#Arachne5 thank-you’s: Musicians

With the 5th Anniversary celebrations heading into view I was thinking about the thank you speech, and like the Oscars it is in danger of going on, and on. And on. So I thought I’d blog it instead, a section at a time.

What does a publisher need with musicians? Well, our regular events Solstice Shorts Festival (always), and The Story Sessions (usually), some of our launches and some of our writing workshops have included music – always acoustic, often folk, sometimes original, mostly but not exclusively songs, because we love the narrative power of a song.

Our most frequent collaborators are Ian Kennedy and Sarah Lloyd who have performed in just about every capacity we offer them.

 

Next most regular must be Annalie Wilson, who also reads for us and was our artist in residence for the last four Story Sessions..

Annalie Wilson

 

After that it’s our choir friends, in various guises, (there’s a lot of cross-over in choirs!) most frequently as Summer All Year Long, but also Vocal Chords and Raise the Roof

Will Evererett singing with Summer all Year Long

Summer All Year Long

© Ben Mueller-Brown benhasphotos.wordpress.com

Vocal Chords at WGL

more vocal chords (by Katy Darby)

Vocal Chords (by Katy Darby)

Vocal Chords Wassailing

For Solstice Shorts we really push the boat out, with (sometimes) music written for the occasion AND multiple musicians: Shadrack Tye, Pepper & Shepherd, Rosemary Lippard, Melanie Harrold, Juliet Desailly, Peter Thomas & Piotr Jordan (playing original music by Zac Gvirtzman), plus everyone already mentioned!

And finally… Lester Simpson, who runs singing workshops for us once or twice a year and teaches us amazing songs that find their way into our events, and the repetoire of choirs all over London; and has become a friend along the way.

Will there be music at the Anniversary celebrations on the 8th September? Of course there will! Book your free ticket now!

The Story Sessions Fantastical Tales Video part 3

Final section of the videos from The Story Sessions on Wednesday, and the Liam Hogan Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed set which had a decidedly immortal theme to it:

Time the Devourer, read by Annalie Wilson

Internet Dating for Immortals, read by Liam

and

the final take on Bad Day, with a little music from Annalie to top and tail it.

These are the final posts, from the final Story Session of the season.

We’ve made the decision to retire the Story Sessions as a regular thing – and it will only stick its nose out into the light (and inevitable rain – have we EVER done a session when it didn’t rain?) as part of festivals and if asked for – it is regretably too much work for far too little return even when part-funded by those nice people at the Arts Council (Thank you ACE, really). There are other things to get busy with. So Festival organisers – if you ask us, we will put together more sessions, but if you don’t, this is your lot!

 

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Thanks to The Brockley Deli for hosting this season.

 

The Story Sessions Fantastical Stories Videos part one

There is something about The Story Sessions, and Brockley, that makes it rain, and it came down stair rods last night. Actors and authors arrived dripping. But that didn’t stop us having some fun. I’m going to post the videos in three segments, starting with three videos from a disparate group of writers:

The Cretan Labyrinth Series Three by Becky Pinder read by Annalie Wilson (Annalie started before I got the video turned on, but the audio recorder was running so I’ve recovered the beginning, just be patient with the lack of picture!)

In Those Days They Used Lined Paper by Donald Hiscock

and

More Bread by Sally Connors read by Annalie Wilson

Tomorrow I will post Math Jones’ Knotsman sequence, and on Saturday, the final outing from Liam Hogan, Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed tour.

 

 

The Story Sessions: Fantastical Tales announced

The final Story Sessions of the season approaches – 17th May at The Brockley Deli 14a Brockley Cross, SE4 1BE

We have stories from Liam Hogan headlining, with two different takes on the incredibly long-lived: Internet Dating for Immortals, and Time the Devourer which will be read by resident actor and musician, Annalie Wilson.

Supporting Liam we have Math Jones reading part (possibly all? Still to discuss) of his exquisite Knotsman sequence.

and Donald Hiscock, who is coming up from Portsmouth to read In Those Days They Used Lined Paper 

Sally Connors (More Bread) and Becky Pinder (Cretan Labyrinth Series 3) will also be read Annalie.

We will, as usual, have music from Annalie, and of course, we have our Flash from the Floor – you join in with your own fantastical tale, in 100 words or less! No dragon stories yet, so something on those lines would be popular (with me!).

 

How to choose a story for a reading

When you are touring a book of short stories, and it’s an anthology, it’s usually fairly simple – who can get there to read? and then a bit of tweaking, so that we don’t end up with wall-to wall-fantasy from a book that is less than 30% that genre.

When it is a single author collection however, with 27 stories to choose from, it is more complicated. The discussion goes something like this:

Author: these are my favourites. (list of 12 stories)

Publisher: Yes. This is my favourite, let’s have this one too.

Author: Or this one?

Publisher: It’s a bit long, what about an extract? No more than 10 minutes.

Author: So from here – until the cliff hanger?

Publisher: Yes, but leave out that paragraph, it doesn’t make sense without the beginning,

Author: I love this one too.

Publisher: It’s a first person narrative of the opposite gender. But I can get an actor.

(long conversation full of stereotypes about the people likely to come to each reading, which stories are most representative of the book, balancing light and dark, how often the author is willing to read the same story… leading to a long short list)

Publisher: OK, so which do we read where? I think this one is a shoo-in for Greenwich, it’s set there. And this one is about werewolves so the reading that’s up the road from Monster Supplies?

Author: Yes, and the Alice in Wonderland one for Oxford. Do you think the Art installation is too obvious for Hackney?

Of course, on the day, sometimes, we change our minds – but a lot of thought goes into preparing a reading, to make it a professional enjoyable evening out for the reading (listening) public.

So here is a little quizzette for you.

Which stories are Liam Hogan, Carrie Cohen, Lisa Rose and Annalie Wilson reading where?

Match the story to the venue!

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Stars
Temp
To be a Hero
Worming Advice For Werewolves
Miscellaneous, Spooky, Weird
Late
Feathers
Bring Rope
The Burden
Greenwich, Noon

Tuesday 25/04/2017 7pm Lewisham Library, Lewisham High Street, SE13 6LG with Carrie Cohen reading one of the stories (free)
Wednesday 26/04/2017 7.30 Burley Fisher bookshop, 400 Kingsland Road, Haggerston, E8 4AA with Carrie Cohen reading one of the stories (free)
Friday  28/04/2017 7.30  Albion Beatnik Walton Street, Oxford, OX2 6AA (£2 on the door)
lisa rose
Thursday  04/05/2017 8pm West Greenwich Library, Greenwich High Road, SE10 8NN with Lisa Rose reading one of the stories (free)

 

 

annalie wilsonWednesday  17/05/2017 7pm The Story Sessions, Brockley Deli, 14a Brockley Cross, SE4 1BE with Annalie Wilson reading one of the stories. (free)

 

The Story Sessions Retelling Tales – Poem Videos part one

We had a lot of poems this month at the Story Sessions, perhaps it’s easier to give a new twist to a familiar story by taking it into a different medium.

Not everything made it onto the video owing to my trying to do too many things at once, but here is some of what did, and there will follow more video, and on audio, the ones I missed.

So here are: Neil Slevin‘s A Gaelic Chieftan and Zoe Brigley Thompson’s My Last Rochester read by Annalie Wilson, and Math Jones reading his own Frejya, In Fire Forged

The Story Sessions – Retelling Tales – Stories

LMA Bauman-Milner’s visceral retelling of Cinderella brought to life by Annalie Wilson.

Glass & Blood

Liam Hogan’s sideways look at Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

I, Igor (an extract, as it weighs in at 18 1/2 minutes!)

coming up this wednesday The Story Sessions Retelling Tales

Join us at 7pm on wednesday 15th March at

The Brockley Deli 14a Brockley Cross SE4 1BE

for Retelling Tales – expect anything from myth and Cinderella to Frankenstein and Jane Eyre given a new coat of imagination.

Jennifer A McGowan reads a selection of myth inspired poetry from her new collection With Paper for Feet

here’s a sample (Jennifer reading Hecuba from Troy: Seven Voices at Lewisham Library)

 Liam Hogan I, Igor (Story)

Math Jones: Frejya (poem)

Zoe Brigley: Letter to Leda on Getting Married and My Last Rochester (poems)

LMA Bauman-Milner Glass & Blood (Story)

Neil Slevin A Gaelic Chieftan (poem)

Joy Howard: Melangell and the Hare, Olympus Inc, Living to Tell the Tale (Poems)

heres a sample (Joy reading Draco at Keats House)

Taster for The Story Sessions on 15th March

Here are a couple of videos – from headliner Jennifer A McGowan, reading Lot’s Wife Considers Reincarnation at our International Women’s Day event at Lewisham Library,

and Joy Howard reading Melangell and the Hare at the joint launch for Foraging and With Paper for Feet at Keats House

Joy can’t make it on Wednesday so her poems will be read by either our resident actor Annalie Wilson or Arachne editor Cherry Potts.

Join us at The Brockley Deli 14a Brockley Cross SE4 1BE at 7pm on Wednesday 15th March, for these and more somewhat surprising retellings of old stories.

 

The Story Sessions Winter tales videos

Videos of the readings from January’s Winter Tales Story Sessions.

Stories:

Poems:

Thank you to everyone who came along and read: Rosalind Stopps, Math Jones, Cath Blackfeather, Nancy Charley, Anne Macaulay, Michael Carey, Alison Lea, Annalie Wilson.

And to those who couldn’t make it and were read by Annalie: Megan E Freeman and Karina Lutz

if you want to take part in the NEXT Story Sessions, the theme is Retelling Tales (so… myth/ legend/ folklore/ famous stories with your own take) Headlining: Jennifer A McGowan.

We’ve got some great ones already, but we’d like more to choose from. Submit via Submittable, before the end of February for this one, or if you have something for May’s Fantasy theme you have a bit longer.

As usual, Annalie Wilson is available to read on behalf of people too geographically distant  to make it, and the very shy; and there is a SMALL budget for travel expenses if you want to come and read yourself. Plus of course, the audience luck dip that is Flash From the Floor. 100 words on theme prepared in advance or written in the interval!