Thursday, August 25, 2011

Skeleton Woman with Drums and Rattles

So this past summer, I was at a festival in Ontario and I had the opportunity to tell the tale of Skeleton Woman with the band Wychwood Children. This telling was completely unrehearsed, although the drummer (Rikke LaCoste) and the rattler (Greg Currie) knew different versions of the story. We had the chance to talk a little about the story and the particular moments that needed emphasis, but the rest of it was completely improvised in terms of mood music.

The performance was recorded, but the microphone is physically behind the musicians instead of being in front of me. Consequently, the drum and rattle are really loud and my voice is softer. I tried boosting the sound and filtering out the instruments a bit, but it's not ideal.

However, I really happy with my telling of this story. It's still a work in progress, but it gets better every time I tell it. I want it to be a touching love story despite the presence of a skeleton. I still need to work on the ending, but its coming along.

Skeleton Woman -- Told by JD Hickey with Wychwood Children on drums and rattles(6:42 minutes)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

TaelStrum in NDG in August

Join TaelStrum for tales and music as we take part in NDG Arts Week! We will be performing at the Centre Communautaire NDG on August 21st and August 27th at 11am. It's family show, so feel free to bring your kids!

There's lots of artistic stuff going on in NDG! For more information on the NDG Arts Week, please visit http://www.cooplamaisonver​

TaelStrum at NDG Arts Week
August 21st and August 27th
11:00am - 11:30am
Centre Communautaire NDG
3757 Prudhomme
Montreal, Quebec
Facebook Event page

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August Story: The Delicious Lie

I've been sitting on this Indian story for months now, waiting for the chance to tell it at a festival that happened last weekend. Unfortunately, I didn't win the Bardic competition, but I got lots of great feedback from the people who heard it. This is rapidly becoming one of my favorite stories to tell.

In this version, I used the word "Bard" instead of "Storyteller" only because Bard is a term that this audience really relates to.

It's a shame that I couldn't have recorded the performance that night: it went off perfectly. I got all the details right, my projection was solid and strong (500+ people sitting outside around a campfire in a multi-ringed circle), and I was able to roll with the audience reactions and some light heckling.

I also want to thank the Wild Orchids for attempting to bribe the judges on my behalf: I was touched and flattered beyond belief. Bribing the judges is an unofficial part of the performances, which is done blatantly in front of everyone, but I've always made it part of the performance to NOT bribe the judges. The Wild Orchids made their own smoked chocolate ice cream and presented it to the judges on a silver platter (I had tasted it earlier and I almost felt like taking the bribe myself).

There is a slightly longer version of this story, but I've gotten so used to telling the 5-minute version, I've decided to stick with it. This was recorded in my office with no audience present. If I can find the right music, I may add a musical soundtrack later.

The Delicious Lie -- Told by JD Hickey (5:19 minutes)
Copyright© 2010 John David Hickey