Thursday, February 22, 2007

Anglo-Saxon Aloud

I'd like to introduce my latest project, Anglo-Saxon Aloud. I will be reading the entire Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records aloud and posting these readings as podcasts. If you go to that site, you can add this podcast to your iTunes, to various feeds, etc. (I thank Scott Hamlin for all his help with the technical matters).

I will be trying to read, record, edit and post between 50 and 100 lines every day (or at least every weekday), thus working through all 30,000 lines of Old English Poetry in something over a year. If I can work them up (and this depends on children, teaching, research, being department chair, etc.), I will try to give short, interpretive discussions about each poem as it is completed.

I hope that people will find these podcasts amusing and interesting. If you do, you may want to buy my Beowulf Aloud CD, which should be ready for sale (as should its site) within two weeks. Beowulf Aloud is a complete recording of all 3182 lines of the great Old English poem, and it comes with an introductory lecture on Beowulf, the exciting history of its manuscript, and its cultural background and significance. Beowulf Aloud was recorded in studio and edited by a professional recording editor (the genius, Matthew Cavnar, who directed all of my courses on CD for Recorded Books). I'll be selling it as a 3-CD set, with cover art and liner-design by my brilliant student, Jennifer A. Schuman.

The podcasts for Anglo-Saxon Aloud can be used to improve your own Old English, to help with your teaching or to put young children to sleep (I originally read the entire ASPR aloud as a way of getting my daughter to sleep each night). Feel free to use them for educational purposes, but please check with me before adopting it for any other uses and, obviously, please don't sell my work without working out a deal with me first.

I've started this project for a number of reasons: I want to show that Old English is entertaining and a pleasure to listen to even if one doesn't know the language. I want to investigate how many of these particular poems can be recited or performed. And I want to use these readings as an opportunity for additional research: I just had a paper come out in Modern Philology, on Beowulf, whose genesis was my inability to get a particular line (1864) to scan fluidly when I was reading the poem aloud to my daughter. I think in reading the entire Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records from beginning to end I will find more things to think, talk and write about, and that will be fun.

So welcome, to Anglo-Saxon Aloud.

1 comment:

Mearcstapa said...

Way to step up! I hope your voice holds out (though it sounds like you've already done it once).

I can't wait to be bumpin' down the street in my sweet ride, crankin' the 'wulf on my i-Pod!

Or maybe listening to some Wulf & Eadwacer with my date at a parkin' spot. Sure to put her in the mood.

Seriously, thanks for doing this!