Travis Edward Pike | Odd Tales and Wonders: Stories in Rhyme

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Spoken Word: Radio Drama Kids/Family: Children's Storytelling Moods: Mood: Quirky
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Odd Tales and Wonders: Stories in Rhyme

by Travis Edward Pike

The storytelling rhymes in this collection are enhanced with sound effects of the kind that kept audiences glued to their radios in the 40's and 50's and brilliantly brings these heroes, villains and creatures to life in the imaginations of listeners.
Genre: Spoken Word: Radio Drama
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Santa's Magic
9:06 $1.49
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2. A Twail's Tale
3:53 $0.99
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3. The Oddwok and the Marbuck
5:40 $0.99
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4. The Glomlop and the Quark
3:40 $0.99
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5. Krimms
2:32 $0.99
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6. The Lori
2:47 $0.99
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7. The Peerless Goth
2:48 $0.99
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8. The Twaddle and the Gurck
4:23 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Spellbinding: The Storyteller's Art

When telling a story, the storyteller's voice, gestures and facial expressions are only part of the performance. The audience contributes too, whether horrified and trembling, inspired and bursting with pride, sympathetically reduced to tears or compelled to laughter and cheers.

A storyteller's recording should fully engage the listener's imagination, but distractions do occur--a doorbell, a barking dog, even a well-meaning host offering refreshments may pull the listener out of the story, and the mood be lost. Live, a good storyteller quickly refocuses the audience, whereas a recorded storyteller cannot.

Lacking the gestures and facial expressions inherent in a live performance, these recordings recapture their audiences -- and hush interruptions -- with music and sound effects to help keep listeners glued to their imaginations.

SANTA’S MAGIC: Runtime 9:03

Nothing says Christmas Eve quite as exquisitely as sleigh bells, and by adding them to music from his original “Harlequin’s Carnival.” Pike manages to convey both a spooky, magical mood for Santa’s nocturnal visit, and a calliope of celebration and joy for Christmas morning.

Thinking back to his own childhood, Pike recalled the enchanting department store Christmas window displays in downtown Boston and remembered that nothing kept his cold little nose glued to a store window more than watching a dizzying display of toy trains, chugging through miniature landscapes. For him, nothing says Christmas morning quite like the sound of a toy locomotive’s whistle as it drags its cars around the track -- and another dollop of “Harlequin’s Carnival” provides just the sonic delight he needed for a happy ending!

A TWAIL’S TALE: Runtime 3:50

"A Twail’s Tale" is a fable by definition. The creatures in the story speak and behave like human beings. While not as grim as some of Grimm’s fairy tales, this story is probably not a suitable selection for an audience of young, highly impressionable children, and this performance, targeted for middle school audiences, is particularly chilling.

Pike voices the Purple Stang the way he imagines the marvelous old character actor, C. Aubrey Smith might have done, complete with rattling teacup. A Twail is the hero of the piece. An innocent everyman, he stumbles upon an unfolding horror, behaves admirably, but exposes himself to terrible consequences. For the Avaritch, an entirely fabulous, gigantic bird of prey, possibly related to the Roc, a mythical creature known from medieval Asian literature is the villain, it’s only vocalization its shrill, haunting and horrific cry.

THE ODDWOK AND THE MARBUCK: Runtime 5:37

These creatures are relatively well-defined. The Marbuck might be a near relative of the American Pronghorn and the Oddwok might be a muskrat, although there are a number of other suitable candidates. Many, otherwise not particularly smelly animals, smell terrible when their fur is wet. Most of the sound effects are readily recognizable, but unless you grew up around raccoons, the strange snorting noises the Oddwok makes, though present in nature, may be totally unfamiliar.

A Spanish proverb claims that “What belongs to everybody belongs to nobody.” Lands set aside for public use are frequently trashed by that public. People who jealously maintain their private property, may think nothing of littering, defacing or wrecking public property. Youngsters tend to be sympathetic to the Oddwok. To them, it seems more disabled than nasty. Some even defend its repulsive and deliberately destructive behavior as justified by the Marbuck’s behavior.

But Pike wants listeners to consider the Marbuck’s attitude, too, resentful of having its tranquility disrupted by an unruly interloper. The Marbuck never suggests that another, clean, well-behaved creature (a lovely Mardoe, perhaps), would not be welcome to share its retreat. Might not the Marbuck’s behavior stem from an unselfish desire to preserve its environment?

THE GLOMLOP AND THE QUARK: Runtime 3:37

This apparently innocent fable has sometimes provoked heated controversy. Are the Glomlop and the Quark merely cogs in an ever-turning wheel of evolution, fated to prosper or perish according to their abilities to adapt? Some people fervently believe in Intelligent Design, and others, as fervently, espouse evolution. Are the two viewpoints really so mutually exclusive? Could not evolution exist by the Will of God? Most youngsters are fascinated by this sort of thing and not at all shy about vocalizing their opinions. Nature is as Nature is. Does it really matter why? Apparently, to some, it matters most of all.

KRIMMS: Runtime 2:29

While they have absolutely nothing to say, they giggle raucously, wail, moan, whimper, and gobble up pies and pastries that come flying at them from across the room. The deep-pitched Gart and noisy Shrill are equally unintelligible. In creating their “voices,” Pike recorded separate tracks for each species, making any number of weird noises to suggest conversation, and by placing a couple of crashes of breaking glass and a number of wet, sloppy “splats” strategically throughout the tale, orchestrated them all to suggest a series of recognizable activities.

The tale is set in a noisy dining room. As in real life, when a tray is dropped, the room goes silent until the source of the noise is identified, and then the room noise returns to its previous level. Krimms was especially popular at one 11-year-old’s birthday party. He thought it would make a funny and fascinating, randomly digitized food-fight computer game. He was probably right, but after hearing this, what responsible adult would allow a Krimm in the door?

THE LORI: Runtime 2:44

This short rhyme covers a broad expanse of mythical time and cultures, so the audio representation of the civilization of the Lori is created through the sounds of an expanding population of sculptors, builders and musicians. The end of their civilization is sudden and unexpected, as stated in the rhyme “no single horn sounded a warning,” a reference to the Ragnarok of Norse mythology, which was announced by a blast of Heimdall’s horn. The disaster that struck was beyond imagining.

“Disaster” literally means an unfavorable aspect of a star or planet and suggests, as do all the upward turned faces found on Late Neolithic Cycladic idols, that the horror came to earth from outside. In Greek myth, Apollo’s son, Phaethon, “borrowed” his father’s chariot (the Sun), and unable to control its horses, came too close to Earth, setting the atmosphere aflame. If myths are tales invented by the ancients to explain the inexplicable, this myth may be based on a genuine catastrophe, perhaps even a coronal mass ejection that actually reached Earth.

Its immediate aftermath is represented by a howling California firestorm, and the sounds of the four galloping horses represent the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, galloping into the cannonade, trumpet calls, and musketry of an ongoing battle.

Finally, out of the silence, the narrator continues the tale -- up to the final “disappearing pop,” which suggests that the Lori are less “gone” than hiding among us, possibly still providing illumination through the arts, humanities and sciences. Being unable to find one is, after all, not the same thing as proving they no longer exist.

THE PEERLESS GOTH: Runtime 2:45

The Peerless Goth might be a top-notch coach, contractor, bandleader, scoutmaster, producer, director, shop foremen or anyone else who has to manage a crew. To create an audio atmosphere that set up the Peerless Goth’s situation for the listener, the action is set in a factory foreman’s office as, one by one, the disgruntled employees go to work, indicated by the sound of the office door opening and closing, and then the startup of an additional machine out on the factory floor.

And the rest of the story, you know.

THE TWADDLE AND THE GURCK: Runtime 4:23

This chilling fable is meant to be performed aloud and heard by its audience. If you are not familiar with Lewis Carroll’s "Jabberwocky," this particularly odd tale may seem to be utter nonsense. Indeed, “twaddle” is a genuine word in the English language meaning “nonsense,” but “The Twaddle and the Gurck,” told entirely in an Otherworldly tongue that sounds maddeningly familiar, remains incapable of objective translation, because the meanings of the words are entirely subjective, conveyed not by definitions, but by the feelings and emotions the sounds of the words and the storyteller’s performance arouse in the listener.

Always intended to be experienced, rather than understood, “The Twaddle and the Gurck” is not in English (or any other known language). Nevertheless, the sounds of its words are drawn from Indo-European tongues, (primarily English, German and Latin), Some listeners, familiar with those languages and the sounds they employ for communication, seem to think that will help them understand the story better than listeners who do not. In fact, the mind uncluttered by suppositions based on a knowledge of definitions in an extant language, is somewhat more likely to enjoy the dramatic experience like an Otherworldly musical composition, communicating directly with the unconscious, rather than requiring a verbatim translation.

(Yes, this one could give impressionable kids and their parents sleepless nights, too.)



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