Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Syd Lieberman Jumps into the 21st Century

(photo by Santheo)
You might say Chicago storyteller Syd Lieberman was already ahead of his time... with a commission from NASA under his belt, he is the only American storyteller with an official claim to give voice to the folklore of the planet Mars. But now he's boldly going where no storyteller (at least not one with his prominence in the field) has gone before... the Creative Commons.

Now, for a limited time (Summer 2007), he is releasing his entire stable of storytelling recording as free downloads from his Web site, By my count, he has 14 CDs and cassettes in his multi-decade career, and you can still purchase these, but he's taking a cue from the up and coming undiscovered rock and roll bands of the world and giving away his music so as to build his audience.

And, from what I understand of the Creative Commons license, you are free to copy and share the mp3s, as long as you attribute the work to Syd and don't use it for commercial purposes.

You can subscribe to the recordings as a podcast. I don't know how to do that (I don't have an iPod), but I find I can listen to them fine via his Web site, and even download individual stories.

Given the state of frenzy that the lawyers of the RIAA and Viacom and Time Warner and Fox and everyone has over who copyrights what and who is allowed to post what on which web site... Syd's move is a refreshing one, and obviously comes from a place of abundance, rather than scarcity.

Kudos to Syd!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chicago Youth Storytelling: WNEP and "Back to School"

Don R. Hall at Chicago's WNEP (What No One Else Produces) has been running a storytelling competition, called SKALD, for 8 years now.

(And my ears on the ground in Chicago in the storytelling community know nothing about it. Time for some new ears. The likely trouble is not only that Chicago storytellers aren't tapped into the theatre scene there, and also Don's use of the term "professional storyteller" does not correspond to the same definition that professional storytellers use.)

Be that as it may, Don's blogged about his efforts to get some youth storytellers involved, and he may have just gotten more than he bargained for.

But it seems his potential batch of students are wildly enthusiastic. Kudos for Don for developing the next generation of storytellers.