celtic harp, 12-string guitar and 6-string guitar.
October 19th, 2018 at 8 pm, outdoors at the coolest new food and culture hub in New England, the Sweet Beet Market in Bradford, New Hampshire.
Hot chili, freshly baked breads, mulled cider and lots of organics to buy. Bring a blanket or chair, hat and gloves for this outdoor show by the cemetery.
Beginning of the World: The Ancient Greek Version–Tomorrow Night!
Master Storyteller and Musician Odds Bodkin performs FALL OF THE TITANS tomorrow night, Sunday Sept. 23, 2018, at the Riverwalk Cafe and Music Bar in Nashua, NH. Showtime: 7 p.m. Ancient cosmological lore and Gaia Theory explored on Celtic harp with commentary, and then an epic tale for adults with a full score on 12-string guitar.
An evening’s spoken-word immersion into how Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Hades and the Gods of Olympus came to be, and how they deceived their parents–the Titans–and took over the world.