The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #245: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Aurora’s First Experience Flying and Like a Hood Ornament 5 – Rocketeer Flying

Episode #245: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Aurora’s First Experience Flying and Like a Hood Ornament 5 – Rocketeer Flying

https://archive.org/download/podcast-245/Podcast%20245.mp3

This week’s show is all about flying!

In the first part of the show, I’m reading from a section of The Thirteenth Hour about what Aurora thought about her first experience flying on Lightning, Logan’s magical hoverboard.

We left for the Castle in the Water the next day.  Logan showed me his air board called Lightning; it was somehow able to expand itself so I could fit on as well.  Let’s just say it’s better if you suspend belief a little.  I guess that’d be a fitting theme for the following section, indeed this whole story, but I’m getting ahead of myself. 

Getting on Lightning was one thing, but flying was something else entirely.  There was only one foot strap for me, so I had to hold onto Logan.  I think I would have anyway.  I had never been more than twenty feet off the ground in my life.  Logan said he was still getting the hang of it when Lightning beeped out something.  Words appeared on some kind of window near her front.  They said that I wouldn’t fall off because there was a protective shield around the board.  I wasn’t so sure, and even to this day, a ride on Lightning makes me want to vomit. 

I suppose flying was fun, in a white–knuckle–ride–by–the–seat–of–your–wet–pants sort of way, but I never really got the hang of it, even though Logan tried to show me how to pilot Lightning.  It should have been easy – you rocked your body back and forth to go up or down and swayed your hips to turn – but I guess it just wasn’t my thing, and I nearly had a heart attack when I accidentally flipped us upside down. 

The altitude was one thing, but the speed completely blew me away.   Okay, I know, not funny.  But really, if you can imagine being shrunk, tied to the head of an arrow, then fired in the air from one of those six foot war bows like the ones the King’s archers used, then you’ll have some idea what it felt like. 

Flying that fast always made me nauseous.  That first time, after an hour or two, I couldn’t take it anymore and told Logan to get Lightning to pull over to the coast (we were flying over water), where I threw up in some bushes.  I collapsed onto my back, staring up at the sky, which, for some reason, kept spinning round and round.  That’s how Logan found me.  It all seemed very unladylike, and I guess I was looking very sheepish when I climbed back on Lightning, because Logan, who must have figured out what I was doing, asked if I were okay.

I grunted something.  I guess I looked okay, so he grinned.

“I puked all over my uniform a few days ago, if that’s any consolation to you.”

It wasn’t, really, because we ended up having to stop two or three more times later on, but it made me laugh a little at the time. 

[Logan] Yeah, I always did wonder where it all came from.  It’s not like we had an overabundant food supply, that’s for sure.  But she seemed to have a never ending supply of that stuff.

You know, who’s telling this section, you or me?

[Logan] Couldn’t help it.   

Right.  So, blah, blah, blah, whatever, I threw up a lot.  Very funny.  Anyway, after that, Lightning slowed down to a kind of cruising speed, which was really nice because it gave us a chance to actually see the landscape we were passing. 

At the end of our first day out, we stopped on a deserted section of coastline to eat and sleep.  We had used our pockets and a sack we found to stash food liberated from the Cordel marketplace, but neither of us were very hungry.  You already know why I wasn’t, but I think it was pretty tough on Logan’s stomach, too.  It had been a long day of travel for both of us, and our heads were still spinning as we lay them on the damp sand.  I leaned over and told Logan that I was glad I could accompany him on his journey and apologized for slowing us down today.  But I think he was falling asleep already, because he just smiled a little, as if to say, “forget it,” and patted me on the shoulder.

Searching for Forever Picture Final more contrast

Another picture painted as the cover art for “Searching for Forever” (that would have fit in towards the end of the book with Logan and Aurora flying to the new home).  Watch it being created below:

There’s an instrumental part to accompany the reading – the backing track of “Searching for Forever” – the 80s inspired ending credits song I envisioned as playing as the story ended.  Both the instrumental and vocal versions can be found on the LP, Long Ago Not So Far Away, and below:

Speaking of music, I’ve been going through a number of acoustic guitar songs I used to play a lot when I was first learning how to play, since in this time of national quarantine, I try to do music time with my kids as a part of, you know, daddy daycare.  I’ve picked out a few that are more hopeful and positive than the stuff songs are often written about (heartbreak, unrequited love, longing, substance use, and other important adult matters).   Anyway, I’ve included one such song (“Flying Free” written by Don Besig) since it is about flying (whether figuratively or literally) free from the constraints that bind us to the earth (again, whether physical or mental).

That’s because today’s Rocketeer segment is also about flying!

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Today marks the fourth Rocketeer segment as a part of the podcast.  Below are a few previous episodes about the Rocketeer:

Ep 18 on comics (Dave Stevens)

Ep 53 on rewatching the Rocketeer as an adult

Ep 235 on making the resin miniature Rocketeer

This week, we’re discussing this little documentary hosted by Bill Campbell that came out about the same time as the movie (and sadly, not available on any of the official Rocketeer releases).  It is part history of flight documentary, part behind the scenes movie making, and part experiential journalism into different modes of flight (including actual rocketpacks).

Suffice to say, real life rocketpacks highlight the myriad limitations such a device would likely entail.  But … that’s why we have stories 🙂

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A few frames of Cliff taking off for the first time from the original comic drawn by Dave Stevens (from The Rocketeer: The Complete Deluxe Edition).

We also talked, among other things, about those vague Rocketeer sequel rumors.  But, you know what?  Even if it never happens, we got a cartoon to introduce a whole new generation to the Rocketeer and an epic rocketpack battle in The Mandalorian:

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This little animated .gif is, of course, from the point in the movie where the Rocketeer, not above a little self conscious vanity, asks how he looks.  Peevy, not above a little blunt honesty, says “Like a hood ornament!”  The Rocketeer blasts off for the first time, Peevy gets blown backwards into the hangar, and I get a name for this part of the podcast!

Stay tuned for more Rocketeer gear talk next week!  Stay safe!

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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 you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #243: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Flying Through the Clouds and Like a Hood Ornament 3 – the Rocketeer’s Rocketpack

Episode #243: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Flying Through the Clouds and Like a Hood Ornament 3 – the Rocketeer’s Rocketpack

https://archive.org/download/podcast243/Podcast%20243.mp3

This week’s show is all about flying, both in the traditional part of the podcast as well as in the Rocketeer segment.  I’ll always aim for them to be related if possible, since, after all, The Rocketeer was one of the things that influenced the writing and creation of the Thirteenth Hour world.

In the first part of the show, I’m reading from the chapter where the main protagonist, Logan, is gifted a silver hoverboard he calls Lightning that has its own onboard magical “computer” (though that’s never exactly stated), allowing for a kind of magic artificial intelligence, and runs off the power of the sun (again, never exactly stated, at least not in this one).

Just to get us in the mood, I thought I’d include the intro from the 1984 film, The Neverending Story, for the quintessential audiovisual cloudscape experience:

Here is the passage from The Thirteenth Hour:

Lightning beeped cheerfully and drifted slowly forward down the lighted blue pathway that I had walked down earlier.  She really picked up speed in the windy section near the entrance. I crouched down low, white–knuckling the board with both hands.  Maybe I should have practiced a little first, I began thinking to myself.  But Aurora was in trouble, and I needed to concentrate on that.  The flight to Cordel would have to be my practice.  Lightning shot out of the Palace and began to climb steeply.  My heart plummeted into my stomach, and I prayed that we would slow down, eyes shut, knuckles even whiter as I gripped the edges of the board for dear life. 

The board beeped then; I opened my eyes slightly, and by shielding them against the torrential winds, I was able to see a message flash across the complicated, yet impressive looking front of the board. 

“Relax, Logan!  There’s no way you can fall.  Both your feet are now strapped in. You can let go of my sides if you want.  Have fun!”  

I looked down; my right foot was now securely strapped onto the board.  I stayed crouched low, but let go of the edges, first one hand, then another.  As soon as I did, I felt as if I were going to fall backwards and began to flail my arms.  Lightning slowed down a little, allowing me to regain my balance.  But at every dip, my stomach felt like it was shooting up to my throat.  I wanted to grab onto something solid, but I realized that there was nothing but air to hold onto!  In desperation, I gripped the side of the board again, but it didn’t do any good.

“This is harder than I thought!”

Another message flashed across the screen.

“Well, it really isn’t too hard once you get the hang of it.  Just relax and let me do the work.  Now, how about some aerobatics, my favorite?”

“Uh, wait a minute!  Aerobatics?  Is that anything like acrobatics?  I don’t think I’m ready for that!” I yelled.

“Sure you are!  You just don’t know it yet!  All you have to do is hang on!” flashed the screen.

I yelled a succession of curses as my stomach shot up to my throat as Lightning spun around three times in succession.  The screen read, “Barrel roll maneuvers complete.”

Whatever that meant!  She ended up in an inverted position, with me looking at the sea, dizzy.  I had paid so much attention to the insides of my eyelids that I hadn’t looked around to notice how high we were.  We seemed to be traveling at an insane speed.  The waves far below flashed by in a blur.  The wind kept getting caught in my gaping mouth and bellowing out my cheeks while I struggled to close my mouth.  At one point, I felt like I was going to fall out, dangling only by the straps holding my feet onto the board.  Instinctively, I grabbed both sides of the board.  Lightning rolled back over, and I breathed easier. 

“This might help you out.  I am going to deploy an invisible shield that will surround you and myself.  It’s just like a big bubble.  It will cut air resistance and protect you.  And just in case you’re interested, it will prevent you from falling should you manage to slip out of the foot restraints.”

“We couldn’t have done this before?” I croaked, as wind caught in my mouth, hard that time, stunning my vocal chords.

“No, my programming instructs us to be at least fifty miles away from the Palace before I deploy the bubble shield.”

“Why fifty?”

“If I overheat, I could self–destruct.  The explosion would level anything in the surrounding area within a fifty mile radius.”

“Self–destruct?” I repeated, horrified.

“The shield has never been tested before.  There’s a very slight chance that it will overload my systems.”

“Overload?” 

“Is it just me or is there an echo here?  It’s alright.  The shield’s up now. All systems are operating well within normal limits.  However, it’s written in my programming to warn all passengers if they aren’t.”

As if they could do anything about it, except maybe jump off and die hitting the ground instead of in a mid–air explosion.  The wind didn’t seem to be blowing as hard now, though I couldn’t see the shield, nor could I feel it.  But I noticed that it was much quieter, and I could talk without shouting, although there was still a ringing in my ears from the rushing wind.

“It seems to work,” I said, feeling around tentatively.

I looked back; I couldn’t see the Palace.  When I asked how far we were away from it, Lightning flashed across her screen, “About 75 miles right now.” 

Jeez, we were going fast.  We couldn’t have been in the air very long; under an hour, I guessed.  I looked back again and noticed a plume of colored, sparkling mist in our wake.  It looked just like a rainbow.  I looked under the board; the mist was coming out of three separate locations on Lightning’s bottom side. 

“Those are my engines.”

I realized that I had been so caught up in the excitement/horror of my ride with Lightning that I had never even questioned how she generated her power.

As if reading my mind, Lightning flashed, ”I can show you the owner’s manual later that discusses more of the specifics, but for now, all you need to know is that there’s a readout on my display that shows how much power I have left.”

I found the icon on her display, which read 95% power.

“You know, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or anything, because I really appreciate you going fast since you know I’m in a hurry and all, but do you think you could slow down just a little?  I think I left my stomach somewhere behind the last mountain.”

“No, according to my scanner, you still have it.”

“Oh … it was just a manner of speaking, you know …”

“A joke?”

I laughed.  “Well, almost, I guess.”

“Tell me a joke then.”

“Oh, I don’t know any good ones.  When we find Aurora, we’ll ask her.  She’ll know some.”

“All right.  Nothing like learning how to swim by jumping in the deep end, huh, Logan?”

“Right.  Without a lesson.”

“Well, no one ever did learn to swim in a turtle pool.”

“What’s a turtle pool?”

“You never had one of those?  One of those little plastic kiddie pools about a foot deep that you fill up with a hose?”

“Plastic?  Kiddie pool?  Hose?”

“Ehh, never mind.  Probably just some stuff that hasn’t been invented yet.  One of these days I really have to organize my files.”

“So … how long until we reach Cordel?” I asked.

“About thirty minutes.  How do you like flying around like this so far?”

“I like it, especially with the bubble shield.”

“Good!  We’ll always fly with it on from now on.  I’m glad you like flying!  I knew you were a flyer when I first saw you!” flashed the board, with a few friendly beeps.

“We’re going to take a little detour, and I think I’ll throw in a few tricks, just to keep things interesting.  Wouldn’t want you to fall asleep or anything!”  

“Oh, I really don’t think you’ll have to worry about …” 

Just at that second, I tried to scream as Lightning shot upward suddenly, but my voice was still somewhat hoarse.  All that came out was some kind of croaking sound.  Then she hung a hard right, shot into a loop with a couple of twists thrown in, and straightened out high above the clouds.  My stomach, however, took a little longer.

“Guh … give me a minute to recover,” I panted.

“Okay.  It’s pretty much a straight trip from here, so we’ll take it easy so you can get used to doing turns and things like that. Of course, you can always count on me to fly, but I thought you’d like to give it a shot yourself.”

By shifting my weight left and right, I was able to make turns.  By leaning forwards or backwards, I could either climb or dive.  I even tried a tentative loop with all the grace of a one–legged stork.

“Hey, not bad!” flashed the message board.  “See, it’s not so hard!” 

“I guess …” I said.

“Logan, I know what you need!  A little attitude!  How about some music?  ‘Cause there isn’t much to see up here.  Just clouds, and when you’ve seen one, you’ve pretty much seen them all.  And there’s nothing like music to boost your confidence!” 

“Music?” I asked, a little surprised.

“Yes.  One of my unsung talents.”

“Hey, Lightning, that was a joke!  Well, kind of, anyway.  I think that’s called a pun.”

“Really?  Well, see, things are looking up already!”

I heard a sound suddenly.  Or sounds, rather, but they were like nothing I had ever heard before.  The music sounded slow, at first, then it picked up pace, until the speed of the music matched the speed of our flying.  It was strangely futuristic, but at the same time, it seemed like I had always known the melody. [When I was originally writing this passage, I had the melody from When in Rome’s “The Promise” in mind.]

There were words sung, too, but in a language that I neither understood nor wanted to understand; somehow, the mystery of the words added to the mystique of the music.  In a way, this is in vain, as my description here will do no justice to the melody, because there are some things that are perhaps impossible to describe in words and are better left unspoken.    

I felt, at that moment, an incredible rush of energy and indescribable exhilaration.  I felt ready to take on the world – or, at least, a dragon or two.  All my fears of flying vanished like the mist of the rainbow behind us. The feeling of gliding through the air with the wind rushing through my hair, sleeves and pant legs flapping back and forth, and the music rushing up to meet my ears was indescribable.  But it is perhaps best compared to that day, long ago, when, as I stood at the top of the hill near the castle, looking out at the landscape around – I let the wind take my hand and lead me to dance.

I later wrote a song for Long Ago Not So Far Away about this part of the book that became the song, “I’ll Fly Away.”  It has two versions, both below – with varying levels of synth and tempo depending on your mood!

Today’s Rocketeer segment is also about flying – the Rocketeer’s rocketpack!

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Today marks the third Rocketeer segment as a part of the podcast.  Below are a few previous episodes about the Rocketeer:

Ep 18 on comics (Dave Stevens)

Ep 53 on rewatching the Rocketeer as an adult

Ep 235 on making the resin miniature Rocketeer

This week, we’re discussing three versions of the rocketpack (in descending order below): 1.) the sliver-purple one with fins from the comics, 2.) the finless silver double barrelled Art Deco one from the movie, and 3.) the silver and purple double barrelled one with fins from the cartoon that came out this past fall.

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The Rocketeer - Meet Kit Secord (Promo) - YouTube

Here are a few design ideas on the gloves and rocketpack from the film, showing the original prototype (closer to Dave Steven’s original drawings), then how it evolved into the double silver bullet shape seen in the film (these come from The Rocketeer Official Movie Souvenir Magazine).

Here are some excerpts from the original comic drawn by Dave Stevens about how the rocket pack was controlled and refueled.  (The images below come from The Rocketeer: The Complete Deluxe Edition, which is unfortunately quite difficult to find now – look on Amazon and eBay for used copies at more reasonable prices).

This little animated .gif is, of course, from the point in the movie where the Rocketeer, not above a little self conscious vanity, asks how he looks.  Peevy, not above a little blunt honesty, says “Like a hood ornament!”  The Rocketeer blasts off for the first time, Peevy gets blown backwards into the hangar, and I get a name for this part of the podcast!

Stay tuned for more Rocketeer gear talk next week!  Stay safe!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

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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 you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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 #232: Making a Thirteenth Hour Shadowbox

Episode #232: Making a Thirteenth Hour Shadowbox

https://archive.org/download/podcast232_202001/Podcast%20232.mp3

This week, we are making a shadowbox, something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time, since I’ve always wanted to create more of a story to put the figures in.  An opportunity to showcase some art at a local art showing presented itself, and not quite knowing how to show my minifigures, the organizer of the event suggested a shadowbox.  Coincidences of coincidences!  This was the chance to experiment with them.  I found two cheaply at Goodwill and came up with a simple scene (that I had already made a picture of back in episode 141) to display.  Here are some pictures of the process:

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A few pictures of the Rocketeer figure I’ve been working on for the past few weeks.  The sculpt is just about done!

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If you haven’t checked out the episode on the CGG podcast on the Rocketeer (including some on the comics and the games), you can check it out here.

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And yes, if you were thinking the Rocketeer in the upper left quadrant is holding something that looks like a Super Soaker 30, look no further to the cut scene below it for more detail.  The one on the lower right is from Broforce, which features a character that plays homage to the Rocketeer.

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The game Dark Void also does the same:

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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 you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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!

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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 #115: Creating “There is Magic Inside”

 

Episode #115: Creating “There is Magic Inside”

https://archive.org/download/Podcast115_201710/Podcast%20115.mp3

Today, we’re going to make a music track for one of the Thirteenth Hour book sequels with a combination of digital and analog technology.  It goes with a part of the story where Aurora, one of the main characters, is just starting to discover that she has the ability to generate magic herself – something that is surprising, wonderful, exciting, and a bit confusing all at the same time.  I was trying to capture that feeling in the music.

I’m using a app called Auxy to make the backing track and adding in a few electric guitar parts as accents.  The track was 95% done prior to adding the guitars, and best of all, I did it all in the palm of my hand when I was doing something else (in this case trying to get my son to sleep by bouncing on a exercise ball – that works wonders, by the way).

I made a previous track with Auxy, “Flight of the Cloudrider” (listen here) or check out the link to the EP and music video below.  You can learn more about Auxy, download a copy to your phone (only iOS so far, I believe – my error on the show), and Henrik Lenberg, the creator of the program, by clicking on the highlighted links.

Here is a youtube tutorial that shows a little about how to use the program:

 

And here are some screenshots from this particular track:

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.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #114: Creating “Mourn of the Midnight Phoenix” Part 2

Episode #114: Creating “Mourn of the Midnight Phoenix” Part 2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast114_201710/Podcast%20114.mp3

Today, we’re finish the track we started in episode #112.  As mentioned, it’s a short atmospheric piece to accompany the third Thirteenth Hour book and centers around Aurora, who has assumed the part time role of someone called “The Midnight Phoenix,” a name generated by the local papers from the legends of old after she unwittingly saves a man while on a brooding nighttime walk above the city’s skyline.  This is not a particularly happy time in her time, and her one real solace is playing a magic lute on the rooftop outside her window, high above the city, allowing her to see the sea, the horizon over which her home lies, and even if she can’t get back there, see an exit to her current trapped state.

Today. we’re finishing the backing track and adding the guitar part in.  In the future, I’ll finish the accompanying artwork, which will likely show her up on a rooftop (Batman style), silhouetted against the sky.

This is the tabulature and chord structure of this short piece:


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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 #112: Creating “Mourn of the Midnight Phoenix” Part 1

Episode #112: Creating “Mourn of the Midnight Phoenix” Part 1

https://archive.org/download/Podcast112_201710/Podcast%20112.mp3

Today, we’re going to create some music together.  It’s a short atmospheric piece to accompany the third Thirteenth Hour book and centers around Aurora, who has assumed the part time role of someone called “The Midnight Phoenix,” a name generated by the local papers from the legends of old after she unwittingly saves a man while on a brooding nighttime walk above the city’s skyline.

At this point, she is supposed to be learning magic, which she can’t really do or control, and she misses the home she created, far away across the Western sea, on her island with her husband Logan.  She supposed to learn magic since her family essentially needs another set of hands to defend against a new mysterious threat.  But all she can really do is make flaming blue fire when she gets stressed or angry.

Here is Aurora doing a meditative exercise to try to help herself control her fire making ability rather let it engulf her (what usually happens, making her kind of a danger to herself and others around her).

Her one real solace is playing a magic lute on the rooftop outside her window, high above the city, allowing her to see the sea, the horizon over which her home lies, and even if she can’t get back there, see an exit to her current trapped state.

I was inspired by the rooftop guitar solo scene from the movie The Crow when thinking of this scene:

You can find the track as “Inferno” on The Crow score by Graeme Revell.


My favorite part of that track was always the slow, melodic intro part, so I was channeling that in marking today’s track.  To be continued in a future episode!

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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 #111: Musician and Aerial Video Producer Brent Simon Comes on the Show Part 3 of 3

Episode #111: Brent Simon – Musician and Aerial Video Producer, Part 3 of 3

https://archive.org/download/Podcast111_201709/podcast%20111.mp3

Two weeks ago, we started our three part Brent Simon series (listen to parts 1 and 2 here), and this week, we wrap up by discussing what Brent has been up to in the last 11 years, which it turns out – quite a bit.  Check out his further forays into filmaking with the Slow Mutants (a short behind the scenes clip here) and his current project, Aerial Focused.

In case you missed the backstory, in the beginning of the summer, during the interview with Jeff Finley (episodes 101 and 102), we talked about Jeff’s making of a little documentary that rocketed to the forefront of Youtube back in 2006 featuring none other than current guest Brent Simon.  In episode 109, we talked about the making of that short film (called “The Brentumentary,”) as well as the media explosion that happened afterwards resulting in a CD of synthesizer tunes.  Brent sent me a number of files of song ideas, demos, and completed tracks that weren’t on the CD.  You can hear part of one (about collecting lottery tickets) at the end of this track.

You can also see Brent’s drone coverage of the 8/21/17 solar eclipse on his Aerial Focused youtube channel here:

 

More aerial footage is on the main Aerial Focused channel here.  The really cool thing about some of the vids there is they aren’t just videos of the aircraft on the ground – they were filmed in the air, so as one aircraft is flying, you can see it in-pursuit-style, filmed by a drone!  There’s also a really cool one of what a motorcross looks like from up high.

If you’re interested in getting into drone or RC planes, the site Brent recommended is called Flitetest; look there for very reasonably priced model planes and drones with walkthrough build videos.  Wish this had been around when I was a kid!

Find more Brent by going to the original source on Jeff Finley’s youtube channel or on FB at https://www.facebook.com/Brent-Simon-355981196166/?ref=br_rs and, believe it or not, on myspace (https://myspace.com/brentsimon/music/songs) – the music still (sometimes) works there.

If you want to see a “live” performance (11 years ago), there’s a clip Jeff put up on his channel of Brent busting out a 20 min set with friends with a number of songs from the CD (not to mention a short breakdancing bit on cardboard, no less):

 

And speaking of which, check out Jeff’s Soundcloud page for a number of new tracks he’s produced since coming on the show at the beginning of the summer.  His latest instrumental chillwave track:

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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!  Thanks for coming on the show, Brent!  It was a pleasure!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #45: Lightning the Hoverboard

Episode #45: Lightning the Magical Hoverboard from The Thirteenth Hour

https://archive.org/download/13thHrEps16On/Podcast%2045.mp3

Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) riding a hoverboard in Back to the Future 2.  Clicking on the picture links back to its source page, which is about how Lexus is supposedly designing a real life hoverboard that we can only hope is a piece of valid journalism.  Anything less would be a cruel joke, people!

The Silver Surfer on his surfboard, courtesy of Marvel and this image’s host site 

ezgif.com-video-to-gif

George Jetson’s collapsible car

ezgif.com-video-to-gif (1)

The intro to Talespin, which had a character with a collapsible gliding jetski

LightningWM

Lightning from The Thirteenth Hour

lightning folding.gif

An animated .gif of Lightning collapsing into a portable package.

The Thirteenth Hour Trailer

Logan riding on Lightning.

logan lightning part2 pic

Lightning’s invisible airshield to protect her rider can be glimpsed here at her nose, where you can see the air currents.

output_B3j4UO

Lightning can expand to fit another passenger.

Created with Microsoft Fresh Paint

Logan and Aurora fly off on Lightning to find their place in the world.  Clicking on this picture takes you to the 80s new wave style song “Searching For Forever,” which is essentially about flying on Lightning.

ifa2

As shown in the picture above and faintly here, when Lightning flies, a rainbow of exhaust is emitted.

Logan's EDC_edited-2

Lightning all folded up (#1 in this picture of Logan’s everyday carry)

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Starving Artist Section: where I talk about making a few bucks on the internets!  This week’s app is Receipthog, which pays you (via Paypal or Amazon gift cards, albeit very slowly) to take pictures of your receipts, which generates points you can eventually cash in.  Learn more here.

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As always, thanks for listening!

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What Would A Thirteenth Hour Game Look Like?

All the reminiscing about past video game making (mis)adventures recently in the podcast with my brother and the accompanying post got me thinking – would it be possible to actually make a game to accompany The Thirteenth Hour?  Given that I originally thought of parts of the book more as moving pictures sequences rather than text suggests there are some parts that could translate well into a game, but I think it might be overly ambitious to try to create the side-scrolling Final Fantasy style RPG I originally envisioned.  It’s no wonder I couldn’t finish that thing.  I can’t even finish a Final Fantasy game someone else has made! 🙂

But since I already have a 2D sprite of Logan flying on his hoverboard, Lightning, it might be possible to create a little one-level game where he’s flying through a 3d landscape, like in the trailer I made:

The Thirteenth Hour Trailer.gif

The player would control him in an over-the-shoulder view, trying to fly above or below obstacles, like sea serpents jumping out of the water or rock formations jutting out of the rocky coast:

There would also need to be a sort of artificial “ceiling,” to keep the player from just flying over everything.  Flying too low would result in a fiery crash (if over the beach) or a watery crash (if over water).  Sea serpents popping up randomly would also preclude simply skimming over the water.  There could even be an evasive maneuver, like a barrel roll, to fit though tight places or avoid the sea serpents.

In order for there to some sense of urgency, each run could be timed.  Logan’s first experience with flying on Lightning in the book occurs when he sets off to find Aurora, so the driving force of the game could be that Logan needs to get to Aurora as quickly as possible, which would be consistent with the actual story.  So a quicker time would be yield a better score.

Other ways to keep gameplay interesting: trying to snag powerups (infinity signs!) that would give Lightning some special ability.  Lightning doesn’t really have equipped weapons in the book, but maybe the powerups could cut seconds off your time or render you invincible to obstacles for a period of time.  Or, they could help you regenerate health, which would be depleted if you bump into something.

I guess, in many ways, this sounds like those endless runner style-games that are so popular for mobile phones.  However, I think the ability to fly keeps it from being entirely rail-driven … at least, the player would hopefully perceive more freedom because of flight (that’s my theory, anyway).  The one thing about those games is that the environments are often randomly generated, giving you limitless replayability.  Programs like Unity give you the ability to make apps for phones, and getting an app on the Google Play store is not very expensive.  It might be a fun little promo item that’s good for quick play on the go.  Plus, since I already have music written for the book, I could just use the soundtrack I have already created.

However, the big obstacle I can see so far is that even if I retaught myself how to use programs like Multimedia Fusion, I don’t think they can do 3d landscapes easily.  I’m sure there might be a way to jury-rig something to create the semblance of 3d, kind of like how we had to jury rig Klik ‘N Play to make side scrolling levels, but I’d need to do more research into it, and I doubt an environment could be randomly generated.  However, that doesn’t necessarily mean this is all for naught.  Just another idea on the backburner until technology catches up to the power of imagination 🙂

If you’re reading this and thinking, “I could do that,” check out the games idea page – feel free to leave suggestions or ideas there as well!

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Work in Progress – New Thirteenth Hour Drawing

Today, I started work on a new picture of Logan from the The Thirteenth Hour flying on Lightning (and doing a backflip while in the air).  I meant to do something like this some time back and even had some very similar mockup animations I created for a The Thirteenth Hour video game I was planning to make (but sadly did not get finished).  This is going back at least ten years, and not surprisingly given how long everything has taken, I’m finally getting to it now 🙂  Not quite done yet – did the hand drawing and coloring today and will do some touching up on the computer.  After sitting sketching, erasing, and coloring much of the day, I must say my shoulders are sore 🙂
2015-09-27 20.16.34  If you’re subscribed to the mailing list (below), you’ll get an advanced copy when it’s done!

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