Podcast Episode 6: The DisEnchanted Kingdom

In general, I’m not a huge fan of allegory. But I loved Rhyd Wildermuth‘s The DisEnchanted Kingdom when he wrote it several months back. When he told me he wanted to do a reading of it for the podcast I was excited. And it came out even better than I hoped it would. This one is really fun to listen to.

In addition to Rhyd’s superlative narrative, we have commentary from Dr Bones of The Conjure House.

Music for this episode was provided by Dark Follies, taken from recordings I did with them a few years ago. Songs performed, in order of appearance, are called Jovano Jovanka, Uskadar, and Dobriden. Violin by Carson Lynch, accordion by Ann Murray, acoustic guitar by Larry Averill, percussion by Stephen Carpenter, Nikki Shields, Brent Nelson, and Joie Grandbois.

The background sounds you hear were recorded on Munjoy Hill in Portland, Maine, on a point overlooking Portland Harbor. If you listen closely, you will pick up one of the neighborhood cats who had something to say.

©2015 Crafted Recordings. Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Podcast Episode 5: The Crazy Herbalist Meets Rosemary

The weather here has been very unusual. The abundance of moisture isn’t, but it’s about 20 degrees warmer than average for December. There’s been a lot of rain and fog, and almost no snow or ice thus far. It reminds me of early spring weather, when the thaw is underway and mist lingers in the air. The sounds of moisture in this episode come from both this past week and last spring.

In previous episodes, all the background music was something I’d recorded or mixed, but for the first time here I am including music I had nothing to do with recording. Disemballerina’s music is excellent, and creates a lovely mood for this episode. They were kind enough to let me use their songs Black Angel Trumpet, Two Crows, That is the Head of One Who Toyed with My Honor, and Year of the Horse. These songs are available on their bandcamp page more or less as you hear in this podcast, with a few volume & EQ adjustments to fit the music in with the rest of the recordings in this episode.

Dr. Bones gives us another sermon this episode, on the fractured relationship between domesticated primates and the natural world around us.

Lastly, Kirsten Hale, the Crazy Herbalist, tells us the story of when she met rosemary. Turns out she’s one empowered bush.

Thanks to the rains of winter and spring, and especially to Disemballerina, Dr. Bones, and The Crazy Herbalist for being awesome.

©2015 Crafted Recordings. Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Podcast Episode 4: Dreams, Enchantment, & Living Magically

Antonio_de_Pereda_-_El_sueño_del_caballeroThe first thing you hear in this episode is my favorite natural spring in the world, on a mountainside near my home in Maine. The water that comes from this spring is a blessing, it is the best water I have ever tasted.

Next you hear Eddy Dyer‘s guitar, a performance I recorded recently at a benefit concert. Some drums come in, followed by another nice rant by Dr. Bones. Then you hear a remixed version of Eddy’s performance of a medley: “Under The City” (music by Jimmy Otis, lyrics by Eddy Dyer), followed by a Cure cover, “If Only Tonight We Could Sleep” (Smith/Gallup/Thompson/Tolhurst/Williams).

Finally, we have a talk from C.S. Thompson  on Dreams, Enchantment, and Living Magically.

Thanks to the spirits of the spring for their song, to Eddy for his enchantment, and to Dr Bones & C.S. Thompson for their wisdom.

This podcast ©2015 Crafted Recordings. Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Podcast Episode 3: Pagans & Prisons

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This episode begins with the sound of rainfall. I knew the rain was coming and set up the recorder outside under shelter. When I went back an hour later to retrieve the recorder, I was astonished to see that there was snow on the ground. So the recording transitioned over from rain to snow. You can hear the transition in the podcast if you pay attention. The snow has a softer sound than the rain, though it was still a wet snow and it isn’t a huge difference.

Next is a gorgeous 28″ community drum that was played by the Order of Maine Druidry. Thanks to them for the rhythm and holding space.

The bulk of the podcast are thoughts from several members of the Maine Pagan Clergy Association, all of whom do some kind of work or ministry in prisons. Thanks to Alban Artur, Kevin Emmons, and Janine Marie for their thoughts and insights, and for the work they do.

In addition, this podcast sees the first contribution from Dr. Bones, a writer over at Gods & Radicals, who delivers a fine rant.

All other background music by me.

©2015 Crafted Recordings. Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Podcast Episode 2: Winter is a Time of Revolt

beautifulfcoverfinalIn this episode, Rhyd Wildermuth, the editor of Gods & Radicals, tells the story of the origin of the organization both as a website and a publisher. He also gives a detailed preview of the upcoming first edition of the print journal. Learn how winter is a time of insurrection, and how gods seem to be involved in revolt, among many other tasty things.

This one begins with an ambient recording I made on Munjoy Hill, the Portland peninsula, on the 4th of July. There was a large crowd (many tens of thousands of people), a brass band playing through a huge PA system, and of course patriotic explosions in the sky. There is also the sound of Casco Bay, recorded from Willard Beach in South Portland.

Rhyd’s voice was recorded over the phone, and enhanced to sound like commands coming over a transmitter.

Percussion was by Alfred Lund, same as in episode 1. Piano performed by James Lindenschmidt. Produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by James Lindenschmidt for Crafted Recordings.

©2015 Crafted Recordings. Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Podcast Episode 1: The Social Justice Warrior & The Polar Bear

CC-BY-2.5. Photo taken by Ansgar Walk
CC-BY-2.5. Photo taken by Ansgar Walk

This episode is a friend of mine, Matt Dyer, telling the story of being attacked and nearly killed by a polar bear in July 2013, in the Torngat Mountains National Park in Canada. I did a more detailed writeup of this story over at Gods & Radicals.

From an audiogeek perspective, this episode consists entirely of remote recordings I have done over the past few months. It begins with the sound of the forest, and me lighting a fire with a ferro rod, birch bark as tinder, and some dried pine as fuel. You can also hear the barred owls that love to visit the woods near my home. These were all recorded with my portable stereo recorder.

Once the fire is going you can hear percussion (by Alfred Lund) and violin (by Carson Lynch). These I recorded with my laptop rig, using a variety of microphones (Heil dynamic mics, and some ribbon room mics for the percussion) with my Focusrite preamps.

Matt’s narrative was also recorded with my portable recorder. In retrospect, his voice is a bit weak from the attack, so I should have put the microphones closer to him, or better yet just used a dynamic mic right up on his mouth, radio-announcer style. Ah well, live and learn. Getting the noise floor of the voiceover tolerable was the biggest technical struggle of this mix, luckily the ambient forest & fire sounds, along with a bit of downward expansion, masked most of the noise pretty well.

Future episodes will have other storytellers, musicians, teachers, and interesting sounds on it. I look forward to bringing more of these episodes out. If you are interested in telling a story, singing a song, or other rants & chants for a future episode please let me know.

©2015 Crafted Recordings. Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).