Hello Folks out in Blogworld!
This was originally published on my Patreon page on February 5, 2018, but I thought I would share it here as well.
Much excitement here! I got to read the part of one of the muses in Ian Badcoe’s latest poetic enterprise. (Those of you who went to GAFilk this last month should read his excellent and forward-looking poem “Bootstraps” which is published in our GAFilk songbook.) This latest set of poems was especially ambitious. Ian wrote a series of verses reimagining the muses in forms updated for the twentieth-century. My muse was Melpomene! I am informed that I sound somewhat evil as Melpomene. This pleases me to no end. *evil preen*
All the performances of the muses are splendid and varied. I think we all had great time learning and reading our parts. Do check this out and also take some time to enjoy Ian Badcoe’s other works at his site.
I follow a filk singer/songwriter called Dr Mary Crowell and on her album: Scattering Seeds on the Pomegranate Tour she has a song: Courting My Muse. This track inspired me to write a sonnet sequence about how the Muses might be updated for the 21st century. So far, so good, nothing unusual there, I’ve written sonnet sequences before…
…however when I came to record this, I had a problem. Muses are female and plural, where I am male and singular. So I hatched a plan. I put out a call to various female poetry friends asking them whether they would like to be one of my Muses (I phrased it a little more carefully than that.)
To my delight friends signed up in sufficient numbers to be able to record all nine Muses, plus a group effort for my bonus “Omnes” sonnet that rounds things off at the end, and I was doubly delighted when Mary Crowell leapt at the opportunity to participate (bringing the whole thing full circle…)
I’ve spent some time editing these together with sound effects and music to complement the poems. I also recorded myself narrating between the various goddesses in my guise as “The Mortal”.
I have to say I’m very pleased with the result. There’s something uniquely satisfying in hearing talented voices read your work back to you, and it also is also educational, bringing out things in the poems that wouldn’t be there in my reading.
What’s up next? Well, right now, I am reviewing all the footage and photos my patrons have sent me for the Library song and video. (Those are one of three projects on my near horizon for my Patreon and Bandcamp subscriber groups.) I’m trying to make sure I don’t miss any of the video bits people have given me. I have been out of town thirteen days in january (for two different music conventions) and started back teaching classes at the local community college as well as Musicgarten classes at our Center for Lifelong Learning.
I should have mentioned in an earlier blog post that I launched my Bandcamp Subscription page in December of 2017. This was in response to a kerfuffle on Patreon in which the folks that run it decided to change their payment structure in such a way that patrons supporting many artists with small donations were going to be hit by card fees for each donation separately instead of as an aggregate transaction. Patrons with many larger donations weren’t going to be affected much, but the $1 and $3 tiers were hit hard. Supposedly this meant the artist/creator would get paid more, but in reality it caused a mass exodus from the platform. Luckily, Patreon reversed their decision. I had launched my Bandcamp page to give folks who want to support my music and stay engaged in my process an alternative place to help. The Bandcamp place is ok, but they do not have a $1 tier, and because they use Stripe instead of Paypal, I receive 82 cents a month from a patrons $3 donation. It isn’t optimal. So long as Patreon doesn’t try to do something strange with their payment structure again, I am encouraging people to join the Patreon more than the Bandcamp. (I am informed it is easier to download the music at the Bandcamp site though. So if you aren’t worried about the blogging and just want the music, that might be a better choice for you.)
Love to you all!