The New Silence

A Poem for the Climate


This year is the 50th Earth Day, April 22nd. In commemoration of this event the HEAR Now Audio Fiction Festival presents an original poem for the climate. The New Silence is written and directed by Brian Price, of the Great Northern Audio Theatre. It features the voice talents of Dion Graham and Jane Oppenheimer, and an original musical score by Jason Kao Hwang. It was performed live at the 2019 HEAR Now Festival in Kansas City. The program includes the poem followed by commentary by the author and the performers.
The_New_Silence

It’s first broadcast is on Sound Affects: A Radio Playground, on KFAI Community Radio in Minneapolis, MN, Sunday, April 19, at 9:30 PM. (9:30 PM Sundays at KFAI.org.) The shows archives are kept for two weeks after the broadcast. It’s a meditation we hope you will enjoy.

Also on the Sound Affects program you can hear a related song,
Greta, Put Your Boots On, with lyrics by Brian Price, music and performance by Mike Wheaton. (Available on YouTube) And there are three other short works by Brian, all with some connection to climate change – or perhaps a bit of culture change.

Wireless Theatre makes it all free


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The UK-based Wireless Theatre Company has just changed their download model, and made everything available for FREE. I encourage you to try them out. Their production values are superior, with great acting, music and sound. They’re nice people, too. Some of them came in to town a few years ago when they won an Ogle Award for part of their Springheel’d Jack series. Short pieces long series, comedy and suspense – everything you want for good listening.




The Long and Short Of It

So Many Little Things…


The world has changed – a lot. Jerry has taken to pre-recording his
Sound Affects: A Radio Playground shows for Sunday night broadcast. This gives him a chance to do some more adventurous things that can’t really be done live. He also gets in a little production practice, which is always a good thing. As for The Great Northern Audio Theatre, some of the larger projects that we have been working on have been put on hold, or shifted into slow motion for a while. We don’t know how long that might be. We have a number of related audio projects that we can do, and have been doing. So let us tell you about those.

Last Tuesday Podcast


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Norman Corwin Award winner Marjorie Van Halteren produces the Last Tuesday Sound Art Podcast from her home in France. Silence Is Coming is an episode she and Brian Price created at a distance back in January of last year.

Safe Karaoke


Last July we wrote a piece for Tim Wick’s
Big Fun Radio Funtime cast to perform at Convergence 2019. Brian and Jerry had this idea about when automation comes too close to entertainment, in this case Karaoke. Here is Practicing Safe Karaoke. And there is more free comic audio from Big Fun Radio Funtime, and other people we have worked with on our SideTracks page.

Earlid


Brian and his daughter, Eleanor have joined some very nice company with Earlid . They decided to try a different way to talk about the environment and climate change — get personal and get surreal. Eleanor plays the music on the piece, as well as performing some of the vocals. Earlid is “an online gallery of evolving exhibits of sound art”. Here is Vanishing.

Archives


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Jerry was digging back into various archives and came up with a short poem scribed for a fanzine long ago. He had David Ossman read it for him, and then added some sounds to fill it out. It’s about the consequences of noise pollution. Please tune your ears to
Listen! I Can’t Hear It Still, but don’t play it too loudly.


Bent Sunshine


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Some time ago we produced Drummer’s Dome, the story of an aging rock n roll musician who is finally able to build his dream house, a geodesic dome on a lake shore. On the web page for that work we included the play list of songs on the last album, Excess Is Not Enough, by Drummer’s band, Bent Sunshine. Brian and Jerry have begun posting snippets of some of those songs, recovered from dusty old vinyl albums in a fictional basement. Give a listen, and see what you think of a 1969 band.

Free Sound Effects


The entire catalog of sound effects in the
BBC Sound Effects Library has now been posted online, in WAV format, for personal use. It has a very limited searchability, so you have to slog through them click by click; and there’s a LOT there, over 16,000 sounds. Remember, they are for personal or educational use only, you still have to license them for commercial productions.

Matthew Fecher, at
AudioKit Pro has released a FREE set (over 800 loops) of Keyboard samples, recorded many years ago on Casio and Yamaha keyboards. Compared to today’s synthesizers and computer loops, they are just toys. But the vintage sound is fun and can be creatively useful. And they are Free to get and Royalty Free to use. So download the 490 MB zipped collection and see what you can do with them.





A Radio Playground - Live Audio Theater

Live at the Hook and Ladder Theater


A Radio Playground Poster

Presenting a program of Live Radio Drama and Comedy in a Benefit show for KFAI Radio (90.3 FM, and KFAI.org).

Sunday, May 19, at 1:00 PM at the Hook and Ladder Theater, 3010 Minnehaha in Minneapolis.



KFAI Community Radio is practically the only station in the Twin Cities that still supports Modern Audio Theater. So come out to see one of the few presentations of the ancient and new arts of Radio Drama, and support your favorite local radio station.

Local comic and Ukelele instructor,
Dean Johnson, will act as the Master of Ceremonies and guide us through the many places that audio can take you that television and movies cannot.

First off is
The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society, who re-stages the great horror and suspense shows from the golden age of radio, including tales from Suspense, Lights Out, The Witch’s Tale, The Shadow, and more. Each episode is performed live on stage with actors playing multiple roles and producing all of the sound effects. We also produce the The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society podcast!

Then
Fearless Comedy presents BIG FUN RADIO FUNTIME!, where Artistic Director, Tim Wick, brings in gloriously original sketches written with your mind in mind.

And we’ll finish it off with a set of short plays from the Award-winning
Great Northern Audio Theatre, taking you on ordinary and fantastic journeys to places you didn’t know you wanted to go. Including A Day at the Library, and Tell Them NAPA Sent You.

Suggested donation - $10.




Cart Wrangler Up For Audie

The Old Cart Wrangler Audie Nomination


February 4 brought us the news that The Old Cart Wrangler’s Saga is a finalist for the 2019 Audie Awards
Old Cart Wrangler's Saga
from the Audio Publishers Association, in the Original Works Category. Well, it certainly fits in that slot: It’s about as original as they come. Written for audio from the beginning, and the performance by David Ossman was the World Premier of the piece. Great Northern Audio and Otherworld Media were pleased to present it back in June at The Brick, in Kansas City, MO, with eclectic jazz behind the Old Cart Wrangler himself. You know that guy. He’s the one who’s always out there chasing down the stray carts, the ones that are out on the edge of the parking lot looking longingly at the bigger world beyond.


Tom Lopez, at ZBS, says —

Takes a lot to impress me, but you did it. I can’t think of anyone better than David Ossman to perform this piece. … It is really really good. Like perfect. And in front of a live audience. Oh yeah, and Dwight’s backing was so nice to hear, very fine indeed. … I have to admit, it’s rare I listen to a piece all the way to the end, but you nailed me in the first minute … maybe seconds.


The sublime jazz backing band was Rev. Dwight Frizzell on woodwinds, Julia Thro on guitar, and Patrick Conway on percussion. Subtle sound effects were from Tony Brewer.

(The announcement gala was in early March, and we didn’t win.)

Wrangler_n_Band

This photo of the performance was taken by Phil Proctor, also of the Firesign Theatre. The disc or download is available from Blackstone Audio’s Downpour site. It includes a half-hour conversation between author Brian Price and David Ossman, talking about the work, the performance, and the Cart Wrangler character.

What We Did On Our Summer Vacation


I mean, besides going to The Brick while in Kansas City, we attended the
HEAR Now Festival of Audio Fiction. There we had the delight to present the annual Mark Time Awards, and as the opening to that we staged one of our own audio plays, Dialogue With Martian Trombone. The all-star cast included David Ossman, Phil Proctor, Melinda Peterson, Orson Ossman, Richard Fish, and Donna Postel. You can hear that here.

Convergence 20


In July I went to the 20th Anniversary Convergence science fiction convention in Minneapolis. There I was able to help out with the
Big Fun Radio Funtime performance by Fearless Comedy Productions. They were kind enough to invite me to do sound effects for the show, which I was happy to do. They also let us write a sketch for them, so we offered up The Awk Awk Incident, about the dangers of telling the Bird Watchers you’ve seen something rare around your own place. Our thanks to Tim Wick, artistic director at Fearless Comedy, for the opportunity.



The Old Cart Wrangler's Saga

World Premiere Performance by David Ossman


June 6 in Kansas City, MO
The Old Cart Wrangler's Saga, Live!







HEAR Now Festival Presents

The 22nd Annual Mark Time Awards


June 7th, in Kansas City, MO, the
HEAR Now Festival will host the presentation of the Mark Time Awards for 2018. The ceremony will include a performance of Great Northern Audio Theatre’s Dialogue with Martian Trombone, starring David Ossman and Philip Proctor, of the famed Firesign Theatre.
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All this will take place at 9:00 PM in the Grand Ballroom of the Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza Hotel.

The Mark Time Awards are well known in the field of contemporary Audio Theater for their recognition of the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. In cooperation with the HEAR Now Festival of Audio Fiction they have expanded to include detective stories, and this year added a comedy category. They are named after the Mark Time character created by the American comedy troupe, the Firesign Theatre, and have been actively supporting audio drama since 1997. Mark Time Awards are given internationally, and have been won by producers from Ireland, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Belgium and all across the United States.

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The presentation and performance includes a radio play that answers the question of what became of the Ramon Raquello Orchestra, the ones that played at the Meridian Room on Orson Welles’ infamous War of the Worlds broadcast back in 1938. We’ve all wondered about that, and now the whole story can be told. The play was written by Brian Price and Jerry Stearns of the Great Northern Audio Theatre, both Mark Time Grand Master Award winners themselves, and besides Ossman and Proctor features an all-star cast of Melinda Peterson, Richard Fish, Donna Postel and Orson Ossman. It was first performed back in 2004. This production is in conjunction with OtherWorld Media and HEAR Now.

The
HEAR Now Festival will run June 7-10, 2018 in Kansas City, and includes many other performances and workshops in the fields of audio storytelling, audiobooks, podcasting, childrens literature, and a celebration of Mark Twain. You can hear more from the Firesign Theatre, too.






Chuck McCann Dies

Featured in “Villains On Parade”


Chuck McCann in action at CONvergence
Chuck McCann was a Guest of Honor at CONvergence in 2010, along with voice actor, Wally Wingert, who was a friend of his. They both agreed to perform in the Mark Time Radio Show, so we wrote something that would make use of their talents, and fit the convention theme, Bring On The Bad Guys. (See #15 on our Mark Time Radio History page.)

We were very sad to hear that Mr. McCann passed away on April 8, 2018. We knew of his friendship with Stan Laurel, and that he was one of the few actors who had ever even tried to mimic both Laurel and Hardy. So we went for that in the radio show script. In the performance everybody was hitting on all cylinders, Chuck and Wally were milking every joke for all it was worth. It’s fun to watch the pros work.
Villains On Parade perpetrators.

In the photo on the right it’s director Brian Price being mauled by Mr. McCann, musician Eleanor Price in front, Wally Wingert, and Jerry Stearns, producer. Listen to all of Villains On Parade here. It’s about 32 minutes long. Listen especially for the “Lost film commentary” by the orcs from ‘Lord of the Rings’. It’s all about the villains, you see.


Loose Wheels and Narrow Necks

New Great Northern release at Blackstone Audio


Loose Wheels & Narrow Necks
Over the years while writing, directing, and acting at radio theater workshops and in the Mark Time Radio show performances at Minneapolis' CONvergence science fiction conventions, Brian Price and David Ossman found that they shared a love for classic Beat poetry, Lord Buckley, and prose poems, so they started doing some of their own. This is a collection of their unique hybrid of humor, music, character, and performance.



“Great short stories by one of my favorite writers!” – David Ossman.


Written by Brian Price, except for the one that was written by Brian Price and Jerry Stearns. Performed by David Ossman, except for the one performed by Richard Fish and the one performed by Eleanor Price, and the ones performed by the whole cast.

Available at the
Blackstone Audio Downpour website. Some are posted here on our Mark Time Radio History page.


Track List (performed by David Ossman unless otherwise noted):


''
Closed Mouths and Narrow Necks''
The Yellow House - West Plains, MO, May 29, 2002
At the NATF Audio Theater Workshop
Bass: Thom Hoglen, Sax: Eric Elder

''
Cart 437'' (or ''The Long Way Around'')
CONvergence 2006 - July 7, 2006

''
The Collapse of the 20th Century Was So Gradual''
Minicon 32 - March 28, 1997
Piano: David Emerson

''
Clones Day Parade''
CONvergence 2001 - July 6, 2001
Piano: Mike Wheaton

''
Unrelated Cliffhanger Theater''
CONvergence 2006 - July 7, 2006
With Windy Bowlsby, Tim Wick, Charlie Meitzner, Preston Ossman, Eleanor Price, and David Ossman

''
Your Mileage May Vary''
CONvergence 2002 - July 5, 2002
With Richard Fish
Music by Eleanor Price

''
A Cure for Science''
CONvergence 2004 - July 2, 2004
Trombone: Jim ten Bensel

''
The Tiniest Souls''
CONvergence 2007 - July 6, 2007

''
Under the Broken Tree Bridge''
CONvergence 2008 - July 3, 2008
With Eleanor Price
Piano: Keith Spears

''
Cart 437: Part Two''
Hear Now Festival - Kansas City, MO, June 9, 2016

''
You Can't Handle the Truth''
CONvergence 2007 - July 6, 2007
With Wally Wingert, Windy Bowlsby, Tim Wick, Preston Ossman, Eleanor Price, and David Ossman
_________________
And since you’ve read this far, it turns out there IS a conclusion to the
Cart 437 Trilogy. Coming soon to a website near you.