Back at the beginning of the summer, after recording a new course, A Way With Words: Writing, Rhetoric and the Art of Persuasion for Recorded Books, I went into the studio for a marathon session and recorded all of Beowulf in Old English.
I tried to read it dramatically without go so far as to adopt multiple voices, and I even sang Finnsburg. It was fun, but also one of the hardest things I have ever done. As exhausting as recording fourteen 35-minute lectures for a course is, reading all of Beowulf aloud and keeping up the energy level was even more work.
Then Matt Cavnar, the genius recording engineer and director who has done all of my courses for Recorded Books, edited the piece, taking out all of my stumbles and making me sound much better than I actually am.
Recorded Books will be publishing the Beowulf reading later this year, bundled in a special offer for one of their programs that hasn't been completely decided yet, but I retained the rights to sell it on its own, and I'm working right now to put together some kind of inexpensive and interesting package. I did a short lecture on Beowulf as well that goes before the reading itself, and the entire thing takes up three CDs.
So, you ask, where is he going with this?
I'd like to solicit suggestions for a few things:
a). What key information would you think would be useful to have on the liner notes (remembering that I have basically two small pages to work with)?
b). Do any of my readers know about podcasts and how to go about making them? I wouldn't mind podcasting some of the reading, but I have no knowledge in this area and pointers would be nice.
c). What other things do you think would be possible and interesting to do with Beowulf Aloud? How could it be useful to you in teaching or study?