Posts Tagged ‘Ravenskull’

The Writer’s Journey Inspires a Symphony

September 21, 2014
HJ Cover

A new symphonic poem by Luigi Maiello inspired by The Writer’s Journey

As I write this, I am listening to a new piece of music, a symphonic poem. Discovering a new composition is always enjoyable, but there is a special joy in this one, because it was inspired by my book THE WRITER’S JOURNEY, and the 12-stage Hero’s Journey model that I describe there.

HJ Diagram2

Titled “The Hero’s Journey”, this symphonic poem is the work of Italian composer Luigi Maiello who contacted me recently to tell me how he was inspired by the structure of my book to write twelve compositions expressing the different energies of the 12 Stages. He writes music for movies, TV series and computer games, and says “The Hero’s Journey” music is already being selected by directors as theme music for their productions.

You can buy and hear the music yourself at https://itunes.apple.com/it/album/the-heros-journey/id871342884.

I’m very excited about this development, because I have always dreamed of influencing and inspiring other artists to create works that express the spirit of the Hero’s Journey.  I get a lot of pleasure out of collaborating with creative people, and have had quite a few good experiences of it in my years of association with Disney Animation.  I also had the joy of working with graphic artists Michele Montez and Fritz Springmeyer on the third edition illustrations for THE WRITER’S JOURNEY; with comics illustrator Elmer Damaso on RAVENSKULL, my manga spin-off of IVANHOE; and with a great team of European and American animators on my animated feature JESTER TILL.

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“Stages of the Journey” illustration by Michele Montez from THE WRITER’S JOURNEY 3rd Edition

And now someone has been inspired all on his own to create a stunning musical work from the skeleton of my Hero’s Journey outline. I am all the more thrilled because it sounds like epic movie music I would write myself if I had the training and talent. In my mind’s eye as I listen to these pieces I see vast clouds parting to reveal the palaces of the gods, lands of wonder and enchantment, and the mighty deeds of giants and heroes. Here are depths of danger, pinnacles of triumph and tragedy, and glimpses of sublime mystery. It’s perfect soundtrack music for the writing projects I’m doing now.  The composer describes it as a kind of “universal soundtrack” for the eternal story of the Hero’s Journey.

It’s fascinating to listen to the different tracks and how they express the varied aspects of the Journey.  Like the 12 stages themselves, each composition projects a distinct energy, sometimes menacing and full of portent, sometimes racing along with all the excitement of a movie chase, and then again surging with hope and aspiration to reach higher planes.

 

 

A page from RAVENSKULL illus. by Elmer Damaso

A page from RAVENSKULL illus. by Elmer Damaso

Please support the artist, all artists, for we certainly need them and their healing power and inspiration. It’s all about inspiration — the storytellers and musicmakers of old were inspired by the power and beauty of nature, people like Joseph Campbell and Vladimir Propp were inspired by them to write their theories, people like me were inspired to reinterpret them for modern media, and people like Luigi Maiello are inspired again to create new works. And doubtless others will be inspired by Luigi’s soaring, epic music to express visions of their own.

What I’m up to

September 29, 2009

I thought it might be interesting for people to get a sense of what I’m doing these days.  I work for the major studios as a union story analyst when such jobs are available.  Most recently I was at Paramount but all of Hollywood seems shriveled by the worldwide economic slump and I haven’t had a studio gig in a year.  Hello Hollywood, I’m available!  Meanwhile I do consulting jobs for various companies and go around the world giving lectures and seminars on story structure and the “Hero’s Journey” pattern derived from mythology and the works of Joseph Campbell.  I am working closely with the Swarovski crystal company on a number of film projects, and I consult with directors and writers on their screenplays.  In recent times I had a hand in Roland Emmerich’s 10,000 B.C., Darren Aronofsky’s THE WRESTLER, Helen Hunt’s feature directing debut THEN SHE FOUND ME, and a couple of Will Smith movies, I AM LEGEND and HANCOCK.  I had fun on all these projects but am particularly pleased about 10,000 B.C. where I can find scenes in the trailer that I definitely influenced.  These were some of the big turning points in the movie and I’ve discovered one of the things I’m good at is identifying and magnifying the effect of these turning points.  In one case, at the climax of the movie, I was insistent that the gold capstone of a pyramid had to be toppled in order to fulfill the requirements of an epic movie, and there it is toppling spectacularly in the trailer.  Cool.

And I have my own projects.  My book THE WRITER’S JOURNEY is in its third edition and has sold over 250,000 copies.  I’m working on another book, working title BOILERPLATE, that will present essential concepts and principles for writers and creative artists.  I’m writing a historical novel set in a time and place I love, and I’m scheming how to revive the manga or graphic novel that I started, RAVENSKULL.  The first installment was published by Seven Seas but it didn’t perform well enough to continue the series.  I don’t feel too bad; the same thing happened to Patrick O’Brian after sales of his first Aubrey/Maturin novels were disappointing, but an American publisher saw merit in the series and revived it.  Ravenskull is a medieval fantasy written as a sequel to Sir Walter Scott’s IVANHOE and I had the time of my life collaborating with the artist, the talented Elmer Damaso.  The next chapter is all mapped out and I’d love to see it in print.  Maybe I’ll write it up in novel form.