Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Artwork done!

Artwork for new cd: A Tangle of Tales.
CD by Simon Brooks
Artwork by Rob Brookes (c) 2011

So for those who might have seen something like this two days ago, this is now the finished artwork! And Rob Brookes, once again did a bang up (really, really good) job!

And what, I hear you ask, are the stories?  Well I will tell you the title of one - The Fly!  See it there?

I am hoping to be able to 'release' A Tangle of Tales at the Connecticut Storytelling Festival in New London CT on the weekend of April 29th.  It is going to be a great weekend filled with wonderful tellers.  There is a family concert on the Friday, but the rest is going to be for grown ups!  There are also a few workshops.  So if you think you might like to hear me tell grown up stories for a change, try to make the trip, and feast, not only on me, but also the likes of Tim Tingle, Simon Brooks, Tom Lee, Sanju Sathish, Nancy Tucker and Keith Munslow, Tom Callinan, Simon Brooks, Megan Hicks, Jennifer Munro, Teresa Whitaker & Frank Schwartz, Carol Birch, Tom Callinan, Simon Brooks, Sara deBeer, Connie Rockman and Elllie Toy, me (!!) and many more!

Keep visiting here and my website for updates!

Sharing the Fire of storytelling at the New England Storytelling Conference

The League for the Advancement for New England Storytelling grew from the storytelling conference, Sharing the Fire.  And that is what happens - the fire of storytelling is shared.  This year was the third year in Rhode Island and next year will be moving to Albany, New York.  Although I was there in the mode of photographer, and as such was not really able to participate fully in any workshops, what I saw was great.  Participants were filled with enthusiasm and the presenters certainly had fire in their bellies.

The keynote was Odds Bodkin who is always great to see and the conference was graced by Jay O'Callahan, Michael Parent and Bill Harley who did lunch time discussion groups - a great way to glean from true masters whilst being able to eat!  The choices of workshops was wide, varied and plentiful.  Over the entire weekend a total of 32 workshops were offered, a panel discussion, two lunchtime q & a sessions, and opportunities to be coached.  A shopping 'market' or maybe bizarre was created where you could buy jewelry, clothes, musical instruments, books, CDs and meet with other like-minded people.

As testified at the end of the weekend by many of the new comers to Sharing the Fire, many folks left with new friends, new experiences, new skills, new stories and new memories.  I am really looking forward to next year's New England storytelling conference in Albany, NY.

My thanks go to all those who helped make the event the wonderful experience it was, those who patted me on the back when the day was feeling really long and to those who reminded me what a wonderful community we have.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Music for CD Three

Stevens and Simon
Well, the Latham Layabouts got together another time.  And then last night Rick, Rachel, Steve and I went into the studio with Stevens Blanchard in Fairlee, Vermont to lay down the tracks for the music for the CD.  We have been very fortunate in getting Rachel Clark involved as she has added, with her own tunes, a new dimension to the CD collection.  Maybe a few people who already know the story of the Cow and the Piper, or the Piper's Revenge will get the pun in the title of the music 'Cold Snap'!  So now you know one of the stories that will be on the CD, but the rest, for now, will be kept secret!

Stevens keeping an eye on us all!
We got to the studio at around 7 pm and set up, taking a few shots at the tunes to warm up.  It sounded pretty good when we practiced at Latham Library, but at the sound studio in Fairlee it was brought up a notch at least.  The music was recorded 'live' with two mics in the room.  This is similar to how we have done it before, but this time we did not mic up each instrument, sticking with two room mics.  We did a few takes until we were all happy with how each track sounded and Stevens played a little with the sounds - a bit of post-production.  It sounds great and I am very excited about what we have.  Two pieces of Rachel's music will be featured on the CD: The Waltz at the Edge of the World and Cold Snap.  Eventually both pieces will be on both my website and Rachel's website and of course on the CD.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Grants now available

Great News!  I am now Grantable!  I am a NEST artist.  If you would like to hire me and are based outside of New Hampshire you can apply for a grant through the New England Foundation of the Arts.  Here are the details:

New England States Touring (NEST) provides support to nonprofit organizations based in New England for community-related activities by select New England performing artists from outside of the presenter's state. Any nonprofit, school, or government entity based in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) is eligible to apply for a NEST grant.

The nonprofit organization does not need to be an arts organization. An organization that does not have a federal tax identification number (such as a national historic park) may apply as long as it is part of an official government agency (such as the National Park Service).

Nonprofit organizations who are interested in bringing cultural arts programming to its community may apply for NEST funding. Examples of eligible applicants include: libraries, schools, theaters, service agencies, and arts organizations. Applicants may only receive NEST support for presenting select NEST artists.

Contact program staff with questions regarding eligibility.
617.951.0010 x533
* First-time applicants are encouraged to call NEFA.
The New England States Touring program is made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.