The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #225: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 3

Episode #225: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 3 

https://archive.org/download/podcast225_201912/Podcast%20225.mp3

This week, I continue work on a ballad written from the perspective of Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour from a passage in the book where our young protagonists are starting to realize that there might be more to their relationship than just friendship.  I’ve been fiddling with adding a beat to the song and was listening to two examples – one by Debbie Gibson (“Lost in Your Eyes”) which adds a beat after a piano intro riff and another by Alphaville (“Forever Young”) which actually has no backing beat at all in the original version until about 1 and a quarter minutes into the song.

 

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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 last winter, 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 #224: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 2 / Rocketeer Theme

Episode #224: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 2 / Rocketeer Theme

https://archive.org/download/podcast224_201911/Podcast%20224.mp3

This week, I continue work on a ballad written from the perspective of Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour from a passage in the book where our young protagonists are starting to realize that there might be more to their relationship than just friendship.  Last week I had a rough draft of the lyrics.  This week, I’m singing the second draft and playing the chords on the keyboard.

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While I was practicing the intro riff, I kept wanting to play the theme from the 1991 movie, The Rocketeer, scored by James Horner.  It’s not surprising since it’s one of my favorite soundtracks and one of my most favorite movies of all time, though I’ve never tried figuring out the intro theme, which is played partly on the piano if I’m not mistaken.

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I’m playing it in the key of C, just like “The Last Dance,” which is probably why the two kept getting mixed up in my head, even though they don’t sound much alike.

Speaking of the Rocketeer, if you can find a copy of the Nov 2019 magazine, Fine Scale Modeler, you can find a picture of this most excellent painted Rocketeer figurine!

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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 last winter, 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 #223: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 1

Episode #223: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 1

https://archive.org/download/podcast223_201911/Podcast%20223.mp3

This week, I start work on a new ballad written from the perspective of Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour from this passage in the book where our young protagonists are starting to realize that there might be more to their relationship than just friendship (The Thirteenth Hour is occasionally told from multiple perspectives; bolded black portions of the text below indicate a perspective change from Aurora to Logan):

I hadn’t seen much of Logan the whole dance; he’d been whisked away by an overzealous female flamingo as soon as the dance had started. The last I saw, he was listening to the animated hoots and squawks of the backflipping chimpanzee after they’d had a backflip contest which ended in a tie.

The more I looked for him, the harder he was to find. I couldn’t help feeling a twinge of jealousy. After all, we’d come here together. We should have at least once dance. For some reason, that seemed important … I couldn’t explain, but I hoped he would understand.

The animal band suddenly announced that this would the last song, and when the crowd protested, they promised to make it extra–long and slow. Great. These were the kind of songs that required a partner. And if you were a girl and didn’t have one, like me, you either stood marooned on the floor, awkwardly waiting for someone to ask you to dance or retreated to the sidelines. I looked around for awhile but could not find Logan. As I sighed and turned to walk to the side, suddenly he was right there, alone. Among all the faces swimming around my eyes, I saw only his. He didn’t ask if I wanted to dance; he just took my hand, and we joined in the crowd.

“There’s something …” we both said at precisely the same instant. And then we both laughed. “… that I wanted to tell you,” we both finished.

There were a few seconds of silence. I felt like there was an invisible wall that my words had to get over … if I could get them over that barrier, everything would be fine. But I couldn’t do it, at least not yet. Finally I gave a sheepish grin and a sideways nod that said “maybe you better go first.”

“Well, back when I was talking to the unicorn – you know, the Lord of the Earth, he offered to see into my future. And the fortune said in the very near future I’d be married. Can you believe it? Can you imagine me, married?”

I thought for a second. There were a couple of places I could go from there, but I chose the semi–safe route. “I think I can, but … what made you think of that just now?”

“Well, I really wanted to tell you at the baths. But then we got interrupted. And then, at dinner, there was so much going on, and I kinda forgot. And then I saw you just now and, I dunno, that’s what I thought of. I don’t know why, I guess.”

“Did the Lord say to whom?”

“No, he didn’t say.”

“Didn’t or wouldn’t?”

“Wouldn’t. I did try asking.”

“You must have been surprised. You sound surprised.”

“I was. I just never really thought about it before. Maybe it would be nice, if you found the right person, but finding that person … I dunno, I wouldn’t even know where to start.”

He wasn’t taking the bait, and I couldn’t really blame him. It was kind of a long shot. Guys weren’t great with these kinds of things, anyway. Still, it never hurt to try. “You really think it would be so hard to find the right person?”

“Well, how many girls have I really known?” I shrugged and laughed, looking down at Aurora’s feet. “I mean, who would I marry, you?”

Ouch …

I regretted it the moment I said it. I’d been joking, but hadn’t meant it to come out like that. If there was any girl I did have feelings for, Aurora certainly would’ve been the one, but to marry someone, you had to love them, didn’t you? I still didn’t really know what that was. There was an awkward silence. I laughed a little and felt like an idiot. Aurora laughed, too, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should have just kept my mouth shut.

It was alright, and I said so. Like I said, it was a long shot, and even I didn’t understand the weird mess of feelings inside. But I was forced at that moment to admit that they were there. Things were changing, and I was falling.

“ … but you said that you had something to say, too?” Logan asked.

I just shook my head and looked down at the spinning dance floor. It made me dizzy, and I looked back up at Logan. He was just tall enough so I had to look up a little to meet his gaze but not so tall that I couldn’t rest my head on his shoulder, if the time were right for that. I didn’t, though. Instead, I looked into his eyes but could not tell what he was thinking. I did my best to smile, and we danced that way until the song ended.

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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 last winter, 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 #219: A Thirteenth Hour Piano Medley

Episode #219: A Thirteenth Hour Piano Medley

https://archive.org/download/podcast219_201910/Podcast%20219.mp3

This week, I recorded a session after happening on a grand piano at a hotel this past week. I tried to play a bunch of Thirteenth Hour song riffs continuously, kind of like how old musicals used to do a medley as the credits rolled.

I stopped the recording in the middle since a gentleman stopped to ask what the song was and to say he’d liked it (thanks, mystery gentleman, it was The Thirteenth Hour theme!). I’m generally horrendous at self promotion in day to day life.But, I suppose I should probably work on it more consistently. So you’ll notice a few new things this episode – a standardized outro with reminders of social media and other presences as well as a virtual tip jar courtesy of www.ko-fi.com.

The track I started a few weeks ago, “The Skipping Stone” is done and available at https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/track/the-skipping-stone

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished last winter, 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 #218: “The Skipping Stone” and Minifigure Updates

Episode #218: “The Skipping Stone” and Minifigure Updates

https://archive.org/download/podcast218_201910/Podcast%20218.mp3

This week, I’m wrapping up the track from last week, “The Skipping Stone” as well as a few updates on the minifigures that I’ve been working on for the past year or so.  All the nonpainted ones are packed up and ready to go.  Here are a preliminary shots!

I’m still working on the painted ones:

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The finalized track for “The Skipping Stone” will be up on bandcamp soon (once I make some cover art).

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished last winter, 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 #217: Musical Interlude – Thirteenth Hour Reading Set to “The Skipping Stone”

Episode #217 Musical Interlude – Thirteenth Hour Reading Set to “The Skipping Stone”

https://archive.org/download/podcast217_201910/Podcast%20217.mp3

This week, I’m reading from a short excerpt from The Thirteenth Hour sent to a draft of a music track I just wrote to score this particular passage. It was done on the iOS app, Auxy, and was meant to be an ambient, introspective instrumental piece. Because skipping stones feature in the excerpt a few times, I tried to find synthesizer effects that sounded like splashes of water.

The man from the Army was already waiting at the doorway. The Army man looked a little surprised when he saw me, possibly because of my height. He stood outside in the hallway while I “got my things in order.” But there was really nothing more to do, and I was just stalling for time.

Aurora stood in front of me, waiting as I fumbled with the knot on the bundle that held my belongings: a spare set of underpants, a few pairs of (holey) socks, and my two best skipping stones. They were both smooth and flat, but one was sandy colored and the other dark blue. The sandy one I had found a long time ago on a shallow river bottom. It was just the right size and weight, and despite numerous throws and temporary losses, I had somehow always managed to recover it. The dark blue one had been Aurora’s. She made me take it. Like mine, it was of perfect shape and size except that there was even a little notch on one corner that you could fit your finger in to put more spin on the stone as you threw it. She had been delighted to find it, and we both knew it was special. Special things have a way of falling out of your hands when you least expect it, but she always found it again and said it brought good luck. When said she wanted me to have it, I protested relentlessly, saying that if she gave it away, what would bring her good luck now? She gently but firmly closed my hands over it, and that was the end of that.

When I was younger, one of my favorite storybooks in the orphanage library had a picture in it that I’ll always remember. It was about a little bear leaving home to go to school for the first time. Before the little bear left, the mama bear looked down, held her son’s shoulders with her paws, saying, “Be brave now,” and kissed his forehead. I had never seen a bear, had no idea whether they could talk, if they wore clothes, if went to school, or if they kissed like people did. But that’s what Aurora did just then. After Mrs. Brunscomb, she certainly didn’t need to straighten out my collar or comb my hair, but she did kiss my head, and said, “Well, time to go. You’ll be brave now, I know you will.”

It did kind of make me feel like a kid, but then, in many ways, I still was one. I’d even had to promise myself that I wouldn’t cry, that I’d make a good showing at least until I got outside. After that, all bets were off, but as long as I could make it till I was alone, everything would be alright. So over and over, I repeated to myself the line that the orphanage nurse always used when a boy came in with an injury. “Come on now. Be strong. Real men don’t cry.” And I really wanted to be a real man, but I’d had precious few role models to go by.

When I looked up at Aurora, there were big tears rolling down her cheeks. She gave me a sad little smile, and that was it for me; I couldn’t help it. I tried a trick that never really works–I opened my eyes really wide, looking around the room. I tried to smile back, failed, and turned around quickly.

“You all set there?” asked the Army recruiter. “Don’t look back. Say, what kinda place is this anyway? I didn’t pay any attention when I walked in. Seems kinda depressing. Too dark for me.”

“It’s an orphanage,” I said softly.

The man opened his mouth as if he were going to say something, then shut it. He was quiet for a minute, then said, “Then who were those people back there? I thought the old lady was your mom and that gal was your big si …”

“Just a friend,” I cut in quickly.

“Shit, sorry, kid, I didn’t realize. Well, we’ll make a big man outta you, don’t you worry,” he said, slapping my shoulder; I nearly took a tumble onto the stone floor.

We reached a big cart attached to four horses. He opened a door in the back. “Get in, and make yourself comfortable,” he said, shaking his head with a laugh.

I looked in the cart, jammed packed with men on wooden benches. They were all quiet, looking tired and depressed. A few of them waved a little and tried to make some room, but there wasn’t any to spare, so I sat on the dirty floor in between the legs of the men and their bags. The recruiter closed the door, locked it, and disappeared from sight. The cart had no windows except for a small one by the door, letting in a little sunlight.

From my seat on the floor, I could see our window–Aurora’s and mine–on the second floor. I strained to get up to see if she was there but could not move. Suddenly, just when the cart began to move slowly forward, I saw her. She opened the window, leaned her elbows on the sill, and looked out.

My hand closed over the skipping stone she had given me; it felt cool and solid against my hand, as if it would always stay the same. I pulled my knees in, wrapping my arms around, trying to hide my head like I had done on that day, so many years ago, when I’d met Aurora, sitting on my new bed, wondering where I was. But this time, she wasn’t there.

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished last winter, 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 #213: Musical Interlude – I Try to Finish a Chiptune Track I Started Years Ago!

Episode #211: Musical Interlude – I Try to Finish a Chiptune Track I Started Years Ago!

https://archive.org/download/podcast213_201909/Podcast%20213.mp3

This week, I’m finishing a track I started several years ago.  When a sibling of one of my friends got engaged, I said I’d make a music track for them to commemorate the occasion.  And then … well, fast forward a few years.  Still not done!  All excuses aside, today is the day.  I’m keeping my promise and finishing it.  It’s made with Auxy, like the track I finished last week.  The draft (90-95% done) plays at the end of the episode.

In the meantime, this page formerly had what I affectionately dubbed a “starving artist” section on little side hustles you could do (mostly on the internet, often with a phone) to make a few bucks here and there, often in gift cards.  Well, now you can listen to this show (as well as other podcasts) and get paid to do so!  Check out https://www.podcoin.com/ to listen to the show and start earning points that you can redeem for gift cards (Amazon, Target, Starbucks, etc) or donations to a number of charities.  Use the code “Thirteen” when you sign up to get 300 extra points.  The Thirteen Hour Podcast is now on BONUS this week, so you can earn more than normal (1.5x).

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, 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.

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.

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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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