The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #290: Making a Slow, Meditative Thirteenth Hour Theme Track and Accompanying Cloudscape Video

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #290: Making a Slow, Meditative Thirteenth Hour Theme Track and Accompanying Cloudscape Video

This week’s show piggybacks off last week’s episode and the Patreon exclusive episode that came out last week.  We’re making the slow, meditative Thirteenth Hour theme that was playing in the background of last week’s episode and then creating a visual for it in Adobe Premiere.  I always thought that cloudscape scenes were peaceful and naturally meditative, so I’m using that a stock footage first person cloudscape as a background as well as some pixelart animations of Logan that I created years ago. 

Here’s the end result:

Speaking of music, the song “Many Miles” debuted this past week.  It ended up taking 6 years, but I’m glad with how it ended up turning out! 

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CLXNZk_Bz2T/?igshid=enga3ubaar16

And, as mentioned last episode, the patches I mentioned a few weeks ago are now ready and available for purchase here!  They come with a high quality mp3 download from Once Upon a Dream, the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack LP.

img_2898

If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #289: Knowing Yourself, Ukemi, Relaxing into Existential Angst, and Deep Breathing with A Thirteenth Hour Reading

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #289: Knowing Yourself, Ukemi, Relaxing into Existential Angst, and Deep Breathing with A Thirteenth Hour Reading

This week’s episode comes at a time of increasing national and global anxiety about the future, and as inhabitants on this rock orbiting a star on the edge of the Milky Way, we’re subject to the milieu of the environment, and unfortunately, there’s a lot of angst in the soup.  And as anyone who’s ever had a muscle cramp can attest, the way around a cramp is not with more tension, it’s relaxing into it – leaning in to the pain.  In this episode, I talk about the concept of the “receiving body” (ukemi in Japanese, though usually translated as “breakfall”).  If we meet the impact of a blow or a fall head on, we play a game of structural strength with the opposing force.  When you play that game with the ground, you always lose (unless you are Chuck Norris, of course).  Just as a good training partner (uke, a.k.a. “receiver”) is able to flow with an attacker and ride off (or simulate) the impact of an attack so his partner can learn how the body moves and responds, doing a good ukemi means never making a dead landing.  It means rolling with the force of the fall as best you can.  The ability to relax the body in such situations is counter-intuitive, since the natural instinct is to brace for impact, but remember, the ground always wins in a game of strength. 

Ukemi is not limited to the physical, though.  We are always receiving bodies of the slings and arrows that life throws at us.  There, too, the ability to relax is counter-intuitive.  Thankfully, as with breakfalls, the ability to relax into potential pain can be taught and practiced.  We all have the ability within ourselves.  In this episode, I talk about one of the simplest (though I didn’t say easiest), most natural (again, natural does not mean intuitive) things we all know how to do – breathing.  It does take a bit of practice to do it in a way that slows things down to a more manageable pace, but the good news is that once you know how to do it, you can practice deep, slow breathing almost anywhere, anytime, and it doesn’t have to be during a time of official “meditation” (I did it the other day in a dentist’s chair).  

If the music playing during the breathing segment sounds familiar, it’s because it’s similar to the intro podcast music.  It’s a slow reworking of The Thirteenth Hour theme.  For Patreon supporters, watch for an exclusive podcast episode on it sometimes this week as well as a longer stretch to accompany the breathing exercise.  I’ll make an accompanying video soon as well.

Speaking of music, the song “Many Miles” debuts tomorrow.  It ended up taking 6 years, but I’m glad with how it ended up turning out! 

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CLXNZk_Bz2T/?igshid=enga3ubaar16

And, as mentioned last episode, the patches I mentioned a few weeks ago are now ready and available for purchase here!  They come with a high quality mp3 download from Once Upon a Dream, the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack LP.

img_2898

If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #96: Visualization for Healing

Episode #96: Zen Visualization for Healing and Learning + New Synth Track Preview

https://archive.org/download/Podcast96_20170610/Podcast%2096.mp3

Today’s podcast about focusing the power of the mind to help heal injuries goes out to Ryan, a friend of mine who sustained an unexpected injury.  Hope it helps (at the very least, it can’t hurt!)  Get well soon!

We talked about zen in archery back in episode #62 and a year ago back in episode #44.   As before, we’ll be reading from a chapter in the book, Zen in the Martial Arts, by Joe Hyams:

Image result for zen in martial arts

Click on the picture of the book above to find a copy of your own.

If you’re at all interested in martial arts or philosophy (or both), I’d highly recommend reading it.  I first read it when I was introduced to martial arts at age 13.  There was a lot I didn’t understand or only understood partially at the time but have found that with each re-reading, I take away a new lesson.

The chapter I’m reading from today is about using positive visualization to make changes in your life: i.e. not letting negative thinking get the better of you, maintaining a positive outlook while injured, or learning something new.  It’s important to remember that before our bodies can do something, our brains must plan it out first.  It may happen unconsciously, but the body does do what the brain sees first!  Sounds simple (and it is – though that does not necessarily mean easy), but that’s zen for you.

In case you don’t have access to the book, here are a few snippets from the chapter:

The version of the book I have has black and white photographs accompanying the chapters.  For this chapter, there’s a flame, probably to accompany Bruce Lee’s idea of imagining negative thoughts burning up in his mind.

And since today was all about fire and focus, we’ll end with the first half of a new song I’ll be releasing in the next few weeks called “Ember.”  I wrote it years ago and have been trying to rework it into a synthesizer track for the sequel to Long Ago Not So Far Away (which, coincidentally, you can now find for streaming off Spotify).  It’s been a slow going process (as these things often are), but so far, I’m pretty happy with the way it’s been going.  It’s about growing up, which involves a certain amount of questioning who you are and what you believe.  But it’s also about believing in yourself and not losing the fire that drives your passion.  In the words of Mr. Miyagi (Karate Kid 3), “Daniel-san, focus!  … Best karate still inside!”

Join the mailing list for an upcoming EP with “Ember” and number of new tracks!

As always, thanks for listening!

Glowing ember photo courtesy of Anastasia Zhenina.

 

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • 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 #44: Zen

Episode #44: Zen Practice, Martial Arts, and Everyday Life

https://archive.org/download/13thHrEps16On/Podcast%2044.mp3

Today’s podcast is all about Zen.

Zen, a philosophy that carries much ado and marketing buzz, really can be summed up in one simple idea – being present right where you are now.  It’s obviously easier said than done, but certain activities naturally lend themselves to discovering this state of no-mind easier than others, martial arts being one such avenue.

George Lucas incorporated these ideas into the character of Yoda (essentially a Zen master in a galaxy far, far away) in his teachings of the Force and the way of the Jedi to a young Luke Skywalker, so that’s an easy way to think some of the ideas behind Zen if you’re familiar with the films but not Zen.

This synth Yoda-Zen montage clip is from a fellow bandcamper, melodysheep.  You can listen to the full song here and check out the rest of his work at https://melodysheep.bandcamp.com/

But you don’t have to travel far to find Zen and its applications in daily life.  This episode focuses on a few segments from the book Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams:

There’s an excerpt on being present in the moment, accepting your limitations and using them to your advantage, and deep breathing, a gateway to meditative practices.

For years, I’ve found aspects of tai chi practice helpful as a kind of moving mediation.  I like this particular video since it’s so easy to follow along with, as the movements are reversed for the viewer so you don’t have to mentally adjust left and right in your mind to match what the instructor is saying (a common issue with learn by video):

Scott Cole: Discover Tai Chi AM/PM Workouts

Click for an excerpt

Aspects of Zen were behind this particular passage in The Thirteenth Hour, where Logan eventually does the counterintuitive and, after centering himself, relaxes instead of struggling to get out a magic spell that makes him immobile.

No, I won’t give up …

logan ground rm.jpg

I summoned all my energy and with a shout that rang in my ears long after it had faded, I slowly scooped myself off the stone floor. I fell back immediately. I tried again and managed a short stumble to the wall. I clung to it for support. Tears and bad words. You didn’t give up. Good. Now relax. Relax your muscles. They screamed in protest, as did I, with them. Boy, I must have been a sorry sight – sputtering and crying, unshaven and haggard, malodorous and malnourished – but in my own dystonic way, I managed to lurch along, bit by stumbling bit …

… My arms and legs still seemed incredibly heavy, like lead. I could have made better ground running in quicksand. But by concentrating on relaxing my cramping muscles, I had broken the spell, and with every step I took, the life that I had almost given up flowed back into my veins.

Now that you have a sense of what Zen is, how have you encountered it in your life?  Leave your comments below, and we can  discuss in a future episode.

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.
  • 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!