Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pegana Press Story Cast: The Bee-Man of Orn

In this #StoryCast we do a reading from the Bee Man of Orn, by Frank R. Stockton and we discuss briefly, other works by this author.

We hope you enjoy it.  Feed back is welcome.

It's a lot of fun for us to record these story readings, and we'd love to hear from you.  If you have a favorite author or story to suggest we read, please share with us.

We took longer than expected to get this one out partly due to the holidays and partly due to the fact that Mike has been working at the press almost non stop.  We hope to have a new Pegana Press Story Cast to share next month.

Here's the link.  Enjoy!   Pegana Press Story Cast # 2

We're using a WAV file this time to preserve the integrity of the recording.  We used a compressed file before.  We hope it makes a difference in how it come through.

As an afterthought:  Mike was a music producer and studio sound engineer before the thought of Pegana Press was ever conceived, and so he likes to create theme songs for the recordings.  I think it's a tribute to his talent in that respect that he can take tracks recorded on a tarnished flute with sticky keys by someone (OK, me) who hasn't played in 30 years and make it sound pretty good.

While recording the flute, he expressed his desire that I should play a "little riff".  I looked at him blankly and said "Oh, you want a REAL flute player".  I wasn't "riffing", but hopefully the Bee Man's theme song, conveys the simple, joyful, meandering dance through life, which we picture for Frank Stockton's Bee-Man.

The reading in the theme song, Out Of Time is from Lost Tales Volume 1 written by Lord Dunsany and published at Pegana Press

Pegana Press Story Cast theme song: Out Of Time © Rita and Mike Tortorello
Bee Man theme song:  Buzzing Along © Rita and Mike Tortorello
We use Cascade Microphones  :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Embracing Elfland by Mike Tortorello

Mike has been hounding me to get a blog post up, and I must admit, I was really at a loss until I ran across something he wrote for another organization.  I thought I would share part of it here.

Embracing Elfland

The twilight coming down over the fields we know, the iridescent shimmer of Elfland  just beyond; the flash of sunlight on Spanish steel.  All these he gave us.

The horrors of war and the hopes of a charwoman etched in shadow. 
So many images…

With the printing and publication of "Lost Tales Volume I"  by Lord Dunsany,  Pegana Press Books brings new unseen images from the Master's quill pen to amaze and delight us all.

My path to this beginning started some 25 years ago when I first held a limited edition of "Don Rodriguez" in my hands and saw it as a work of art and beauty.

The long and winding journey to printing uncollected Dunsany is a tale in itself.

I  began by printing Dunsany's first published poem " Rhymes From A Suburb" as a limited broadside poster.

I then stumbled upon a lost work called "Paris" from Hope Mirrlees, the author of the wonderful fantasy novel Lud-In-The-Mist.   

I determined to reproduce "Paris" by hand  and bring it back to the world of literature, thus the second release from Pegana Press,  a limited handbound edition  spanning a year in production.

Throughout this time I continued to ponder my desire to print more Dunsany. 
Hours of research eventually led to lists of uncollected  stories with references to their original publication and my search began.  After collecting enough stories to begin work I contacted Lady Dunsany who very graciously gave permission and support of the project. Thus "Lost Tales Volume I " was born.

The fascinating part for me in printing Dunsany as a work as opposed to reading Dunsany was how the stories gradually brought their meaning to me letter by letter.   The charm and pathos buried in these stories were as powerful as anything Dunsany had ever done.

In these stories, Dunsany gives voice to the hopes, dreams and fears of mankind.  The universality of this language is undeniable.  The messages are timeless though framed in the past.

To teach and remind the reader of their humanity, to connect them with the mystical and magical we all begin and end our lives with.  To embrace it in the space between.  This is the magic of Lord Dunsany.

Lord Dunsany wrote much of his work using a quill pen, holding and treating his writing as a living thing.

Pegana Press prints in the same fashion.  Setting each letter to create the word then locking the page in a press,  applying ink and pressure by hand to capture the thought in a slice of time called paper.  Everything is done by hand here, as in the old days,  and in homage to  masters like William Morris.

Where does Pegana Press go from here? There are many uncollected and forgotten pieces of Dunsany's art and genius hidden away but anxious to be revealed.  I will help as best I can with that noble project.

Written by Mike Tortorello of Pegana Press on September 27, 2012