Full disclosure: I am in no way affiliated with The Legends, Myths, and Whiskey Podcast (LMAW). I’m just a big fan and want their Beowulf album to be a huge success so that they can give similar treatment to other epic stories from other cultures.
The world of podcasts is a very densely populated one. Since the medium’s rise to popularity among people with things to say, characters to share, or stories to tell, around 2009 (when over 1/5 of the population of the US over 12 became listeners), just about everyone of those sorts of people has launched a podcast. In terms of topics, these podcasts cover a range of things: politics, pop culture, science, serial radio dramas — there are even a few about history!
But one area that you don’t hear much about when it comes to podcasts is the stories that people have told for millennia. There aren’t very many podcasts about mythology or folklore.
There are some shows that are like excellent creepy pasta come to life (Welcome to Night Vale), but there aren’t many that focus exclusively on retelling old myths, legends, and folklore. Thankfully, there is one podcast that covers all three of these kinds of stories and does so expertly: The Legends, Myths, and Whiskey Podcast.
On each episode of the show, hosts Tanner Campbell and Eric DeMott take two stories and one whiskey. They read translations of the stories, sample the whiskey and tell listeners what they think of both. Thanks to these gents I’ve learned about stories like The Faithlessness of Sinogo or A Parrot Named Hiraman. And although I’m not much of a whiskey drinker, their commentary on what they’re drinking for the episode consistently leaves me feeling intrigued.
But this isn’t just an entry to share one of my new favourite podcasts with you all. I’m writing about the LMAW podcast because after hours and hours of work they’ve put together their first album: Beowulf: A Mythosymphony. This album features Tanner and Eric reading J.B. Kirtlan’s 1913 prose translation of Beowulf and adding their summaries, commentary, and analysis after finishing each of the story’s sections.
Along with the hosts reading and reflecting on Beowulf, this extended version of the LMAW podcast features brand new music that composer Nico Vettese (https://wetalkofdreams.com/) made specifically for this reading. It also features original art by Paolo Puggioni (http://www.paolopuggioni.com/).
If you’re at all curious about this album and want to find out more, I highly recommend that you check out the LMAW podcast’s bandcamp page. There you can listen to a couple of sample tracks. You can also put in a pre-order for the Beowulf: A Mythosymphony, which is set to be released on September 15.
After having listened to the two tracks that Tanner and Eric have made available, it sounds like the complete Beowulf album will be amazing. Tanner nails reading Kirtlan’s translation and the musical accompaniment fits the tone and content of Beowulf’s boasting beautifully.
If this album sounds like something you’d enjoy, definitely check it out!
What are your thoughts on podcasts as a way to tell stories?
Leave your thoughts in the comments!
This is an incredibly nice surprise! Thank you so much for sharing us with your readers and for caring enough about our project to support it in this absolutely awesome way.
Like you said, the project has been a lot of work. It’s our first time doing anything like this and we’re learning a lot along the way! Between Eric, Nico, Paolo, and myself, we have 200+ hours put into this first of its name, Mythosymphony, and we believe it’s going to be worth every moment of effort when everyone hears the finished product (which releases September 15th). Until then Beowulf: A Mythosymphony is currently available for pre-order at lmaw.bandcamp.com.
It’s not just a great story either. The commentary tracks will provide an semi-academic gloss that will help listeners to understand some of the context and history behind the events. We’ll also breakdown some of the strange words some listeners will be hearing for the first time. Also included are three high-resolution versions of Paolo’s artwork; each featuring a different battle scene from the book.
Thanks again, Nick. We appreciate you as a listener, as a supporter, and as someone with a big enough heart to help a rinky-dink podcast be more than they thought they could be.
Tanner, Eric, and Nico
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Thanks for your comment, and kind words! I’m always looking for fellow fans of folklore and myth and your podcast is the best source for a wide variety of old stories that I’ve come across. So I’m happy to spread the word about it!
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