HEARTPOUNDERS: Halloween Tales of Horror…Odds Bodkin returns to Zoom on Oct. 29th.

HEARTPOUNDERS: Halloween Tales of Horror…Odds Bodkin returns to Zoom on Oct. 29th!

A 90-minute live storytelling event!

Friday, Oct. 29th at 7 pm EST

When the wind roars, the whip cracks and the horse gallops into the storm, you know you’re hearing Master Storyteller Odds Bodkin tell The Storm Breeder, the legend of an undead man doomed to flee thunderstorms across New England. The 12-string guitar score rivets you to the storyteller’s hands, while his face, close up on Zoom, transforms from character to character.

He’s called “a consummate storyteller” by The New York Times and this HEARTPOUNDERS performance is one of the reasons why. Experience vocal effects so realistic, the sounds evoke cinema in viewers’ minds, even as a host of characters come to life. And it all breathes with music, building tension and emotion as each tale powers toward its shocking end.

Drawn from supernatural traditions around the world, these tales come complete with introductory lore. A full 90-minute evening of imagination entertainment. Heartpounders with Odds Bodkin.

Grab some friends, get your ticket and save the date!

Tickets: $25 per screen

(buys your login and password)

Includes a post-show Q&A!

A Mad Scramble

It was a mad scramble. In an email, two weeks out from Sept. 9, Professor Walsh, Chair of Classics at Loyola, wrote that campus conditions were “vexing.” He warned we might have to go with Zoom again due to sudden Delta variant rules. I already had my Southwest Airlines ticket. As always, I’d stay with my sister Lindsay outside Baltimore, drive to town the night of the show, perform the tale, and then go out to dinner with the profs.

For fifteen years I’d done this in September. I’d pack my 12-string and tell either The Odyssey or the Iliad: Book I for two hundred Classics and Honors students in a big performance space. 70-minute storytellings. Either psychodrama or high adventure.

But now there was an indoor mask mandate on campus, even if vaccinated. How could I perform with a mask on? That was patently impossible and so I wrote Professor Joe Walsh back with the suggestion that for the second year in a row, against our frustrated wishes, we could always Zoom from my studio in New Hampshire. I work with a brilliant digital engineer named Gavin Bodkin, who has helped his dad move online since the pandemic began. Yes, Gav was available to produce. Joe Walsh agreed. My Zoom studio on the third floor had sat unused during a summer of live shows.

The mad scramble began.

I tightened the twelve fresh strings on my Taylor from the floppy looseness I’d planned on for safe flying. I strung it up to the open tuning I use for The Odyssey. Gavin produced the Zoom invitation to be sent to the students from faculty. Five nice people from Loyola suddenly became involved and we exchanged a blizzard of emails. I provided an Odyssey logo.

And then I heard Martha was back from sabbatical and that she’d be the one to introduce me. Professor Martha Taylor is, I guess, now that she’s back, the Chair of Classics once again. It was she who, fifteen years ago, established the annual tradition of inviting me to perform to kick off each fall semester. It might be over Zoom, but it would be great to see her again after her two sabbatical years.

I started rehearsing the Odyssey musical score and on a drive to my son Jon’s house to return a pair of sandals I’d inadvertently swiped at a party there, I ran the movie of the story in my mind. Troy. The beach at Ismaros. The Lotus Eaters. The Cyclops. After a half hour out, and a half hour back, the story was rehearsed and ready.

Bless his heart, Gavin arrived at 4:30 for the 7 pm show, rested for an hour, and then we climbed the two flights of stairs to the studio. A jet black backdrop, a wooden chair, a quiet little fan, tried and true lighting, and the camera mounted in place two feet away from me. Last spring I conducted performances and full day residencies for elementary kids from that chair. I doubted I’d ever be back. The pandemic was over, right? Wrong, as we all now know.

By 6:35 Gavin was in his headphones watching the computer, seeing who was in the waiting room. Joe showed up on my screen and we talked until Martha, too, appeared. We chatted, lamented our lost profs’ dinner, and got ready for the show. More and more students were signing on.

Telling my version of The Odyssey is like entering a dream. The music is constant, and lofts the words and sounds along. Once it begins inside the Trojan Horse, it doesn’t end until the Cyclops is blinded, and Odysseus escapes with what’s left of his crew. During such shows, I lose all sense of time and awareness of my body. All that I’m aware of is my fingers running the frets of the guitar, and how the music is blending with the imagery. The characters all know what to say. Sometimes they surprise me, and say things I’ve never heard before.

This version ended up seventy-five minutes. Then came the questions. Suddenly, faces appeared in group mode on Zoom. Here were all these young people who’d just watched the show with me on full screen, only I could see them now. Groups of five or six on a couch, with masks on. Some alone in their dorm rooms. Hands went up. The questions? How did I memorize all that? Is the music all planned out? We went on for another fifteen minutes. They were enthusiastic and very nice.

I’m old. They’re young. Still, it worked.

Of course, the story is imagined, not memorized, and the music, like jazz, is spontaneous, moment to moment.

Even Martha loved it. She sent me a post-show email inviting me back for year sixteen.

So it looks as if until this plague really does end, I’m Zooming again.

 

https://www.oddsbodkin.net/educational-programs/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ultimate Back to School Storytelling Collection: Give Your Child the Imaginative Edge

Got a kid in kindergarten? You’ll want this. Got an elementary age child? You’ll want this. Are you yourself someone who values high-quality adult storytelling? You’ll probably want this, too.

Odds Bodkin’s EPIC DRIVE, a collection of 19 full-length storytelling albums. The New York Times calls him “a consummate storyteller.”

The Evergreens: Gentle Tales of Nature for the youngest of listeners.

The Odyssey: An Epic Telling, a fabulous introduction to Homer’s world (when you order the drive, we’ll include a free autographed Odyssey Adventure Map of the Mediterranean Sea that tracks Odysseus’ journey): great for 5th graders on up.

 

The Little Proto Trilogy, three musical dinosaur tales the entire family will enjoy. Parents’ Choice award-winners.

And much more. Paul Bunyan tales. Funny Folktales. Fairy Tales. Beowulf. Hercules. On and on.

Just plug in the drive and drag the mp3 files onto your computer, then share them with your family. And you can share the drive with others, too.

An award-winning treasure trove of musical tales, filled with unforgettable characters.

THE EPIC DRIVE.

Give your child the imaginative edge.

 

Odds Bodkin’s Live and Zoom Shows Now Booking for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022

Odds Bodkin’s Live and Zoom Shows for Are Now Booking for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022!

Fully vaccinated and delighted to be back performing for live audiences, storyteller and musician Odds Bodkin is now booking live assembly performances for K-12 schools in New England and beyond. Plus a host of other incredible offerings for adult audiences. All shows are also available on Zoom.

Last year, Loyola University Maryland opted for their annual Iliad/Odyssey performance via Zoom, and 200 Classics and Honors students tuned in. That was Odds’ 13th annual September show for Loyola. But this year, he’ll be flying down in person with his 12-string guitar to regale his college audience once again. That’s 14 years in a row!

Special thanks to Gavin Bodkin, Odds’ son, for building a Zoom studio for his dad and engineering a host of appearances during the pandemic. Full day GOLDEN RULE residences for elementary schools in Merrimack, NH, complete with custom workshops, were completed to rave reviews (watch video). A Halloween show of Dark Tales of the Supernatural for Syracuse University. An Odyssey: Belly of the Beast performance for Old Greenwich School in Connecticut. An adult concert for a Long Island library. All took place on Zoom.

But now Odds is back live with his 12-string guitars, Celtic harp and other instruments. He’s ready to travel once again.

What is he offering?

 

GOLDEN RULE: World Stories About Empathy for K-2 and 3-6

FAIRY FOLKS AND OLD OAKS: Two Long Fairy Tales told with voices and 12-string guitars

DARK TALES OF THE SUPERNATURAL adult scary concerts for Halloween

DANIKA THE ROSE: A Blend of Dvorak’s Moravian Duets with an original Odds Bodkin fairy tale performed with sopranos Jazimina MacNeil and Sarah Shafer, available for concerts nationwide (the next show is for The Groton School on Jan. 9, 2022!)

THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST, THE ILIAD: BOOK I, HEARTPOUNDERS: ADULT HALLOWEEN HORROR TALES, BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE, ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS and FALL OF THE TITANS for universities and high schools

STORYBLAST! Family concerts for libraries, churches and museums are also available.

Be sure to check out the storyteller’s amazing family recordings at Odds’ Shop!

 

 

 

 

 

$50 Off Odds Bodkin’s Master Drive (Complete Works)

Master Storyteller, Musician and Epic Poet Odds Bodkin offers you $50 off the price of his MASTER DRIVE this July. This flash drive features his complete audio stories, his epic poem (550 pages pdf), a live performance video plus original musical compositions.

Regular price: $199.95. Now $149.95!

Perfect for Family Travel!

 

Age-Coded Stories Include:

The Adventures of Little Proto (audio)

Little Proto’s T-Rex Adventure (audio)

Little Proto and the Volcano’s Fire (audio)

The Teacup Fairy: Very Old Tales for Very Young Children (audio)

The Evergreens: Gentle Tales of Nature (audio)

With Twinkle in your Eye: Funny Folktales from Everywhere (audio)

Rip Roarin’ Paul Bunyan Tales (audio)

The Winter Cherries: Holiday Tales from Around the World (audio)

The Blossom Tree: Tales from the Far East (audio)

The Wise Little Girl: Tales of the Feminine (audio)

Earthstone: The Eco-Musical (2 hour audio)

The Odyssey: An Epic Telling (4 hour audio)

Giant’s Cauldron: Viking Myths of Adventure (audio)

Hidden Grail: Sir Percival and the Fisher King (90 minute audio)

Stories of Love (audio)

David and Goliath: The Harper and the King (audio)

The Myth of Hercules (audio)

 

Plus Rare Works:

Beowulf: The Only One (live audio recording)

The Iliad: Book I (50-minute video)

The Water Mage’s Daughter: a 13,000-line epic poem. (PDF e-book)

 

Plus Odds Bodkin’s Original Musical Compositions on Acoustic Instruments and Kurzweil synthesizer:

Rapunzel’s Window

At Beauty’s Door

Black Irish

Soft-Hearted Men in the Good Old USA

Little Paws

Christmas Morning

The Great Irish Elk

 

Order yours today!

Odds Bodkin’s THE ODYSSEY 4-hour storytelling audio on sale for two weeks! Usually $49.95, now $34.95!

Usually $49.95, you can now grab Odds Bodkin’s classic telling of Homer’s Odyssey for $34.95! Download all 42 episodes today! This sale lasts two weeks, until June 21, 2021!

From the Belly of the Trojan Horse to the Return to Ithaca ten years later, go inside the mind of Odysseus, the original epic hero of Greek mythology. This classic tale is over 4 hours long and great for vacation car travel. Kids love it, and listen intently. Includes a full musical score on 12-string guitar and Celtic harp.

Winner of the Oppenheim Platinum Award for Best Vacation Product.

THE WIND AND THE SUN: A Free Story for Young Kids with Odds Bodkin

THE WIND AND THE SUN: A Free Story for Young Kids with Odds Bodkin

As I explain to children, a fable is a very short story that weighs a lot. Here’s THE WIND AND THE SUN, one of my favorite Aesop’s fables. This version was captured over Zoom last month before an audience of PreK-1st Graders. As you’ll see, I speak more slowly than usual.

To learn more, visit: https://www.oddsbodkin.net/educational-programs/

THROUGH A TEACHER’S EYES: Odds Bodkin’s Zoom Storytellings for Schools/Watch Video

THROUGH A TEACHER’S EYES: Odds Bodkin’s Zoom Storytellings for Schools work well for 2021.

I’d just finished a long day on Zoom visiting a school full of 5th and 6th graders. Beginning with an hour-long show, GOLDEN RULE II–three fun and absorbing musical stories filled with conversation points about kindness and empathy–I followed up with six workshops. Laura Piccolo, the school’s Language Arts Coordinator, had sent me a list of topics she wanted covered. She’d even requested a workshop about how music enhances emotions in stories.

Here’s a video of our conversation that afternoon.

With the pandemic easing, not only am I always available via Zoom for schools, but I’ve decided to journey forth into the world again to do live shows.

Her school also purchased an EPIC DRIVE for its library–a collection of all my audio stories.

 

as well as copies of THE CRANE WIFE, one of my children’s picture books.

It was a full arts and literary experience for her school.

Visit https://www.oddsbodkin.net/educational-programs/ to learn how you can bring such a program to your or your child’s school.

 

Odds Bodkin’s DANIKA THE ROSE Livestreams May 23rd! Two Great Singers, A Renowned Pianist, An Up And Coming Actor and A Versatile Storyteller Together on Stage

A Total Cast of Five

Joined by sopranos Jazimina MacNeil and Sarah Shafer, with Brett Ashley Robinson playing Danika and Jonathan Ware playing Dvorak on the piano, author Odds Bodkin performs his newest spoken-word story with music, live onstage in Philadelphia.

A blend of classical singing and live storytelling

Similar to Peter and the Wolf, the show features narrations deepened by what inspired the story itself: Dvorak’s Moravian Duets. These twenty-three songs, gloriously sung by MacNeil and Shafer, tell a tale of love and war mixed with jealousy, pride and privilege. Maximilian is the Duke; Danika is the stunningly beautiful peasant girl from the village who becomes his obsession; and Dano is the gamekeeper she loves. Elements of magical realism—ghost birds who speak and stags that fight like an army—add a supernatural magic to this new stage work.

Enjoy the broadcast debut Sunday, May 23rd at 3 pm EST. Six cameras will video livestream the performance! Get your tickets today!

Presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.

DANIKA THE ROSE

May 23, 2021 at 3 pm EST on LIveStream

Starring Jazimina MacNeil, Sarah Shafer, Brett Ashely Robinson and Odds Bodkin. Music by Jonathan Ware.

DANIKA THE ROSE Classical Music Adult Fairy Tale Streams Live from Philly May 23rd

How did Danika the Rose, a new work soon to be live-streamed from the American Philosophical Society stage in Philadelphia, arrive on the American classical music scene?

It’s a story worth telling.

I’m Odds Bodkin, and I wrote Danika the Rose. Soon I’ll be performing it onstage with four other people for the Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia. It’s an adult fairy tale, interwoven with songs by Dvorak. Yes, I wrote it, but I didn’t do it alone. In the next few blog posts I’ll tell that curious story.

It begins back in the fall of 2018. I was visiting the Thoreau School in Concord, MA with my guitars and harp, warming up before the flood of schoolkids arrived for their performance, when a young woman stepped into the empty auditorium and walked up to the stage.

“Mr. Bodkin,” she said, “I have a proposition for you.”

Well, I thought, that’s quite the opening statement. “And you are?” She was quite pretty, late twenties, early thirties.

“Jazimina MacNeil. I’m a classical singer.”

Taking note of the name, I stopped playing my harp to listen.

“I’ve been a fan of yours for years,” she went on, “and I have a project I hope to interest you in.”

Obviously she’d learned I was performing here on this day. Well, you’ve got initiative and nerve, I thought, harping once again. “Go on, please.”

“A soprano friend and I sing Dvorak’s Moravian Duets together, but they’re little-known works.” I’d always loved Antonin Dvorak’s symphonies, especially From the New World, but wasn’t aware of any duets. “And so to bring them to a wider audience,” she went on, “I thought using them in a story might help.”

Ah, I thought, so that is why you are here, Jazimina.

“And I’d like you to write it,” she finished.

“You’re talking about a commissioned work.”

“Yes, I am. An adult fairy tale. One that uses all twenty-three duets. They’re all sung in Czech.”

“Any English translations?” I asked, assuming this would be for American audiences.

“Yes, but we’re not going to use them.”

A spoken-word fairy tale with obscure 19th Century art songs sung in Czech? Now there’s an easy sell to Americans, I thought.  But then again, I like fairy tales, psychic whirligigs that they are, and writing one would be fun, especially if I were going to be paid for it. Peter and the Wolf came to mind.

I gave her my email address and told her to send me a proposal. She left before I could speak with her again.

Little did I know what a work of art we would create.

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Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presents

Danika the Rose

 

With Jazimina MacNeil, Sarah Shafer, Jonathan Ware, Brett Ashley Robinson

and Odds Bodkin

 

Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 3 pm EST

 

For Livestream tickets visit Philadelphia Chamber Music Society

 

Tonight at 5 pm…Live on ZOOM…Odds Bodkin’s Fairy Tales for Smart Girls!

“a consummate storyteller”–The New York Times

Join Odds Bodkin tonight for four amazing and fun fairy tales about smart girls. Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, and Bodkin has created this special show–including a new story from Italy–for the event. You can sing along with two of the tales, so get your voice ready.

The show comes to you via ZOOM at 5 pm EST. Grab your ticket and log in for a full-screen storytelling performance with characters, sound effects and live music on 12-string guitars and Celtic harp.

And if you have a question for Odds after the show, he’ll stay online to chat.

 

SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls

Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 5 pm EST on ZOOM

Tickets: $25 per screen

 

Where Did the Fairies Hide Their Souls? Find Out Sunday Night…

Wherever the evil fairies souls are, they aren’t in their bodies, and since no one in the village knows where they are hidden, no one can do away with them. Instead, the fairies are free to lean out the windows of their giant stone house and yell at people.

Worst of all, children disappear in the village and no one knows where they are, either.

Unknown to her, Prezzemolina has been promised to the fairies since before she was born. Now that she has come of age, they want her.

Her only protection is that she is pure of heart.

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Join Odds Bodkin as he tells this rare and wondrous Italian fairy tale, self-accompanied on 12-string guitar.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021.

 

SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls

Live on ZOOM on Sunday, March 7 at 5 pm EST.

Grab your ticket and sit back with your family to enjoy Prezzemolina and three other fairy tales for and about smart girls. All Odds’ stories are told with character voices and live acoustic music.

 

Tickets: $25 per screen