The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #121: Reading from “Swan Lake” Accompanied by Music

Episode #121: Reading from “Swan Lake” Accompanied by Music

https://archive.org/download/Podcast121_201712/Podcast%20121.mp3

Today’s show is a reading from an illustrated children’s book version of the fairy tale, “Swan Lake,” accompanied by the music from the suite by Tchaikovsky.   It comes from a book written by ballerina Margot Fonteyn and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, whose work has been featured many times here.  Although maybe not a fairy tale with the same vintage as, say, the Grimm’s tales, at this point, I think the tale penned by Tchaikovsky for the ballet has all the elements of a traditional fairy tale, and at this point, is sufficiently old and famous enough to be timeless.  This version has Hyman’s usual beautiful illustrations, some of which are below:

The reading is set to a truncated version of the Swan Lake Score (was looking for one that was about 30 minutes):

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to the retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s Instagram pages: @the13thhr for your random postings on ninjas, martial arts, archery, flips, breakdancing, fantasy art and and @the13thhr.ost for more 80s music, movies, and songs from The Thirteenth Hour books and soundtrack.
  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/ or Spotify.  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!
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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #120: The Making of a Thirteenth Hour Love Theme

Episode #120: The Making of a Thirteenth Hour Love Theme

https://archive.org/download/Podcast120_201711/Podcast%20120.mp3

I’ll freely admit I’ve always been partial to love themes from movie soundtracks.  Especially if they came out in the 80s, when there were plenty of synthesizers to give it that 80s feel.  So today, we’re creating a track like that for the third Thirteenth Hour book for a scene when our two main protagonists, Logan and Aurora, are reunited after a long time spent looking for each other, not knowing if their true love was even still alive. I wanted it to be a mix between some more traditional sounds (mostly) to evoke tender longing and just enough synth to fit in the rest of the soundtrack.

It’s called “Because We May Only Have One Night,” and while this one is mainly instrumental, I think I may add some vocals for a separate song later or do a reprise which takes some of the elements of this melody, such as the chord progression (G Em C D) or the main riff and intersperses it for later introspective scenes.  That’s the great thing about making soundtracks!  You can rest assured that if you have one melody you like, you can dress it up and change a few things here or there and use it for a new piece somewhere else, kind of like using the leftovers of Sunday’s dinner for Monday’s lunch!

Today’s track was done all on the synthesizer with a small vocal part (whistling) added to the intro.  It was mixed on the synth and in Audacity.  Look for it in the near future on bandcamp.  You can hear the demo version at the end of the show.

While we’re on the subject, one of the tracks featured on the show a few weeks ago, inspired by Chad Derdowski’s book, Fortune Favors the Bold, is now a feature on the Youtube channel Synth Heaven.  Check it out:

Here are the original tracks embedded in the page for your playing convenience:

Speaking of which, Chad has a sequel just out – Fortune Favors the Bold 2!  More Scissorwulf!  Like the last volume and the Choose Your Own Adventure books that inspired it, it comes with black and white line illustrations that Chad drew to complete the experience.  Click on the cover below to check it out on Amazon.

scissor1scissor2scissor3

Lastly, Missy Sheldrake, who was on the show this past summer, is also releasing a book in the near future – just a few days from when this episode will be out.  As with her previous volumes, this one is richly illustrated.  Click on the book spotlight below to get a copy of your own, and check out her social media links following the illustrations as well as the following book excerpts  (one and two).

Call-of-Elespen-Book-SpotlightExcerpt 1Call of Hywilkin illustrationTib-PromoKeepers-of-the-Wellsprings-banner

Website: http://missysheldrake.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/missysheldrake

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/m_sheldrake/

Tumblr: http://etsyfairydawn.tumblr.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/MissySheldrake/and https://www.facebook.com/muralsbymissy

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13672249.Missy_Sheldrake?from_search=true&search_version=service

Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B00UVLQWGY

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to the retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s Instagram pages: @the13thhr for your random postings on ninjas, martial arts, archery, flips, breakdancing, fantasy art and and @the13thhr.ost for more 80s music, movies, and songs from The Thirteenth Hour books and soundtrack.
  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/ or Spotify.  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #119: Reflections on Rewatching “Fire and Ice” With Jeremy and Chad

Episode #119: Reflections on Rewatching “Fire and Ice” With Jeremy and Chad

https://archive.org/download/Podcast119_201711/podcast%20119.mp3

Today’s episode is a discussion on rewatching the animated film, Fire and Ice, directed by Ralph Bakshi and produced by him and Frank Frazetta, who provided many of the character designs.   My brother, Jeremy, and author Chad Derdowski came on the show after watching the film to give our reflections (click on the movie poster below, painted by Frank Frazetta, to get a copy of your own):

We cover quite a bit, from pulp fiction, racial and gender stereotypes, to fantasy art and the dearth of painted novel covers and movie posters (like those done by Drew Struzan in the 80s for films like Back to the Future, Adventures in Babysitting, Big Trouble in Little China, and Blade Runner), and what ages we’d let our kids watch the film.

A few factoids covered in this episode.   For example, did you know that:

James Gurney, creator of Dinotopia, worked on the backgrounds to the film.  He chronicled his experiences working on the film on his blog.

Thomas Kinkade, “The Painter of Light” also worked on the film. Reading how he and Gurney worked together and pranked folks on the set is a good read!

-Not that it needs one, but Fire and Ice may get a remake (allegedly … supposedly … possibly … you know how these things go).  Some concept art here.

-Dark Wolf later inspired a similarly clad comic hero called Jaguar God … the first issue cover was a borrowed Frazetta painting.

Image result for jaguar god

-Despite different directors and different studios/animation styles, you can buy the whole (well, kind of) animated Lord of the Rings saga:

The Lord of the Rings Deluxe Edition/The Hobbit Deluxe Edition/The Return of the King Deluxe Edition/ (3-Pack/Giftset/DVD)

And a bit on the Dark Wolf character from the film, which we touched on during previous episodes Chad featured in (hear parts 1 and 2 here) – a combo of a “sword and sorcery” Batman (as Jeremy put it) crossed with the Death Dealer character Frazetta created and painted numerous times:

Image result for death dealer

Lastly, I leave you this image of Blackstar, a similarly clad figure that went with a sword and sorcery cartoon of the same era about an astronaut that lands on an alien planet.  He has a tagline that reads “Astronaut defender of freedom with glow in the dark star sword.”  Does it get any more 80s than that?  🙂 (You can watch the series on youtube.)

Image result for blackstar figure

 

And if you like sword and sorcery, check out Chad’s books!  The following tracks were inspired by them:

I’ll end with more info on where you can find the book that inspired these tracks:

Image result for fortune favors the bold chad derdowski

Get a copy of your own by clicking here or on the cover above: https://www.createspace.com/6289426

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fortunefavors_the_bold/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/TheScissorwulf/?ref=br_rs

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32842665-fortune-favors-the-bold?from_search=true

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wnHPfV

Thanks, Chad, and Jeremy for coming on the show.  Look for more in the future!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #118: Creating Tracks for “Fortune Favors the Bold”

Episode #118: Creating Tracks for Fortune Favors the Bold

https://archive.org/download/Podcast118_201711/Podcast%20118.mp3

Not long after author Chad Derdowski came on the show this summer (hear parts 1 and 2 here), talking about his brilliantly humorous … oh, how shall we say, R-rated Choose-Your- Own-Adventure-style book, Fortune Favors the Bold, I wondered what a soundtrack to the book might sound like.  Something out of an 80s movie, I thought, like Ladyhawke or Legend.  And then, the muse struck.  Of course, it was in an inconvenient place (in the shower), but as soon as I could, I found a keyboard and tapped out the little theme that formed the backbone of these two tracks.

I got Chad’s input and okay to proceed, then went to town.  He didn’t put me up to this or anything, and I didn’t want him to think I was trying to steal his creations … I guess in the tradition of fanfiction, you could call this “fanmusic?”  =)  Anyway, I talk more about the creation of the tracks, called “Gleam of the Widowmaker” and “One Adventures Ends, Another Begins” on the episode and read a few choice bits from the book which inspired the tracks, which you can listen to below or by clicking on the song titles above.

The latter track was made on the iOS app Auxy, like “Flight of the Cloudrider” (listen here or see the music video below) and “There is Magic Inside.”  You can learn more about Auxy, download a copy to your phone, and Henrik Lenberg, the creator of the program, by clicking on the highlighted links.

By the way, in case you are curious, here is a youtube tutorial that shows a little about how to use Auxy:

And here are some screenshots from “One Adventure Ends, Another Begins”:

If you enjoy synthesizer music, creating it, or just living your life as if it were accompanied to an 80s soundtrack, check out this great synthwave playlist on Spotify curated by Preston Cram.

I’ll end with more info on where you can find the book that inspired these tracks:

Image result for fortune favors the bold chad derdowski

Get a copy of your own by clicking here or on the cover above: https://www.createspace.com/6289426

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fortunefavors_the_bold/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/TheScissorwulf/?ref=br_rs

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32842665-fortune-favors-the-bold?from_search=true

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wnHPfV

Thanks, Chad, for inspiring this fun project!  Hope you enjoy it!  Look for more from Chad next week!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #69: Holiday Trees

Episode #69: Baby Trees in the Holidays

https://archive.org/download/Podcast69_201612/Podcast%2069.mp3

That first day began a month of basic training that all recruits were required to go through. Nobody told us why the King had sent for us, and when we asked, we were told to just shut up and stop trying to think. I had some trouble with the training in the beginning, but after that, I surprised myself by being able to keep up just fine. I was used to physical labor, and this wasn’t much different. A few of the older men, though, unused to climbing, running, and crawling on the ground, collapsed after the first week and had to be carried off the field on stretchers. This happened to one of the Aquarians a few days into our training. He happened to be not far from me, and when I saw him collapse on the field, I went over to see if he were okay. But he pushed me away and, spitting out some mud, said something that sounded like “piss off.” I think he also spat out something about going back to the orphanage, but I couldn’t make it out. Whatever it was, it wasn’t friendly, and I left him to the medics.
Every morning at six sharp, we had to line up for morning exercises. Then came the obstacle course, which was pretty hard at first because the old soldier babysitting us – fat, half–blind, and unable to do half of the things he made us do – didn’t feel like showing us how to do it. He was also frequently hung–over, which didn’t help.

His first lesson, dare I even call it that, was on marching. I was a miserable failure at marching, and, to be honest, never did learn to do it right. Our marching exercises consisted of an endless and, in my opinion, rather pointless array of drills. March left. Now right. Spin left. Then right. Whatever! I always ended up in the first row since I was the shortest, and although I could manage forward and backward, every time we had to turn left or right I got all mixed up. My right or the instructor’s right? If I had eyes in the back of my head, I could have cheated by seeing which way the other recruits turned, but inevitably, I screwed it up and got glares and whispered threats from the proud Aquarian men.

So you might be wondering, what about the good stuff? Well, the drill instructor was technically responsible for teaching us how to use weapons – things like swords, spears, and bows. The problem was that there were never enough to go around, since the “real Army” got preference over us recruits. So we often spent most of this time sitting around waiting until someone else was done with the rusty sword or whatever we were supposed to be using that day. Not that it really mattered in the end; after one of the men accidentally shot himself in the foot with an arrow, the old soldier in charge of training us didn’t trust us with live weapons. He was afraid he might accidentally–on purpose be in the way the next time. Can’t say I blamed him; morale was pretty low, even in the “real Army,” and no one felt like extending himself any more than he had to, especially if there was danger involved. After the arrow incident, all we got were branches chopped off a tree.

“Here, pretend this one’s a spear,” the drill instructor would say, handing out the wobbly saplings. “But that’s no damned excuse for not put the ol’ killer instinct to work!” he would yell. “Stop thinking these are sticks. Like I told you yesterday, they’re spears, damn it! Spears! So when you thrust, yell! When you charge, yell! I want some spirit! All together, now, lemme hear it! Kill! Kill! Kill! Hey, why am I the only one shouting?”

Really, I’m not kidding. The old man was nothing if not cracked. And, true to form, every day, he had us line up at the western corner of the training field, where there was a thin row of midget–sized trees.

“Come on, ladies, one tree to a man, just like yesterday. Now watch the master.”

He delighted in this demonstration. He’d take a stance about ten feet from some poor shrub and begin to twirl his stick around. Then he’d stop, look menacingly at the pint–sized tree, and, with a blood curdling whoop, charge forward and begin smacking the trunk, each time, shouting his “Kill! Kill! Kill!” routine punctuated with an occasional, “How do you like that, huh?” One time I swear he even said, “Not so tough, now, are ya … tree!”

After a bit, he’d get tired and, turning to us while leaning on his stick and sucking in more wind than a geriatric racehorse, he’d explain that was the kind of energy you needed to attack with.

“Now you!” he would bark, and a recruit had to repeat what had just been demonstrated.

The instructor had been satisfied only once, when an unlucky recruit had hit a patch of mud on his charge, and instead of hitting the tree with his stick, hit it full force with his sliding body instead. The young, slender tree simply recoiled from the blow, sending the recruit flying back into the mud. Tree: 1, human: 0.

“Yeah!!! That boy has the kinda attitude I want!” He even went over to help the dazed boy to his feet. “That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout, boy. Next time you just make sure to show that tree who’s the damn boss. Watch and learn from the master.”

Then he took a swipe at the errant shrub himself but missed and, cursing and spitting, fell flat on his ass. That was the end of the lesson for the day. Tree: 2, human: 0.

logan and aurora castle grounds moonRM.jpg

Logan and Aurora look up at the night sky near the trees referenced in this passage near the end of the book.

Thanks for listening, and happy holidays!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your random postings on ninjas, martial arts, archery, flips, breakdancing, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

 

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #62: Zen in the Art of Archery

Episode #62: Zen in the Art of Archery

https://archive.org/download/Podcast62_201610/Podcast%2062.mp3

On today’s episode, I’m reading from a little book called Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel.  We talked about Zen in episode #44, and while that episode focused more on empty handed martial arts, this one is about the practice of archery, and how that can be used as a pathway to understand Zen.  It’s a book I first read when I was about 13, didn’t really understand, and re-read a number of other times afterwards, each time taking a slightly different set of ideas from it (never entirely understanding it, I will say).

I can say for sure, though, that the best shots in archery, and perhaps this is so with many things in life, come from that place where Zen resides, the land of no conscious thought, that retreat your mind wanders to when it’s fully present and occupied by what it’s doing at the moment.

As always, thanks for listening!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to the new upcoming retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Free online streaming of the growing Thirteenth Hour soundtrack: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Stay tuned to a full 45+ min album coming 11/13/16.  Join the mailing list for a free copy.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #59: The Thirteenth Hour Soundtrack Preview

Episode #59: Long Ago Not So Far Away: Music from The Thirteenth Hour (Preview)

https://ia601502.us.archive.org/3/items/Podcast59_201609/Podcast%2059.mp3

This week, it’s all about retro 80s, starting with a preview of the upcoming official soundtrack release for The Thirteenth Hour, entitled Long Ago Not So Far Away.

It ended up being about 47 minutes long with a combination of synth instrumental tracks and songs with lyrics played on the guitar, piano, or a both.  Some were songs that I came up with originally when I wrote the book, others were ones that I wrote a few years later but had not fully completed (i.e. had the lyrics and chords for the guitar, making for a skeleton of a song … but all the little riffs and fills that make a song a song, especially a retro style 80s song, weren’t there).  There were two I kept more bare bones (mostly just acoustic guitar with a minimum of electric effects or synthesizers) because I wanted them to sound like folk songs out of the pseud0-medieval world the novel is set in.

It really ended up being a lot of fun.  In contrast to the tortuous process I had creating the cover for the book version of The Thirteenth Hour, making the cover for Long Ago Not So Far Away felt like a breeze, since I decided that the best course of action was to make it look like something out of the 80s.  I have a healthy collection of 80s CDs, tapes, and movies that helped provide entertaining inspiration.  There were also tons of synthwave (neo 80s synth music) covers on the internet (some of which looked more 80s than actual 80s album covers!). I also found this great Instagram page by @synthenebrism which links to a Spotify page with hours upon hours of synthwave music for your listening enjoyment.

In terms of making the cover itself, I found this great step by step tutorial that captured the look I was going for almost perfectly.  It walks you through using Photoshop to create your own retro synth cover.  I wanted an aurora for the cover to fit with the content of the book, so after a bit of searching, found this free stock image (click on the image to go to the page):

scotland-1564096_1280.jpg

Thanks to Blackmoons32 on deviantart for making a great free lightning bolt stock image already with an alpha channel (meaning the background is already transparent), making it easy to paste into your picture.  I thought about adding a rainbow or a unicorn to really round out the 80s fantasy images but thought that might be laying it on a little thick.  Instead, I just added the pixelart Logan on Lightning I made for the vaporware Thirteenth Hour game I started years ago.  In the end, it ended up looking like this:

cover 80s style_edited-33.jpg

It should be out later this fall.  But if you’d like a free advance preview, there are a few ways to do it.  Check out the bandcamp page, which has many of the tracks already uploaded, though not the fully remastered ones.  You can also look for former entries of this podcast or the Instagram page for some live versions or early drafts of songs.  Lastly, if you haven’t already, sign up for the mailing list if you’d like a free digital copy of the album to download with album artwork and all.  Stay tuned!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Free online streaming of the growing Thirteenth Hour soundtrack: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Stay tuned to a full 45+ min album coming in the next few weeks!
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!