Epic News!

Illustration by Matt Lichtenwalner.
Illustration by Matt Lichtenwalner. Click to view larger image.

Jarnsaxa Rising is nominated for The AudioVerse Awards! This award celebrates the best in independent audio drama podcasting, and provides a signal boost to introduce new listeners to the world of audio drama podcasts. AudioVerse produces a podcast which showcases work from all the nominees.  You can listen and subscribe here: 2016 Showcase.

The list includes some very talented artists. We’re excited to be in such good company. Jarnsaxa Rising is nominated in all categories.

Vincent Friel is nominated for the award for Music, for SoloMom and Jarnsaxa’s Theme.

Lindsay Harris-Friel is nominated for Writing.

Katherine Kupiecki is nominated for the Actress award, for her portrayal of Agent Sumner Bachman.

MaryLynn Mennicke is nominated for the Actress award, for her portrayal of Jarnsaxa.

Ethan Bjelland is nominated for the Actor award, for his portrayal of Loki.

John T. Zeiler is nominated for the Actor award, for his portrayal of Dr. Eric Aspinall.

Jarnsaxa Rising is nominated for the award for Best Ongoing, Short Form, Small Cast, Original, Dramatic production.

To celebrate the nominations, Matt Lichtenwalner, a strong supporter of Jarnsaxa Rising, made the beautiful piece of art that accompanies this post. You can see more of Matt’s art at Dragonbones.net.

14425433_10157460339785481_195091194376038543_o-2Voting will happen soon, and the awards ceremony should coincide with World Audio Drama Day, on October 30th, 2016. Click the link on the left to follow this website, and we will send you an update as soon as voting is open.

Congratulations to all the nominees!

All episodes of Season 1 of Jarnsaxa Rising are available for your listening pleasure. Listen now on iTunesPocketCasts, or whatever your preferred purveyor of pod entertainment may be. 

Audio Drama Sunday!

Ills bu Arthur Rackham, 1910

All episodes of Season 1 of Jarnsaxa Rising are available for your Audio Drama Sunday listening pleasure. Listen now on iTunesPocketCasts, or whatever your preferred purveyor of pod entertainment may be.

How many people work 9-5, Monday through Friday jobs? How many people see Sunday as the day of last-ditch effort, to get a few things accomplished for themselves, maybe stir their imagination a bit, before returning to the weekly grind?

Audio Drama lets you do both. Pop in your earbuds, or crank up the G-Boom, and you can have as much action, adventure, romance, comedy and joy as you can with hours of Netflix or Hulu, but without the sitting on your butt that can cause sciatica.

Thrym King of JotunheimThrym, King of Jotumheim, says that audio drama pairs well with knitting. Whatever you’re up to today, make it dramatic.

 

Episode 9: Sowing Chaos

Burning_ship
Photo by Phil Carroll.

Agent Bachman confronts Mrs. Wallace over the stagnation in their relationship, and pushes her to make a bold choice, with disastrous consequences. Thor confronts Jarnsaxa, making her a peculiar and dangerous offer.

Mrs. Wallace: Molly Pach Johnson

Agent Bachman: Katherine Kupiecki

Dr. Aspinall: John Zeiler

Fenja_och_Menja_vid_kvarnen_Grotte_(xylograph)
Carl Lansson, 1886.

Jarnsaxa: MaryLynn Mennicke

Thor: Derek Meyer

Credits: Leslie Vincent

Special thanks to Keith, the bartender at The Sheraton Minneapolis Midtown, for his performance as The Sound Guy.

Written by Lindsay Harris Friel

Directed by Carin Bratlie Wethern

Sound design, engineering and music by Vincent Friel

Dramaturgy by Kit Gordon

This episode of Jarnsaxa Rising was sponsored by The Anonymous Ninjas of Generosity

Subscribe, review and rate us on iTunes! We want to hear from you.

For more information, visit JarnsaxaRising.com.

Listen using iTunesPocketCasts, or Libsyn!

Episode 7: How To Take Revenge

Sif and Loki. The Children of Odin, The Book of Northern Myths, by Wolly Pogany, 1917.
Sif and Loki. The Children of Odin, The Book of Northern Myths, by Wolly Pogany, 1917.

Loki takes Agent Bachman to Asgard, to avenge Jarnsaxa and Jotunheim. During the wedding feast of Thor and Sif, Loki seduces the bride. Bachman must teach Loki a lesson, and The Aesir must mete justice upon the remaining descendants of Jotunheim.

Jarnsaxa: MaryLynn Mennicke

Loki: Ethan Bjelland

Agent Bachman: Katherine Kupiecki

Dr. Aspinall: John T. Zeiler

Sif: Amy Pirkl

Balder: Shannon Troy Jones

Thor: Derek Meyer

Written by Lindsay Harris Friel

Directed by Carin Bratlie Wethern

Sound design, engineering and music by Vincent Friel

Dramaturgy by Kit Gordon

This episode of Jarnsaxa Rising was sponsored by Jane and David Broude.

Listen using iTunesPocketCasts, or Libsyn!

Episode 6: A Wedding In Jotunheim

Arthur Rackham, 1910
Arthur Rackham, 1910

Jarnsaxa takes Agent Bachman and Dr. Aspinall to her homeland, at the time when she knew only love and pride. But the burgeoning war between Asgard and Jotunheim threatens chaos. A bargain is struck, but treachery makes ancient grudges erupt.

Dr. Aspinall: John T. Zeiler

Agent Bachman: Katherine Kupiecki

Jarnsaxa: MaryLynn Mennicke

Loki: Ethan Bjelland

Vala: Delta Giordano

Balder: Shannon Troy Jones

Thor: Derek Meyer

Thrym: Himself

Featuring The Jotunheim Chorus

Written by Lindsay Harris Friel

Directed by Carin Bratlie Wethern

Sound design, engineering and music by Vincent Friel

Dramaturgy by Kit Gordon

This episode of Jarnsaxa Rising was sponsored by Sam Landman.

Subscribe, review and rate us on iTunes! We want to hear from you.

For more information, visit JarnsaxaRising.com.

Listen using iTunesPocketCasts, or Libsyn!

Photo by Béla Stéhli
Photo by Béla Stéhli
W.G. Collingswood, 1910
W.G. Collingswood, 1910

Not a big tease, but a tease nonetheless.

JR9-14-15Jarnsaxa’s coming with the full moon.
In the meantime, here’s a clip for you to enjoy at your leisure.

iTunes has provided us with a URL, and we should appear in their searchable directory soon. If iTunes is your podcast purveyor of choice, you can subscribe here: Jarnsaxa Rising on iTunes. 

You can also use our RSS feed link, if you use a podcast app that asks for them, such as Podcast Addict.  http://jarnsaxarising.libsyn.com/rss

Pocket Casts has us right here.

Take us with you!

 

Jarnsaxa Rising: Where’d you get this stuff? Research and inspiration.

JR9-14-15As Robin Williams once said about Jim Henson, “you can’t come up with this stuff on just plain air.” He meant something else in particular. My point is that no writer ever creates their work in a complete vacuum. When we set out to create Jarnsaxa Rising, not only did I do a lot of research, but a lot of inspirations appeared that fueled this story. Some of these, such as witch bottles, Viking party beverages, language and dialect, and aural inspirations, I’ll go into greater detail about later. For now, here are the story’s major sources.

capaldi-tennant-firesWhen Carin gave me the first prompt that would become Jarnsaxa Rising, and I started writing notes, an outline and the first draft, the influence of Doctor Who hung over me. Both Carin and I are fans of Doctor Who, and this story’s blending of ancient wisdom with contemporary and future sensibilities inspired me.  Unfortunately, it made me lazy as a writer. Audiences have decades of assumptions about The Doctor, so when he comes into a conflict, the writers have less work to do. As a nearly-thousand-year-old Time Lord who can regenerate, his stakes weren’t appropriate to our story. It did, however, provide the sense that the team must save each other, (as the Doctor tries to do for his companions) and unearth the deeper conflict which threatens a whole world.

Odin arrives at Valhalla, riding his eight-legged horse, Slepnir

Reading The Poetic Edda and The Prose Edda helped me with the stakes and conflicts of Old Norse mythology. Jarnsaxa isn’t mentioned much. I suppose that the Christianization of Europe made Sif a more popular female character. She’s mentioned in Godchecker, The Mythology Wiki, and captured imagination on Deviant Art and in An Archive Of Our Own.

On Coursera, a course about Old Norse culture, Sagas and Space, proved to be the most helpful. This University of Zurich course teaches how the Vikings thought about their land, their spiritual and social space, and how these elements tie together to create a cultural mind set. The course includes lectures by various experts from Europe and North America, and each gave me another point of entry to find new information.

apocalypse In particular. Dr. Terry Gunnell’s work was the most inspiring. His area of expertise includes Old Norse folk beliefs, ritual, legends, and Scandinavian theatre, both medieval and modern. Toward the end of his video lecture in the Sagas and Space course, he describes the experience of being in a Viking hall, surrounded by smoke, rich odors, and masked revellers, hearing a story told in a heightened way, and how the listener is elevated to transcend reality.  His articles helped me find the notion of the draugr, and the power of disguise traditions. Gunnell’s work is intoxicating and exciting.

T. Boone Pickens. Photo by Brandon Hoffman.
T. Boone Pickens. Photo by Brandon Hoffman.

Moving in a different direction, The Pickens Plan provided a lot of fodder for this story. Oil baron T. Boone Pickens planned to invest approximately $1 trillion in wind farming in the Great Plains.  In 2008. he claimed that this plan would reduce American oil spending by 43%, create 138,000 jobs in the first year, and 3.4 billion jobs over the next ten.  Despite the benefits of wind power, natural gas is financially cheaper in the short term than wind farming (though infinitely more devastating).  In 2012, Pickens sold off his last stake in wind farming, abandoning a wind company called New Era LLC. This company tried to move forward with building a farm in Goodhue County, Minnesota. However, the project ceased development in 2012, after citizen opposition claimed the farm posed a threat to eagles and bats. So much for 138,000 jobs and sustainability.

Revengers_Tragedy_DVD_cover Jarnsaxa Rising’s revenge tragedy structure came from my Dramatic Lit seminar class at Temple, and reading and re-reading The Spanish Tragedy and Hamlet. A really enjoyable part of immersing myself in revenge tragedy was the movie Revengers Tragedy, directed by Alex Cox, and starring Christopher Eccleston, Derek Jacobi, and Eddie Izzard. It’s a classic revenge tragedy, set in a sexy contemporary world, and I highly recommend it.

And so we come full circle; I started with Doctor Who on my mind, and ended with Christopher Eccleston in a Thomas Middleton drama.

But, of course, I had to push all these sources to the background, and just tell a good story. Hopefully, what you’ll get out of this is an exciting, deep, relevant tale. Which you should get to start listening to, in eight days.