Stories of Oregon - Spoken Word CD
You may be wondering what a CD is doing on a writer's website. Let me explain that the moment I decided to start this project I was overwhelmed by the amount of writing, editing and marketing involved. From writing the "call out" to writers, to writing the intro, to developing and editing the stories, to writing press releases, it was one deadline driven, intense writing exercise from start to finish. I learned so much about so many things I can't even describe it all. Plus, I had a blast.
Here's how it all started. One of my best friends, Andy, is a voice artist who has voiced a number of commercials, public service announcements and read hundreds of books for the blind. One day we were talking about his interest in voice and my interest in writing. At the time I was co-editor of a new online magazine so had access to a pretty wide group of talented writers.
We decided it might be fun to combine our talents and turn out a CD. Since we are both long time Oregon residents--Andy is actually a native--we decided we'd put together something that wasn't just about Oregon but about Oregonians. We wanted to capture that rather undefinable something that's uniquely Oregon. Sort of a 1 part frontiersman, 1 part environmentalist, a little urban culture all tossed together and stirred with a lot of rural landscape.
We talked Andy's brother Dean, also a voice artist, into joining the venture, then convinced my journalist and former child actor friend, Lisa, to be our female voice. Finally, we met with with Milen Slavov, an internationally renowned musician from Bulgaria who came to the US on the sort of visa they only give to creative geniuses. He agreed to compose a unique musical score to match each of the stories. We also wove those scores as musical interludes throughout the CD.
The result of our efforts is Stories of Oregon. We've marketed the CD in a number of ways and so far our best results have been through local wineries. Realtors also like to buy the CD to tuck into welcome baskets. Of course we did try to market Stories of Oregon to the obvious outlet, the Made in Oregon chain of stores. Unfortunately a couple of the stories are a little controversial for a mainstream audience. Empty Ends looks at racial prejudice and in Come Back we actually have a fisherman pissing in the ocean!
I hope to load some audio clips soon but in the meanwhile you can hear (or even purchase) Stories of Oregon at www.cdbaby.com
Blue Dawg Audio
In the News!
Stories of Oregon: A locally-produced audio adventure visits the state's people and places
Friday, July 14, 2007
By Lisa Cromwell
The Hillsboro Argus
It's rush hour - 95 degrees and traffic inches forward like a yellow Banana slug on black tar. It seems there's no escaping the confines of a box on wheels for a cool splash in the blue Pacific Ocean or blackberry-scented hike through green Mount Hood woods.
Wait. On the seat. The "Stories of Oregon" CD just bought at Hillsboro's Main Street Books. Slip it into the CD player and, ahhh, for an hour, dance in sea foam under a Pacific Ocean sunset to the trill of flutes, remember Forest Park adventures to the beat of a timpani, scream down the steep West Hills on a mountain bike to the counterpoint of a
A grandpa's recollections of rose gardening in Portland set to classical-style music and camping in the East Oregon desert accompanied by a New Age folk tune are part of the aural adventure. So too are exploring Oregon's caves and beach towns with an original score that twitches toes in anticipation.
For Oregonians and all curious about the state, the CD is a mental "away trip" infused with a bit of local history and trivia. '"Stories of Oregon" celebrates Oregon's natural beauty, diverse climate and geography and unique people," said Aloha's Pam Bainbridge-Cowan, whowith three Washington County friends created the CD and its parent company, Blue Dawg Audio.
The seven stories were written by Oregonians. They are read by West Washington County voice talent including Beaverton brothers Andy and Dean Cartmill. Each of the 12 tracks speaks infinite inflections of human emotion and experience, from Dorothy Blackcrow Mack's near-fantasy of Boomer friends finding "Stars in the Sea," to Natalie Nichol's
"Journey of the Night Thieves," a "Stand by Me" adolescent adventure, Oregon-style.
Tigard producer and composer Milen Slavov produced the CD in four months. His score includes nine musical pieces, each tailored to match the mood and pace of each story, and three musical interludes. They provide counterpoint to the tales and segue smoothly between styles, from classical to jazz to New Age, folk and Middle-Eastern influences.
A piano/accordion player since age 7, Slavov started composing at 16. An internationally renowned musician, he came to the US from Bulgaria and contributed to a CD world music series. He said of his work for "Stories of Oregon," "When I compose, I create the music especially to support the story. I can feel the emotions - joy, anger, hurt, happiness - running through them. Sometimes, I see colors as well."
The Oregon connection continues with cover and inside photography by Jeanne Bainbridge and West County's Sibylle Lugo and Jim Cowan.
"It seemed like a good idea to put together and showcase the talents of some local artists," said Bainbridge-Cowan. "There are other CDs and books on tape with stories, but none featuring all local talent and including original music."
"Stories of Oregon" is available for $14.95 at Hillsboro's Main Street Books and The Candy Basket on Main Street and Arcade Books on Third Avenue, and on the Internet at e-Bay, cdbaby.com and msmusicgency.com.
©2007 The Hillsboro Argus