The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #364: Musical Interlude – Creating “I’m Here, You’re Not”

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #364: Musical Interlude – Creating “I’m Here, You’re Not”

https://archive.org/download/podcast-364/Podcast%20364.mp3

This week, I’m making one last track for the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack album.  Just when I think it’s done, I think of another track I want to make.  I think that’s because I really do think of all these tracks as accompaniments to various sections in the books.  The nice thing about that is once you find a central theme (e.g. elements of The Thirteenth Hour theme is one), you can repeat and vary it throughout depending on the needs of the scene.  This one goes along with a short segment from The Thirteenth Hour where Logan meets his crewmates again in a dream:

For awhile, all was dark, and I could hear nothing. Then the familiar elements of my recurring nightmare aboard the ship came into focus. But this time, I wasn’t afraid.

And there before me, were all seven members of my crew, smiling, looking down as I lay in my bed. It was like I was in the hospital, recovering from an injury, and they’d stopped by, flowers and get–well cards in hand, to wish me well.

“Guys?” I ventured. “You’re … okay?”

“We are now,” Jake said softly, laying a hand on my arm. The other men nodded. I looked for traces of resentment or anger in their faces, but I saw none.

“I’m sorry, guys, I don’t know what to say … I …”

“It’s okay,” they said.

“You’re not mad?”

“Why would we be mad?” Ben asked.

“I … I dunno. I’m here, you’re not … it just seemed like it should have been the other way around.”

“But it wasn’t,” said Phil, shrugging. “We’ve been watching, the whole time, and in some ways, we’re glad it’s you, and not us,” he said, laughing. The others nodded.

“We’re … we’re really proud of you,” Jake said. “The cards were stacked against us from the beginning. That asshole, Darian.” Other nodded vigorously. “We’ve been amazed you’ve made it this far. I certainly don’t think I could have, not alone.” More head nods.

I wasn’t sure what to say. “Thanks,” I said finally. “I’m glad we could meet again.”

“Well, we’ve been trying to get in contact with you as soon as we could, but … it never quite worked until now.”

The nightmares. “I’ve been having the same nightmare over and over since the ship went down. It always ends the same way.”

“Well, now you know how it ended. Here. Today. Now.”

It felt as if a weight had begun to be lifted from my chest.

The track we’re making today is basically a slow reworking of The Thirteenth Hour theme, similar to what I did with Empty Hands and the meditative theme that became the music video of pixelated Logan flying through the clouds.  This track is most similar to the latter but won’t have the angelic accents that that track ended up with.  I’d like to give it a more somber tone to fit with the nature of the passage above so will be thinking about which sounds would best pair with the base layer I made this week.  I was thinking of something haunting, kind of like the sounds of a Theremin, but am not sure I can make that with my midi keyboard.  But I may be able to find something close.  We shall see!  Stay tuned!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #346: Musical Interlude – Finishing “Homecoming” – a Slow, Introspective Synth Track

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #346: Musical Interlude – Finishing “Homecoming” – a Slow, Introspective Synth Track

https://archive.org/download/podcast-346/Podcast%20346.mp3

This week, I’m working on the last piece in the upcoming second Thirteenth Hour soundtrack.  The track, called “Homecoming” is an incidental piece of music I made back in the summer but wasn’t sure how to finish.  But today, I’m wrapping it up by adding two additional layers – a short melody for the “verses” using a xylophone sound (to invoke the feeling of nostalgia/childhood) as well as a choral vocal overlay.  The draft plays at the end of the episode.   A few pictures from part of the book that inspired this piece:

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Next week, we’re going to do another Q and A episode!  If you have questions or things you’d like to share, feel free to email me them at writejoshuablum@gmail.com.

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #312 and Like a Hood Ornament #36: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 16

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #312 and Like a Hood Ornament #36: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 16

 
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Today, we are again working on the start of a new music track, this time with the iOS app Auxy (laying down the backing percussion and some notes in the verses) as well as watching the Rocketeer cartoon episode number 16, one of my kids’ favorites.  Some pictures from the episode … 

 

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I don’t know if this was written intentionally, but the part where Kit and Valerie go back and forth about stealing / borrowing a statue remind me of the part in the 1991 movie where Cliff and Peevy do the same thing (though the statue they “borrow” if of Charles Lindburgh, not the Rocketeer). 

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It’s hard to see in the above screenshot, but the dinero Kit and Tesh are holding in this scene has Rocketeer helmets on it where the Presidential head usually is 🙂

Lastly, about a year ago, there was a tragic explosion in Beirut, Lebanon (the country where half of Kit’s family comes from).  Things had been bad for some time, but the explosion and COVID really have done a number on the people of Lebanon.  Last year and recently, I made little posts on Twitter about it, mainly to raise awareness in a positive light (things on Twitter seem to have a habit of turning negative / political very quickly).  As I mentioned there, although Kit’s obviously not a real person, if she were real, she would be trying to help in some way, and if it’s one thing the world needs more of right now, it’s more everyday people who embrace their inner “heart of a hero,” just like our friends, Cliff and Kit.

When I think of those sentiments, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from another high flying aviator, astronaut Ellison Onizuka (RIP).

“… the people who make this world run, whose lives can be termed successful, whose names will go down in the history books, are not the cynics, the critics, or the armchair quarterbacks.

They are the adventurists, the explorers, and doers of this world. When they see a wrong or problem, they do something about it. When they see a vacant place in our knowledge, they work to fill that void.

Rather than leaning back and criticizing how things are, they work to make things the way they should be. They are the aggressive, the self-starters, the innovative, and the imaginative of this world …

Your vision is not limited by what your eye can see, but by what your mind can imagine. Many things that you take for granted were considered unrealistic dreams by previous generations. If you accept these past accomplishments as commonplace then think of the new horizons that you can explore …

Make your life count – and the world will be a better place because you tried.”

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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 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!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #311 and Like a Hood Ornament #35: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 15 with Production Coordinator Esther Gonzalez Murray

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #311 and Like a Hood Ornament #35: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 15 with Production Coordinator Esther Gonzalez Murray

Today, Esther Gonzalez Murray rejoins the show (she was last on for episode 294) to watch and discuss one of her favorite episodes.  Both of the segments that make up this episode are a lot of fun.  The show has really hit its stride by this point, as just about all the characters and villains have been introduced at least once, so even though each episode is generally meant to stand alone, there is some collective sense of history at this point that is nice.  

Some pictures from the episode … the first two involve a plot where the rocketpack is malfunctioning and gets captured by The Great Orsino (Cliff’s NY Adventure reference), who covers it for his stage act.   His assistant Deany, takes control of it for a short time and uses it to do good, but, ever helpful, not before first helping Orsino try to fly it in circles by holding him down with a tether (reference from the film where Cliff and Oeevy try something similar with a Charles Lindbergh statue).

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Thanks, Esther, for rejoining the show!

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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 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!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #267: Wrapping up “Once Upon a Dream” and Creative Community 3 – Start of Thirteenth Hour Arts Patreon

Episode #267: Wrapping up “Once Upon a Dream” and Creative Community 3 – Start of Thirteenth Hour Arts Patreon

https://archive.org/download/podcast-267/Podcast%20267.mp3

This week, I’m wrapping up “Once Upon a Dream” and discussing more on the idea of creating a creative arts collective.  Last week, I created a private Facebook group called Thirteenth Hour Arts – For Creators, Not Haters.  Many thanks to all who joined!

This week, I’m launching a Patreon of the same name and idea – a place to share in the creative process, though more specific to things related to the creation of The Thirteenth Hour books, music, podcast, pictures, figures, and the like, as well all the other things that have influenced those properties.  Hopefully, people will be able to share what they do as well so we can all build off each others’ creative energy.

You can go to the Pateron by clicking the picture below of going here:

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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 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!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #266: Adding Vocals to “Once Upon a Dream” and Creative Community 2

Episode #266: Adding Vocals to “Once Upon a Dream” and Creative Community 2

https://archive.org/download/podcast-266/Podcast%20266.mp3

This week, I’m adding vocals to “Once Upon a Dream” and discussing more on the idea of creating a creative arts collective.  To start, I ended up creating a private Facebook group called Thirteenth Hour Arts – For Creators, Not Haters.

Here’s the premise I’ve copied from my inaugural post there:

Welcome to The Thirteenth Hour Arts Collective – a place to create, not hate!

There are so many ways to be creative in the world. Although I publicly create books, music, and toys for The Thirteenth Hour stories, those are informed by a number of other things, like 80s films, new wave music, martial arts, dance, and so forth.

I’m sure you have or had many things in your own life that are kind of the same. Please share them here – you may inspire someone else (or yourself) to make time and space for creative pursuits!

When Logan’s hoverboard flies in The Thirteenth Hour, it emits a cloud of rainbow colored smoke.  There were rainbows all over the place in the 80s (Rainbow Brite, Skittles, Reading Rainbow, etc), and if not exactly rainbows, plenty of kids’ shows used the idea of different colors coming together to represent strength or unity through diversity and/or teamwork (Voltron, Captain Planet, etc).  Rainbows encourage us to look off into the distance, towards that ephemeral spot where the rainbow ends.  To me, they have always represented hope and possibility for the future, so I’m using them as a symbol for this group to represent creativity, especially the diversity of creative pursuits and people that practice them in hopes that it can be something we all share in and benefit from.

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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 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!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #265: Continuing the Recording Process for “Once Upon a Dream,” Magnet Dolls, and Creative Community

Episode #265: Continuing the Recording Process for “Once Upon a Dream,” Magnet Dolls, and Creative Community

https://archive.org/download/podcast-265/Podcast%20265.mp3

This week, I’m continuing to record the backing tracks for “Once Upon a Dream” – the solo, the chorus, and so forth.  Next will be the vocals, the outro riffs, and maybe a few electric guitar accents here and there.

Speaking of which, I thought it might be a nice thing to add some of the magnet dolls I talked about recently as part of the special edition of the Once Upon a Dream LP.  Here are the magnet dolls, by the way, of Logan and Aurora plus all their stuff:

magnet doll Logan and Aurora sheetIn the latter part of the podcast, I talk about the idea of trying to create some kind of online community to showcase the creative process.  I touch on that in many of these podcasts, and I’ve been thinking about trying to help people showcase the creative things they do in their own lives.  In may ways, that’s one of the messages of The Thirteenth Hour – creating the world you want to inhabit.  You may have noticed that on my Instagram posts, I have little emoticons before the post, kind of like these:  👾🎤📖🎸🍓🎨🕹🏹🙋🏽‍♀️🤸🏼‍♂️🌈🎭🎬

I’ve organized the different kinds of art types by sense, more or less, to showcase them

Sight

🎨 – visual art (e.g. paintings, illustrations, sketches, sculptures …)

🕹- digital worlds

🎬 – films

📖 – stories

 

Sound

🎤 – audio entertainment (e.g. podcasts, audiobooks …)

🎸 – music

 

Taste / Smell

🍓- food, gardens

 

Touch

⚒- tools made of metal, wood, plastic, ceramic …

🪑- furniture

🏕- places to live

📟 – electronics

💍 – jewelry

🧣- clothing

🧸- toys

 

Movement

🏹 – safety, confidence, inner peace (e.g. through martial arts disciplines)

🤸🏼‍♂️- movement, health (e.g. dance, gymnastics …)

 

Mind

🙋🏽‍♀️- knowledge (e.g. through teaching)

🎭 – characters (e.g. acting)

👾 – memory

👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 – community

🌈 – hope and possibility, freedom of expression

Especially in 2020, when there is so much turmoil in the world, we could all use a little positivity to bring out the better parts of humanity – our desire to explore and create – rather than human drama and politics.

I’ve been thinking about creating a Facebook group for this for awhile or perhaps a Patreon community to do this.  What do you think?

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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 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!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #264: Starting the Recording Process for “Once Upon a Dream” and Custom Minifigure Making

Episode #264: Starting the Recording Process for “Once Upon a Dream” and Custom Minifigure Making

https://archive.org/download/podcast-264/Podcast%20264.mp3

This week, I’m working up and wrapping up few concurrent projects – starting the recording of the backing track for “Once Upon a Dream” discussed last on episode 261 and finishing up a little “kitbashed” minifigure of Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour discussed a bit last episode. The magnet dolls discussed last episode are in the editing process, so I’ll be printing those out soon!

magnet doll clothes

One of Aurora’s costumes is this one from a picture in the book:

I’ve been working on a custom miniature of Aurora in this outfit made from a few different Wonder Woman mini figures.

I ended up using parts from all three different verions of these little Wonder Women to make the figure, plus some Apoxie Sculpt clay and paint.  These are the pics from last week. Here’s what the finished figure looks like:

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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 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!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #254: Welcome Back AC to Discuss Weird Science! (John Hughes Part 2/2)

Episode #254: Welcome Back AC to Discuss Weird Science! (John Hughes Part 2/2)

https://archive.org/download/podcast-254/Podcast%20254.mp3

On this week’s show, Adam from AC Toy Design comes back on the show to talk about another John Hughes films – last week, we discussed Pretty in Pink (see episode 253) and, this week, we’re talking about Weird Science.

Weird Science” — Review – AHSneedle

This film is probably John Hughes’ only real fantasy (sexually frustrated teenage boys create a woman a la Frankenstein or Pygmalion).  So – basically, a pretty guy-centric film that has many things in it that would never get it made today.  Still – despite all that, it has some great scenes that still hold up today.  Check out these:

Look at how Lisa deals with Gary’s parents (who are your typical John Hughes parents, meaning that they are clueless).

A great scene with Vince Townsend Jr. (RIP)

“The Circle” by Max Carl is playing in the background with the boys wrap up the crazy party with their respective girls.  The Weird Science soundtrack is another great soundtrack.

The scene “The Circle” is playing in always stuck with me.  There was a little homage to it in this scene from The Thirteenth Hour.  The main character, Logan, is trying to express similar sentiments to his best friend, Aurora, during a difficult point in their lives (they are both basically imprisoned):

The next day, a clanging sound woke me from my dream. I looked around, not quite
aware what was real and what was still a dream.

“Chow time,” came the gruff voice of a guard, opening the door of my cell. Aurora stood
behind him, carrying a basket. I noticed she was wearing a new dress. The guard put a meaty hand on the basket and pulled, but Aurora quietly but firmly held onto it. Then the guard let go, peeked inside, and grunted something that sounded like, “Huh. Alright. You can go in. But no funny business.”

“Hear that, Aurora? No funny business,” I said, yawning, wiping the sleepiness out of
my eyes.

Aurora just shook her head and gave me one of her half smiles. “Always the joker.”

We sat against the wall, looking up at the sunlight coming through the small window by
the ceiling as we ate the meal in the basket. When we had finished, we continued sitting there, and I guess a little smile crept over my face because after awhile Aurora asked, “What are you thinking?”

“I feel lucky.”

[POV change to Aurora temporarily] I laughed a little. “Lucky?” I asked, smiling at Logan.

“Well, you remember that first day we met?” Logan asked.

I nodded.

“What would’ve happened if it hadn’t been you who’d found me that day and taken me
into the orphanage? What if it’d been someone else? We might not have gotten to know each other very well at all. Was it fate that we met? The Dreamweaver said he tries to just let things happen. So was it just chance?”

I shrugged, raising my eyebrows and smiling while cocking my head a little to the side to
avoid the sun’s glare.

“You know, even if I could get to know all the women in the world, one by one, like in a
giant, living catalog …” Logan started.

“Yeah,” I interrupted, “quote–unquote ‘get to know.’”

“Alright, whatever,” he continued, exasperated, “I suck at talking. But what I’m trying
to say is that … if … if I were given the opportunity to create an ideal woman, like take some of this, mix it with some of that …”

“Oh, like a recipe.”

“Yes. I mean, no! Dammit, I knew what I wanted to say in my head, and it’s coming out
all wrong.” He started again. “What I’m trying to say is … that if I could pick the perfect one … for me, she’d be … just like you. I think I always knew that. It’s just that … it took a long time for me to be able to tell you. So yes, in so many words, I feel lucky.”

I was actually a little stunned. Here’s a little something that took me a long time to figure
out. If you complement someone soon after you meet him, you sound like a kiss–ass. But if you wait, get to know the person, and then complement him, your words carry so much more weight because then the person knows you’re sincere. In all the time I’d known Logan, this awkward, limping, borderline aphasic complement was probably the first, totally serious, non–joking one he’d ever given me. And it meant more to me than any flowing, articulate, greeting–card style prose could or ever would. My face grew hot, and I felt all warm inside. And now it was my turn to be tongue–tied.

“I … I feel lucky, too,” I said, finally, resting my head on his arm.

[Logan from here on out] Then the guard walked by and signalled that it was time for Aurora to go.

I thought of something. “New dress?”

“Oh, I found some old clothes lying around in my room. This one fits a little better.”

“Do you still have your grey dress? The one you got from the elves?”

“Sure, why?”

“Can I borrow it?”

She laughed loudly and asked, “Whatever would you want it for?”

“To use as a pillow. I don’t have one.”

I wasn’t sure, but I thought I saw Aurora blushing. “Sure, I mean … I … could just bring
you a real pillow. I have an extra. But I’ll see,” Aurora started, looking down, “what I can put together, and I’ll get it to you next time I can slip away.” Then she looked back up at me and said, “To say that your cell needs furnishing is probably the understatement of the year. And we’ll have to see what we can do about your food service. Water with a side of algae just doesn’t cut it these days.”

The guard grunted something and led Aurora out. Through the bars, she looked back and
whispered softly into my ear, “I love you, Logan.”

“I love you, too,” I said, reminding myself again of a debt I owed, a debt I wouldn’t mind
paying for the rest of my life, to luck, to dreams and wishes, to Dragons’ Eyes and grey dresses, to love and other things.

I ended up writing a song to go with this particular scene for the soundtrack called “Love, Grey Dresses, and Other Things” that expresses similar sentiments:

Look for more John Hughes in the future!

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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 #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 #175: Musical Interlude – The Thirteenth Hour Theme in Piano Part 3

Episode #175: Musical Interlude – The Thirteenth Hour Theme in Piano Part 3

https://archive.org/download/Podcast175_201812/Podcast%20175.mp3

Way back in episode 130, I took one part of the main Thirteenth Hour theme and created a short electric guitar part to accompany an introspective part of the book, and two weeks ago, I took the first verse of the theme and made it a slow guitar part.  The last 2 weeks (eps 173 and 174), I slowed down the tempo and eliminated notes to get at what we have this week.   These two IG posts show a little of the progression:

I imagined this track will eventually fit a contemplative scene in one of The Thirteenth Hour stories, especially an upcoming short storycalled “Empty Hands” set during the time of The Thirteenth Hour, so much so that that’s what I’m going to call this track. You can see little clips of past iterations on the soundtrack IG page as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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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 #174: Musical Interlude – The Thirteenth Hour Theme in Piano Part 2

Episode #174: Musical Interlude – The Thirteenth Hour Theme in Piano Part 2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast174_201812/Podcast%20174.mp3

Way back in episode 130, I took one part of the main Thirteenth Hour theme and created a short electric guitar part to accompany an introspective part of the book, and two weeks ago, I took the first verse of the theme and made it a slow guitar part.  Last week was a variation on those episodes where I took the same theme and reworked it on the piano to be even slower.  This week is very similar, though it’s become kind of an exercise in minimalism – how many notes can I eliminate and still retain the essence of the theme’s melody?  In addition, I’ve been making the tempo slower and slower to fit better with the introspective mood I imagine this track will eventually fit (I’m picturing a contemplative scene in one of The Thirteenth Hour stories, where one of the main characters is lonely or contemplates something weighty, like the state of the world, their place in the universe, etc).  You can see little clips on the soundtrack IG page as well as this podcast’s FB page.  Next week, I’ll have a better idea what the final thing will look like, and we’ll probably add the backing layer to give it more depth.

In this episode, I include two excerpts from instrumental tracks I was using as inspiration: “A Private Showing” by Stephen Hague and John Musser (from Some Kind of Wonderful, discussed in episode 154), and “Tommib” by Squarepusher (from Lost in Translation).

The track entitled “A Private Showing” scores the art museum scene above.  It is found at around 6:29 in the first clip.

“Tommib” plays during this scene in Lost in Translation where the lonely main character, a neglected young wife accompanying her husband on a working trip to Japan, contemplates the state of her life (I guess) while the track fills in the gaps.  Check out this page for more information on how the track may have been created,

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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 #173: Musical Interlude – The Thirteenth Hour Theme in Piano Part 1

Episode #173: Musical Interlude – The Thirteenth Hour Theme in Piano Part 1

https://archive.org/download/Podcast173_201812/Podcast%20173.mp3

Way back in episode 130, I took one part of the main Thirteenth Hour theme and created a short electric guitar part to accompany an introspective part of the book, and last week, I took the first verse of the theme and made it a slow guitar part.  This week is very similar, though I’m using a piano for the same effect.   You can see little clips on the soundtrack IG page as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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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 #172: Musical Interlude – Electrifying The Thirteenth Hour Theme Part 2

Episode #172: Musical Interlude – Electrifying The Thirteenth Hour Theme Part 2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast172_201811/Podcast%20172.mp3

Way back in episode 130, I took one part of the main Thirteenth Hour theme and created a short electric guitar part to accompany an introspective part of the book.  Unlike the track we created then, the track uses a much more subdued effect – very little gain, more minimalistic, quieter – for a different feel, though the process was about the same.  You can see little clips of the guitar part on the soundtrack IG page as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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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 #158: Reflections on Rewatching Spacecamp

Episode #154: Reflections on Rewatching Spacecamp

https://archive.org/download/Podcast158_201808/Podcast%20158.mp3

This week, I decided to take on one of my all time favorite movies as a kid, Spacecamp (the reason for my wanting to be an astronaut for almost 10 years and going to the actual camp in Huntsville, AL three times), and rewatch it to see what it looked like through adult eyes.  It was a mixed experience, as I expected and talked about on the show, but overall, when viewed as a fantasy, I still think the movie is a lot of fun.  Yes, the whole reason the Space Campers end up in space is contrived, but then so were the plots of most 80s sci fi movies.  I still enjoyed the teen movie elements (it was probably the first actual 80s teen movie I watched without actually realizing it), the characters, the music by John Williams (which, every time I hear it out of context, takes me right back to being a ten year old looking forward to the movie as the opening credits rolled), and the dialogue.  There are still some downright funny scenes.  And that’s how I view it all these years later – a lighthearted 80s sci fi teen comedy with elements of a thriller rather than something akin to a training film for future astronauts (which is probably closer to what I thought at age 10 – hence the fact I can still recite verbatim whole sections of dialogue).

Like a lot of 80s films, Spacecamp featured an ensemble cast with the teamwork approach (i.e. each person on the team has their own specialty), which of course fits for a space mission movie.  You may recognize a number of the actors here from their roles in other films.

And just in case you’re wondering, there is an adult Space Camp that you can do over a weekend.  And a family camp were you can go with your kid.  Just sayin’.

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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 Hourplaylist 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 #154: Reflections on Rewatching Some Kind of Wonderful

Episode #154: Reflections on Rewatching Some Kind of Wonderful

https://archive.org/download/Podcast154_201807/Podcast%20154.mp3

This week, I decided to take on one of my all time favorite movies, Some Kind of Wonderful.  I’d been awhile since I watched the whole thing, start to finish, and given that I’ve done a bunch of these retrospective rewatchings over the last few years for this show, I’ve mostly gotten over the worry that I’ll tarnish a rose-colored, nostalgic view of a film I enjoyed as a kid when looked at through adult eyes.  In many cases, like this one, my views are somewhat different, but thus far, the basic elements that drew me to films such as these years ago have not changed much despite the years in between.

Of all the 80s teen movies, for some reason, this one was always my favorite.  In some ways, it ironically also feels like the most grown-up of John Hughes’ 80s teen movies, and from what I’ve read, was his last one of this type. Most people know of The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Pretty in Pink, but for some reason, this one is not quite as well known.  It does sound like it quite difficult to write, and the backstory behind the making of the film is quite interesting to read if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

I identified with the main character, Keith, as a teenager and remember thinking it would be great (and probably too good to be true) if your best friend also turned out to be your significant other.  (I’m guessing a lot of guys can identify with that wish, especially if it all happens without you having to, you know, do actual work.)  I loved the way Keith and Watts bantered back and forth, and it’s probably one of the main reasons why the main characters in The Thirteenth Hour, Logan and Aurora, not only have a similar relationship but come to understand their love for each other in much the same way Keith and Watts do in the movie.

Rewatching it years later, the basic charm of these two still holds, but I found myself appreciating the other characters in the film much more.  Perhaps even more than Keith and Watts.  All in all, I thought Keith’s father, played by John Ashton, was actually a pretty good guy and, in the end, supported his son in the way we can all only hope to support our own children (i.e. the most difficult way – even if we don’t like or agree with what they are doing, we still believe in them, to paraphrase what Keith tells his father.)  I found myself siding a bit more with his father this time around.  I know, I know.  But just a bit.  I found myself wanting to take Keith aside and give him the low-down – forget about high school drama – no one is going to remember or care in ten years.  Don’t blow your college fund on a single date for a girl who you don’t really know and probably won’t appreciate it.  Not fair to you.  Not fair to put that kind of pressure on her.  And, you know, hate to say it, but your old man’s onto something.  He wants you to go to college, I get it.  Make him happy.  He ain’t gonna live forever.  He doesn’t want to be worrying about you when he retires.  So pick a school in a place you can tolerate.  But by all means, pick one that has a good fine arts program so you have the option to major in that if you like.  Once you’re in college, it doesn’t matter!  So few people actually use their college degrees for their actual work, anyway!  Alas, I’m not sure anyone gave Keith this talk (not sure if it would have done much good – what 17 year old wants to hear this kind of stuff?).  But his Dad came sort of close.

john-ashton-some-kind-of-wonderful-photo-GC   John Ashton as Cliff Nelson

I always liked the unlikely pals that Keith meets in morning detention, Duncan and his gang, but appreciated the comic relief Duncan brought to the film much more this time around.  Elias Koteas, who plays Duncan (below), sort of reprises the role as Casey Jones in the first live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film a few years later (1990).

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I love the scene where Keith walks into detention, expecting Amanda, only to be greeting by a bunch of dudes in motorcycle jackets and shades.  The guy above randomly rips a book in half, a scene that still cracks me up to this day.

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Two artists bonding over their works of art – Duncan’s is a vandalized school desk (scratched with a pocket knife) and Keith’s is in his sketchpad (I don’t think we ever see it – probably a picture of Amanda Jones).  Another great short scene.  Duncan, of course, has to break the desk in order to show it to Keith 🙂

img_4212Lea Thompson as Amanda Jones

Speaking of Amanda, I always liked the way the Amanda Jones character was a bit more three dimensional than just phoning it in for her looks, but I liked her a lot more this time around.  She’s no angel, of course – she cuts class and then weasels her way out of detention by sweet talking the driver’s ed teacher and clearly doesn’t have the best taste in friends or boyfriends.  But, hey, no one’s perfect.  She’s portrayed as a human being, flaws and all, and one of the nice things is that she grows.  You get to see her change course at the end of the film, when she decides to learn to make friends and find significant others who like her for who she is, not for who she’s with – a great lesson that everyone needs to learn in some capacity at some point.  Unfortunately, there traditionally aren’t as many of these roles for women – the kinds where it’s seen as a positive for her to stand on her own two feet even if it means outwardly losing face in the eyes of school (mirroring the eyes of society).  This article hints that Lea Thompson pushed for more three dimensionality in her character than the script originally intended.

Speaking of which, this site is a great resource for all kinds of trivia regarding the film, including a copy of the script.  There’s also whole music section.  I mentioned on the @the13thhr.ost instagram page how much I’ve enjoyed the soundtrack over the years, though unfortunately, it really should be a two disc set since there are lots of good songs and instrumental parts not found on the album.   The synth instrumentals were done by Stephen Hague and John Musser, which you can find here as isolated tracks.  Thanks to fans, here’s an instrumental compilation of the score:

The song playing when Amanda and Keith head up to Hardy’s house is Charlie Sexton’s “Beat’s So Lonely,” a great 80s track, also not on the official soundtrack, but a great high note to end on.  Stay tuned for more 80s films as the summer progresses!

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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 Hourplaylist 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 #147: Making The Terminator Theme Part 2

Episode #147: Making The Terminator Theme Part 2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast147_201806/Podcast%20147.mp3

This week, we have one simple goal – adding a guitar parrt to the Terminator theme we started last week.  I experimented with a few different electric guitar effects, and in the end chose two – a quiet one with an echo and one with distortion.  Both are included in the podcast (in that order) – see which you like best!

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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 #146: Making The Terminator Theme Part 1

Episode #146: Making The Terminator Theme Part 1

https://archive.org/download/Podcast146_201805/Podcast%20146.mp3

To piggyback off the last few weeks talking about 80s memories, this week (and probably next), we’ll be making a version of Brad Fiedel’s Terminator theme.  Here’s three version of the main theme – the one from the first film, a slower piano version from the first film, and slow synth string version from T2 – a great example of how a central score can be voiced in different ways to fit different scenes.

I’m actually not sure which key the score is done in since I don’t usually use sheet music, but the version I figured out is in the key of Eb, I think.  I’m not sure I’m using the same syncopated chunking drum beat that the movie theme uses, but the version I’m using in this track uses a low synth bass sound that I originally figured out by hitting a toy hand drum my son was playing with.  Next week, I’ll try to add an electric guitar overlay.  I can’t recall if there are official guitar versions of the theme, but I always thought it’d sound great electrified like that.  Stay tuned for that coming 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 #140: Creating “Aurora’s Lullaby”

Episode #140: Creating “Aurora’s Lullaby”

https://archive.org/download/Podcast140_201804/Podcast%20140.mp3

This week, we’re making a lullaby that was partially written as something to help my children go to sleep.  But it was also a little song that Aurora, from The Thirteenth Hour books, sings to help young children in the orphanage (where they are living as children) go to sleep.  Later in the books, she learns to play the lute and she and her husband (see the cover art) will sometimes play it with him accompanying her on the flute. When Logan is alone later in the story, he will sometimes sing it to himself to remind himself of happier times.

Aurora’s Lullaby

C Am
When the sun goes down and stars appear
C G
Comes a time when you shall hear
Am F
For now it’s time to close your eyes.
G C
And to you, I’ll sing this lullaby.

C Am
Rest your soul, lay your head
C G
The hour’s come to go to bed
Am F
For now it’s time to close your eyes.
G C
And to you, I’ll sing this lullaby.

Solo
E D E C
C D E G G E D
G F E F G C
G F E F G C
C E D C C

C Am
And so the day is done.
C G
Your failures, your kingdoms are won
Am F
For now it’s time to close your eyes
G C
And to you, I’ll sing this lullaby.

Am F
For now it’s time to close your eyes
G C
And to you, I’ll sing this lullaby.
G C
Yes, to you, I will sing this lullaby.

 

It took a few months to finish since I wanted ti try to learn to play the penny whistle for the little instrumental break in the middle.  You can hear the final version at the end of the show and stream or download it from Bandcamp.

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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 #130: Electrifying The Thirteenth Hour Theme

Episode #130: Electrifying The Thirteenth Hour Theme

https://archive.org/download/Podcast130_201802/Podcast%20130.mp3

This week, we’re making an electric guitar fill for future soundtracks to the Thirteenth Hour books using a part of the theme music.  It runs about 30 seconds long and is intended to accentuate parts of the story where a little theme music is appropriate (future Kindle editions of the sequels will hopefully have external links to the soundtrack on Bandcamp or Youtube.  Here’s some of the gear used this episode:

Coming soon, I’ll be posting about a little side work-in-progress.  Remember when I talked in the past about Hero Forge, the site that allows you to create 3d printed miniatures of characters of your own creation for tabletop games?  I’ve had an inkling to try casting little resin miniatures along the lines of those little pink M.U.S.C.L.E. (keshi) toys from the 80s.  The first step is creating a sculpt, so here’s a wireframe skeleton of Logan on Lightning.  Stay tuned!

Speaking of toys, check out the Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mom_gave_them_away/ for some great 1980s movie and toy nostalgia.  Haven’t seen some of those toys in years.  I mostly never knew what many of them were called or had just vague memories of them from commercials or just bits and pieces from various yard sales.  So it’s been cool finding out more about these artifacts from a few decades past.

Speaking of which, if you’re into new music that sounds like it could have been from an 80s movie soundtrack, check out the Spotify link in the bio of  https://www.instagram.com/ironskullet_synthwave/ – there are thousands of songs there, and the list keeps growing.

Lastly, speaking of synths and pixels, this podcast now has a new logo for 2018.  I figured that since fantasy, scifi, and electronic music collide so frequently here, why not showcase these things with background art for Long Ago Not So Far Away, and the pixelart dragon I made for that vaporware Thirteenth Hour game I worked on decades ago when I probably should have been studying for math tests or something 🙂

podcast new logo_edited

Title image courtesy of http://www.orangecoast.com/life-style/better-together-best-group-activities-saturday/

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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 #123: A Conversation with Dev9k Game Developers – Creators of Nirvana Pilot Yume

Episode #123: A Conversation with Dev9k Game Developers – Creators of Nirvana Pilot Yume

https://archive.org/download/Podcast123_201712/Podcast%20123.mp3

My brother and I recently connected with European game developer team Dev9k (Massimiliano ‘Haematinon’ Nigro and Antonio Scacchetti), the creators of the recently released 80s anime inspired video game, Nirvana Pilot Yume, which answers the question – what happened if the 90s shareware game Skyroads were a visual novel with a synthwave soundtrack?

Given the misadventures my brother and I had making games in our youth, we were both looking forward to the conversation with Massimiliano and Antionio.  We covered a wide range of topics, from the creative process, aspects of game development, working within technical limitations of technology (and how that sometimes fosters more creativity), and 80s era Japanimation – case in point below:

Check out the synthwave group Retroxx, who did the soundtrack for the game, for more synth action.  And if you don’t recall what the game Skyroads looked like, here’s a quick runthrough:

Interested in learning more?  Check more about the game and its developers on IG and Facebook.

You can now find the game for the PC on Steam.   Grab it while it’s still on sale!  There is a demo available for webplay/download here so you can try before you buy.  Even if you’re not into video games, it’s worth it just for the art, concept, and music alone.  Supporting an indie game developer is also good for your karma 🙂

And if you’re at all interested in game development or collaborating on making a game out of The Thirteenth Hour, let me know!  Read more here.

Next week, in time for Christmas, Brent Simon and Jeremy return to discuss the 30th anniversary of Robocop!  Stay tuned!

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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!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #122: The Making of “Because We May Only Have One Night” (Vocal Version)

Episode #122: The Making of “Because We May Only Have One Night” (Vocal Version)

https://archive.org/download/Podcast122_201712/Podcast%20122.mp3

After finishing the instrumental theme in episode #120, lyrics started coming.  That’s the thing about the muse.  Sometimes, unbeknownst to you, she starts doing her own thing at a time you least expect.  If you recall, this was a little love theme written for a scene in a Thirteenth Hour sequel book when our two main protagonists, Logan and Aurora, are reunited after a long time.  Since the course of true love never runs smoothly, it’s meant to convey a mixture of bittersweet yearning and a desire to push everything else away for just a few moments alone with your heart’s desire.

This song is dedicated to my wife.  When writing the lyrics, I was reminded by the short love songs on the collection 69 Love Songs by the Magnetic Fields (that was a car CD we’d listen to a lot in years past) and some saccharine, mellow, haunting songs from a different time, like “Such a Woman” by Neil Young and “If” by Bread.

Today’s backing track was done on the synthesizer and electric guitar with the vocals done afterwards.  Mixing was done on the synth and in Audacity.  You can hear the final version at the end of the show.  Download this song and the instrumental version on bandcamp.  You can also stream them below.

Here are the lyrics:

Because We May Only Have One Night
G
If I had one day
Em
Before the world was through
C
I’d spend it all with you
D
No looking back

If we had one night
Just one night to hold you tight
And be there close to you
Never let you go

Bridge:
G
And all those things
Em
That get in the way
C
Make them disappear
D
Forever and forever …

Just one day to
See the world in your eyes
Capture all the memories
Never let them fade

Just one night
One night to hold you tight
And be there close to you
Never let you go

Bridge:
And everyone
Who won’t let us be
Make them go away
Forever and forever …

Just one night
To hold each other tight
Maybe just one night
What are we waiting for?

Coming attraction: watch out for Dev9K discussing their 80s anime inspired video game, Nirvana Pilot Yume, which answers the question what happened if the 90s shareware game Skyroads were a visual novel with a synthwave soundtrack?  The game releases on Steam on 12/13, so check it out and find out more 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 2Stay 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 #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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #116: A Thirteenth Hour Reading for “The Imperial March”

Episode #116: A Thirteenth Hour Reading for “The Imperial March”

https://archive.org/download/Podcast116_20171030_0127/Podcast 116.mp3

Today, we’re doing a short reading from The Thirteenth Hour accompanied by a corresponding part from Long Ago Not So Far Away, the soundtrack written for the book.  “The Imperial Ranger March,” which is playing in the background, can be heard on the podcast here , where there is more info about the track.  You can also find it on Bandcamp.  There is also a short video you can see on IG.

I used the same theme in a little short video to showcase the throwing of a large sheath knife that reminded of the similarly large sheath knife the Imperial Rangers were issued to clear brush and chop wood:

Imperial Ranger LoadoutWM

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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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #113: Creating “City in Flames”

Episode #113: Creating “City in Flames”

https://archive.org/download/Podcast113_201710/podcast%20113.mp3

Like last week, today, we’re going to create more music together.  In order to finish the piece we started last week, I needed to finish some backlogged music projects that I have had sitting around first. My synthesizer only allows you to store two songs at a time, so this is one of them.  Like last week, it’s a mostly 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.”  At this part of the story (at least according to the rough outline I have envisioned), things get a little out of control, and part of the city she now finds herself in is destroyed.  She is standing on top of a tall building overlooking the city and the smoldering ruins.  As she does so, this theme plays in the background.  Like the tune last week, it’s intended to be slow and a bit mournful.

Today, we’ll be combining the synthesizer backing track that I’ve had in the can for a number of weeks with a guitar part that I recorded more recently.  There is a post on IG that shows some video of the guitar part in the draft stage.  At the end of the podcast, you’ll hear the more or less finished version.

 

 

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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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

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 #110: Musician and Aerial Video Producer Brent Simon Comes on the Show Part 2 of 3

Episode #110: Brent Simon – Musician and Aerial Video Producer, Part 2 of 3

https://archive.org/download/Podcast110_201709/podcast%20110.mp3

Update: Click this link above if you are finding iTunes is playing episode 74 instead.  Trying to work out the glitch!

Last week, we had our first episode of Brent Simon’s interview, and this week, we discuss things like bittorrent, movie that were probably inappropriate to be shown to children (but were), how we went around humming John Williams scores as kids, and more.  Lots of 80s movies references in this one!

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.  Last week, 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.  It’s, unfortunately, really hard to find now for some reason.  I did manage to track down a copy of another CD Brent talked about last week, the infamously named “Vomit Gold” by the band he was in prior to all this happening, Bellevue:

You can hear Brent’s synthesizer action in the background just like he mentioned last week.  I’ll figure out how to get it to Brent.  Of all people, he should own this disc.

Speaking of musical things, at one point, Brent references a childhood favorite track, which was a disco version of the Star Wars theme.  I’m not sure this is the same one, but here’s one I did find a medley version on youtube, which has the main theme, the cantina theme, and a bit of the Force theme.

 

We also discuss the notable lack of the Voltron theme in the new reboot, Tranzor Z (finally learned what that robot was called; see below), Transformers, Robotech, G.I. Joe, Thundercats, Prince Valiant (watch the intro here; always thought this was a kickass intro – the full song was done who the synth duo Exchange), and more.  We touch on a few movies my brother I rewatched a number of months ago (discussed in episodes 74 and 75) as well as a full discussion of some classic movie scores by folks such as James Horner (The Rocketeer, Willow,  The Journey of Natty Gann, etc).

Image result for tranzor z

Click on the picture for the original Japanese intro, which, true to form given the time period, has men singing in the background.

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.

At the end of the show, there a clip of one of the songs from Brent’s “Seven of Nine” CD, a very catchy tune with clever lyrics called “Alien Abduction.”  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!  Next week more on Brent Simon!

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Musical Interlude – “Between Two Worlds”

Musical Interlude – “Between Two Worlds”

https://archive.org/download/Between2Worlds/between%202%20worlds.mp3

In the upcoming sequel to The Thirteenth Hour, one of the main characters, Aurora, becomes caught between the home she has made and one from her distant, unknown past. They literally are oceans apart and are different in just about every conceivable way.

One is wild and free, existing in a world she has known as far back as she could remember, a world that, while savage and primitive, has love, understanding, and a beauty of its own. It is a world far removed from the fast paced, technologically / magically advanced world she was originally from, the one she only gets to know as an adult by force when she is kidnapped to join her family as a Protector of the Wellspring – the magic source that powers all, the one being threatened by nightmarish forces no one can fight. Her husband is from the first world; her estranged family, whom she hasn’t seen since infancy, is in the second. She feels pulled in two directions – between love and obligation, between a destiny of her choosing and a destiny of bloodlines. This is her theme.

It takes the four note progression from “There’s a Wild Heart Beating” and slows it down, accompanied by a mournful electric guitar.

You can download a high quality version on Bandcamp, where you can find other tracks from the same upcoming album.

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 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 #87: Fantasy Author Joshua Robertson Returns to the Show!

Episode #87: Dark Fantasy Author Joshua Robertson Returns

https://archive.org/download/Podcast87JoshR2/Podcast%2087%20Josh%20R2.mp3

Today, Joshua Robertson, whose work has been featured a number of times here, comes back on the show to catch up and talk about exciting new developments.  He was last on the show on Episode #32 over a year ago, so a lot has happened since then!  His fan base has grown considerably, and he’s made the leap to being a full time author.

This year, he completed this trilogy of novels:

melkorkaboxset01jpg

The last volume of the series, Maharia, just came out.  Click on the picture of the book below to read a preview!  Stay tuned in the near future as this series is becoming an audiobook trilogy.

Maharia

He will also be a regular contributor to the fantasy site Fantasy Faction with a column on writing, cover design, and many other tips for aspiring and current authors.  (By the way, he recommends the book, The Fantasy Fiction Formula, as a great guide for writing in this genre.)  As with the last time he came on the show, there are lots of great writing tips for aspiring authors, so check out the episode for a listen.  If you are and were a Dungeons and Dragons player at any point, you may also find his take on how D and D has helped his writing.

Here’s how to reach him and find more of his work:

Website

Amazon

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter

Youtube videolog/podcast – The Writer’s Edge

Youtube Goblin Horde – Josh and his partner have an unbelievable 9 kids together, and they run a Youtube channel about some of the things they do with their can as well as parenting tips

Crimson Edge Facebook Page and Book Club

He just finished up a gig at this year’s Brain to Books Convention, like last year, and will also be at the Soda City Comic Con this summer and Pensacola Comic Con next winter.

Lastly, he has a novelette available for free on Amazon, which you can download to checkout his writing and get a taste of his Thrice Nine Legends fantasy series (click on the cover to go to the page).

The Name of Death by [Robertson, Joshua]

 

It was great having Josh again on the show.  Look forward to hearing about the exciting things in store for Josh in the next year.

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The ending track, called “Between Two Worlds” was inspired by some of the introspective parts (like this one) from the soundtrack The Crow by Graeme Revell.  Watch for it on bandcamp in the next few weeks.

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 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 #72: Musical Interlude – The Making of a Song

Episode #72: The Creation of “There’s a Wild Heart Beating”

https://archive.org/download/Podcast72_201612/Podcast%2072.mp3

This week, we’re going behind the scenes to look at the creation of a new song I’m working on at the moment called “There’s a Wild Heart Beating.”  It’s for the as-of-yet unnamed sequel to The Thirteenth Hour and is something I’ve been working on for the past few months.  If you’ve followed along on the soundtrack Instagram page, you may have caught a few brief previews.  The premise of the song is that one of the characters in the sequel is looking back on the life she created and wishing she were there right now.  That’s about as much as I can say right now without getting much into the plot, which, to be honest, is still skeletal in my mind.

But like the tracks on The Thirteenth Hour soundtrack, Long Ago Not So Far Away, it’s an 80s throwback done with a synthesizer backing track.  And in this week’s episode, I’m trying to create that track and was recording in real time.  In the background, I’m singing the lyrics softly to myself, but that will be for a different episode, since this episode is really just focused on the instrumental part.  I tried to edit out most the retakes and curse words.  I think you probably already know that making a song is a lot of work, sometimes a process of trial and error, so no need to belabor that point.  At the end, you can hear the final instrumental result.  The final result with vocals should be available in a few weeks on Bandcamp.

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 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 #68: It’s Been One Year – the Adventure Show

Episode #68: What is Adventure?

https://archive.org/download/Podcast68_201611/Podcast%2068.mp3

Today marks one year of continuous podcasts in this format, and it’s a been a fun adventure.  So today’s episode is all about adventure – or rather, the side of adventure that doesn’t often make it in the pages of adventures books or memoirs – the deliberation that sometimes occurs prior and the calamities that happen in everyday life that, when looked back on years later, make one think – “you know, that was quite the adventure.”

So here’s a segment from The Thirteenth Hour about this:

“I don’t know what to say,” she murmured. “What do you say to a story like that?”

“I dunno, you tell me.”

It seemed like she had not moved since I had started. “Well, you always dreamed of seeing the world, and now you’re doing it. And on a quest – just like something out of a faerie tale, isn’t it?”

“I guess …” but a pretty messed up one, I added to myself. And then I continued, “But characters in faerie tales always seemed to know what they were doing, with a genuine purpose, for good reasons. Not just for a selfish King who wants to live forever. That just seems like such a dumb reason. I mean, I guess I’m not supposed to question my orders, but it’s just so hard to get riled up enough to risk your rear when you think the goal’s a waste of time. And men.”

She nodded.

“It’s okay. I guess, that’s the sort of thing Kings and Queens do, it’s just that … I dunno.”

“So, Logan, why not just leave? What you care about Darian? Nobody would stop you; as far as they know, you ate it along with the rest of the crew at sea.”

I sighed, picked up a stone, and threw it, feeling the tension ripple through my muscles. I watched it fly through the air, spinning unevenly, and finally disappear into the morning fog.

“I can’t explain it, really. You’re right, I could just leave, and nobody would know. But there’s something holding me back … I guess I kind of feel I owe it to the others to finish what we started … since we all trained together, and they were good guys overall. I guess I feel like if I finished, they wouldn’t have given up their lives in vain. You know? And …”

I looked around the marketplace. There was a dead soldier lying not more than twenty feet away. He had also died for King Darian. There had to be a better reason than glory, civic duty, or patriotism. Or was it just the sense of adventure?

“Logan?”

“Sorry. Anyway, I made this promise to Wally right before he died. I promised we would finish the quest so he wouldn’t have to hear Darian’s complaining in the afterlife.”
Aurora giggled. “Are you serious?”

“Yeah. Well, kind of.”

“But it’s just a legend.”

“Yeah.”

“Finishing the quest for your friends is one thing, but, Logan, what do you want?”

“I’m starting to think that is what I want. I’ve always … liked to think of things, but doing them was another matter. Let’s face it – I’m a dreamer. You know?”

“Don’t I,” said Aurora knowingly.

“I like to sit and dream about the things I would like to do. But then I realized in real life, I just sorta let things happen to me, without ever knowing why. I’d like that not to happen so much anymore. I’ve always wanted to see the places that I’ve read about in faerie stories and legends. But now … now I can actually see those places.”

Aurora nodded.

“I think if I walked now, I’d always wonder. Wally would often say that even if something appears impossible doesn’t mean that it’s meant to stay that way.”

“Well, that makes sense to me. You know, I never told anybody this, but … I always hated that inn job.”

“What! Well, you were a damned good actress then! I thought you loved it.”

“Well, I liked the horses. And Mr. Cromwell made up for a lot. He was like an uncle to me. But that was it. The smell of the stable, cleaning up after the horses, difficult customers, washing the bedsheets, cleaning the rooms, serving the drinks, cleaning up the bathrooms, with the stench and the vomit after a celebration … yuck.”

“From that to the coal mines. Living the high life, huh?”

“Well, you know how I landed that mining job? Well, they needed people, and honestly, I think they would have taken anyone, but the foreman said it wasn’t a good job for women, and no woman could ever expect to make it because she didn’t have what it took. Women, he said, were weak. I thought, how does he know? Of course, deep down, I was scared. But, just to spite him and prove him wrong, I made him take me; I was so mad. In the end, he just shrugged, and said, ‘Well, it’s your life.’ He was right; it was just as bad as I thought it’d be.”

“How bad’s that?”

“Well, it was worse, if that’s any indication. Damp, claustrophobic, lots of dirty, sweaty men, black air all around, always risk of explosions … I’d rather shovel manure for the rest of my life than go back there.”

“Well, you’re still alive,” I said at last.

Aurora laughed. “I’m just venting. I’m not a total cynic yet, Logan. Besides, this was about you, not me. I just wanted to say that I think it’s good you’re thinking like this. Maybe I need to start, too.”

“Oh, so there are things you’d like to do,” I said.

“Of course! I’m not dead yet, Logan. I still want to explore some, live some, and see some of the world. And then, one day, I don’t know when, maybe when I’m a doddering old lady, settle down in a little cottage in the forest in a place with a lot of open space and some purple mountains, and live the rest of my life. I hope that’s not too much to ask.”
Wait … the open fields and the purple mountains that seemed to call out to me … the thought painted itself onto the canvas in my mind. And another with it.

“Hmmm. Lemme make a suggestion.”

“Sure.”

“Come with me. On the quest.”

I expected Aurora to say something, to laugh, or at least to show some indication of surprise. But she didn’t. She cocked her head to one side, looking silent and thoughtful. She stared off, absently, into the cool morning mist. She was silent for a time.

“Yes,” she said, with a nod that added an air of finality to her reply. “How did you know, Logan, what I was just about to ask?” she asked.

I smiled. “Well, I have known you for a pretty long time.”

So that’s how Aurora joined me on the quest. And because she did, our lives were changed forever.

The next clip on the show partly concerns these hardy little vehicles, called matatus, commonly found in East Africa, that are an important source of public transport.  They’re Japanese made minivans that officially hold 15 people but more often carry somewhere around 20-30.  My wife and I have been on them many a time while in the region while there for work … but this time, we ended up on an adventure.  Note this one (just a picture I found randomly on the internet) even has the word “HERO” emblazoned across the front (i.e. the hero’s journey usually involves some discomfort).

Image result for matatu

The last clip is a karaoke version of the song “Love, Grey Dresses, and Other Things” from Long Ago Not So Far Away.

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 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 #67: Official Long Ago Not So Far Away Release Side B

Episode #67: Official Long Ago Not So Far Away Release Side B

https://archive.org/download/Podcast67_201611/Podcast%2067.mp3

11/13/16 marked the official online release of Long Ago Not So Far Away, and to celebrate, you can listen to the full album these past two weeks.  Side A of the cassette version was last week, and side B is this week.  Both are about 24 minutes long.

Here are this week’s tracks:

Dreams Go Far

Dragons’ Eyes

The Thirteenth Hour Theme (Trailer Version)

Love, Grey Dresses, and Other Things

The Thirteenth Hour Theme (Electronic Remix)

Love, Grey Dresses, and Other Things (Reprise)

Searching for Forever Instrumentals

 

If you’d prefer a physical copy, there are a few options.  Here’s one place you can get the CD.  Thanks to the folks at Amazon and Createspace for making a professional product!   You can find cassette tapes here.

cd tray template_edited-2222.jpg

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • 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/  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 #66: Official Long Ago Not So Far Away Release Side A

Episode #66: Official Long Ago Not So Far Away Release Side A

https://archive.org/download/Podcast66_201611/podcast%2066.mp3

11/13/16 marked the official online release of Long Ago Not So Far Away, and to celebrate, you can listen to the full album this next two weeks.  Side A of the cassette version is this week and side B is next week.  Both are about 24 minutes long.

Here are this week’s tracks:

The Thirteenth Hour Theme (synth orchestra)

Searching For Forever

Song of an Unsung Hero

The Imperial Ranger March

I’ll Fly Away

Song of an Unsung Hero (Instrumentals) 

If you’d prefer a physical copy, there are a few options.  Here’s one place you can get the CD.  Thanks to the folks at Amazon and Createspace for making a professional product! 

And, yes, it’s even available on cassette tape for the truly retro.  Thanks to the great folks at the National Audio Company for keeping this aspect of the past alive.

Some shots of the merchandise at the RI Comic Con this weekend.

Side B is next week!  As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • 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/  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 #64: Audio Recording and Editing with a Minimum of Gear Part 2

Episode #64: A Behind the Scenes Look at How the Soundtrack Was Created – Recording  and Editing Audio Cheaply and Simply (2 of 2)

https://archive.org/download/Podcast64_201610/Podcast%2064.mp3

Happy Halloween!

In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about what to do with that audio file we made last week in episode #63.  Most of today’s episode discusses the use of the program Audacity, which is free and relatively easy to use.  But just because it’s free doesn’t mean you can’t use it to polish your audio track into something that is CD-worthy.  It does take some fiddling and trial and error (as all these kinds of things do), but after awhile, it gets kind of rote, and the process goes a whole lot quicker.

Here’s a link to an article I did on podcasting that may be helpful.   There’s a link to download Audacity there as well as a lot of helpful links to tutorials that discuss audio editing.  We go over some of that here, but many of the tutorials (done by people who know much more than me!) go into more detail.

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • 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 #63: Audio Recording and Editing with a Minimum of Gear Part 1

Episode #63: A Behind the Scenes Look at How the Soundtrack Was Created – Recording and Editing Audio Cheaply and Simply (1 of 2)

https://archive.org/download/Podcast64_201610/Podcast%2063.mp3

Today, we’re going to talk about how to audio record music with a minimum of fuss and equipment.  I used these methods to create the audio tracks for The Thirteenth Hour soundtrack, Long Ago Not So Far Away, and I certainly didn’t spend a lot of money (although, if time is money then, well …)

In any event, I used a combination of recording and editing equipment many people have (smartphone and computer – both aging at this point) as well as an old keyboard and 2 guitars.  There are some videos of the keyboard and, I think, the electric guitar on Instagram, and you can see for yourself that they’re nothing fancy.  So I think if this is something you’re interested in, don’t necessarily let the lack of money or equipment scare you off.

In this episode, I’ll talk a little about how all this worked and how you might be able to do something similar if you’re interested, culminating in a digital audio file you can then edit on a computer.  Part 2 (next week) will focus on editing that file to make it sound professional.

Here’s a link to an article I did on podcasting that may be helpful.   There’s a link to the free recording and editing program Audacity there as well as a lot of helpful links to tutorials that discuss audio recording and editing.

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • 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 #61: Reflections on Replaying Jordan Mechner’s The Last Express

Episode #61: Replaying the PC game, The Last Express, after 19 years

https://archive.org/download/Podcast61_201610/Podcast%2061.mp3

Today’s episode is all about storytelling in a slightly different form than the books usually featured on this site.  It’s about how the 1997 adventure game created a sense of being an international traveler dropped in the middle of a web of intrigue and mystery in the days leading up to WWI and what it was like replaying this game almost 20 years later.  My brother and first played this game on the PC in 1997, shortly after it came out.  Interestingly, we both recently replayed the updated version and have now both written about our thoughts.  My bro’s are here:

http://pixelgrotto.tumblr.com/post/148786767031/favorites-murder-on-the-orient-express-i-had-a

This was one of the first games I ever played where characters move about independently regardless of what you happen to be doing.  They speak English, Russian, Serbian, Arabic, French, and German, not all of which your character understands, and much of the game consists of overhearing conversations and downright spying on your neighbors.  Doesn’t sound like it’d be interesting – but … it is.  The ever present ticking clock (which can be rewound to replay a sequence and try out new actions) running in the background as the Orient Express makes its way to Constantinople becomes a character in itself, just like the train, loving re-created from an actual Orient Express passenger car.  Little touches, like the clink of wine glasses and silverware in the dining car, the glint of gold in the art nouveau style decorations in the bathrooms, and the period paintings on the walls really capture the feel of what the gilded age must have been like and do just that much above the ordinary to create an immerse experience.

Here are some screen shots from the game:

2016-10-01-14-55-46

Your character, Robert Cath, is on the right.  In this scene, you’ve taken on the role of your murdered friend (who you’ve come to realize was into some heavy shite) and are trying to get gun runner Herr August Schmidt, the roly-poly gentleman on the left, to buy that you want to do an arms deal with him.  You have to convince him with this briefcase of gold that you can afford the hardware.