Brand new #poetry #audiobook – get it #free with Audible 30 day trial

FreezeFrameAudioMP3Well it’s finally here – the FREEZE FRAME international poetry anthology has been re-mastered and is now on sale on Amazon, iTunes and Audible.

The brainchild of the poet Oscar Sparrow, he invited 5 other poets from around the world to write a collection of poems that would ‘freeze the frame’ on our bustling lives.  In addition to their written words, each poet recorded a performance of each poem.  To complete the project, a talented young pianist composed a theme for the anthology with individual motifs for each poet.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to hear works read aloud by these poets, in their own inimitable styles that really bring the poetry to life.

If you would like to get this audio book for FREE here are two suggestions ( you could do both of course!):

1. Sign up for a FREE 30 day trial membership on Audible and get FREEZE FRAME for FREE too. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

2. Get a FREE copy to download from Amazon.  We have a number of ‘review copies’ to give away – we are doing this via a draw, to make it fair.  The first draw will take place at the end of September.  Click here to enter:    a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations to Oscar Sparrow, Paul Tobin, Jo VonBargen, Claude Nougat, Candy Bright and Jefferson Hansen on a great audio project.

Find the audio, print and kindle versions here too:

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

How far does your #audiobook #narrator go for authenticity?

Oscar Sparrow has recently recorded an audiobook for the great British journalist of cycling – Les Woodland.  It’s called Tour de France: The Inside Story and is a 9-hour feast for anyone who loves cycle racing, bikes, France and wants to know the history and background to the world’s greatest cycle race – and some would argue the world’s toughest athletic competition.

He’s also produced this video to explain to Les’s fans just how he went about researching and preparing for the narration of this audiobook.

The audiobook lasts just over nine hours and is available on Amazon USAAmazon UKAudible and iTunes.

There is currently an offer to get the book free if you sign up for a 30-day trial membership on Audible, saving $19.95 (£12.50)!

You can also win a copy of the brand new audiobook here:  a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Smiles all round at Gallo-Romano Media

We received a lovely email today from the author of “101 Tips on How To Be A Bouncer” – Mr Darren Lee.  He has now received his finished audiobook – narrated by our very own Oscar Sparrow and seems very pleased with the result.

Not being shy about blowing our own trumpet… we our proud to share his testimonial with you:

 101 How To be a Bouncer audiobook cover (1)“When I first decided to seek auditions for my book, 101 Tips on How to Be a Bouncer: Techniques to Handle Situations Without Violence, into an audiobook I really had no idea what to expect. I knew I wanted a British accent which was refined, yet had a bit of an edge. Some of the auditions missed the point completely and others sounded like they had been recorded in a garbage can outside a nightclub. I had just about given up entirely when along came Oscar Sparrow of Gallo-Romano Media with a short audition piece that seemed to perfectly duplicate what I wanted, plus adding a certain quality to his product which only comes from years of experience and dedication. In short, to say I am happy with the audiobook is an understatement. For Oscar, his work isn’t just a churn and burn to make a quick buck. He is VERY good at what he does, it certainly shows in his work and I would have no hesitation recommending him to prospective audiobook producers in the future!”

Thanks Darren! Needless to say… we are all walking round with big grins on our faces.

Listen to 101 Tips…

101 How To be a Bouncer audiobook cover (1)

Great news, the audiobook for Darren Lee’s 101 TIPS ON HOW TO BE A BOUNCER is now finished and is available FREE with every Kindle copy purchased.

You can find the book and audiobook here

It  lasts around two and a half hours and was recorded by Oscar Sparrow, in his firm but friendly South-London accent.

 

You can find out what Oscar thinks about the book and also hear an audio sample on Emma Calin’s blog where he is doing a guest post today. 

Oscar sqareWe wish Darren every success with his new book!

The Proof of the Pudding is in the Freeze Frame

We were all excited when the proof copy of FREEZE FRAME landed on the doormat four days earlier than anticipated.  We love digital media but there is nothing like holding the real thing in your hand and flicking through those pristine pages.

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It’s almost there – a couple of changes and we’re good to go.

We’ve also formatted the e-book for Smashwords, so in a couple of weeks from now FREEZE FRAME will be available for just about every e-reading device known to man e.g. Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Apple, iPad, Android, Sony, EPUB etc etc. as well in traditional tactile format.

Both the e-book and print book include the free link to the audio recordings of FREEZE FRAME – a one hour poetry fest where each poet performs their poems – a real treat!

Find the book currently on Amazon HERE

Freeze Frame Poetry Anthology – Music Reveal

Isabelle Fuller

Thank you for the music

As the date for the launch of the Freeze Frame Poetry Anthology approaches (Friday 21st Dec!), Oscar Sparrow interviews the composer of the original music used on the audio album….

One of the huge number of things about which I know nothing is music. My mother was a singer who could not believe her genes carried the recessive potential for a tone deaf croaking sparrow. After all, she had specifically ordered a nightingale.

Fortunately, I am surrounded by talent. One of the requirements for the music track was that it contained a variety of themes with changes of pace and melody. It is surprisingly difficult to commission original work.  I approached Izzy, who composed and played the theme for “I Threw A Stone” and she agreed to give it a try. We had a long session of reading the poems and she took them away to get a feel for the individual poets. Although the music track is a continuous piece in its own right, the mandate was to create moods and reflections complimentary to the audio tracks. Obviously the music speaks for itself but I had a chat with her shortly before its goes live.

You have worked on a couple of projects for us before. How did this job feel?

It was a huge leap of difficulty. I wrote and played the flute track on “Where is God” by Jo VonBargen the fabulous American poet. (You just have to hear her read her work – it’s a thrill it really is, She opened me up to poetry power). I did the same with the piano theme for Oscar’s book but Freeze Frame was something much more complex. I spent a lot of time thinking about the different themes. Because I had access to the audio tracks I could feel my way into the atmosphere of what I wanted to do.

I was out shopping and saw you on a poster as a star flautist at a concert. Which is your preferred instrument? 

The piano allows me to compose and I can just play without accompaniment. I get more chances to perform with the flute. The piano is more versatile and has a ready depth that you need for composition.

I have no idea what it feels like to compose music. Can you tell me?

It’s a great feeling to get the idea out of my heart and into my fingers. It doesn’t really feel like an idea in my head – thoughts are more like words somehow. Music is something fluid you tap into. It’s not like thinking at all, its like skating or dancing – it happens inside you and you express it without knowing how or where its going exactly. You need technical information about harmonies and such like but it is a marvellous sense of freedom.

In this case did you have a starting point?

Only the tradition of everything that anyone has ever composed. There’s a lot of music written around individuals, physical themes and other art forms. Any composer feels humbled by it. There are pieces like Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition, Elgar’s Enigma Variations, The Planets, the whole book of ballet music and pieces like Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue that I saw in Disney’s Fantasia 2000 when I was a very little girl. I think it changed me! I know composers are supposed to be highbrow but my first awareness of music was from Barbie cartoon movies which featured classical ballet.  You never feel you can do anything like that but it’s still in me  to do what I can. I just have to.

What’s next?

I’ve enjoyed working to a theme and I have an idea beginning along those lines. I can’t really express it yet. I’ve sent the project down into my heart to warm up and get some feeling. It’s like……. waiting for springtime now….

Favourite film and favourite song?

You’re going to laugh at me. My film would be “The Page Turner” which is about a psychotic sadistic pianist. I’m afraid my favourite song  is “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. I know its far older than me but that guitar riff takes me somewhere sublime. I think they’re for old rocker guys. Do you think I’m normal?

I’m actually more worried about the psychotic pianist. Gallo-Romano don’t pay much!

It’s always a pleasure to work with Izzy because she does the work. That’s the way I like it.

So- here it is, the music that will buffer between the poets. It will play in its entirety at the end of the book. As an update I can say that we are on target for the e book with audio launch on 21st December. The “real” paper book will follow in the New Year.

Guys – it’s good.

In case you missed it here is the soundcloud music link.

Freeze Frame Anthology. Featured Poet and Editor Oscar Sparrow. Interview by Jo VonBargen

It had to come – the final interview with Freeze Frame Editor and  Poet No 6 – Oscar Sparrow.  Jo VonBargen puts the questions…

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I’d like to introduce our fearless leader and Editor of the upcoming Freeze Frame AnthologyOscar Sparrow! This has been a wonderful project to work on and Oscar has made it so easy for all of us! Oscar’s own work is without peer, in fact, he’s my own favorite living bard! Here, an example from his delicious book of poetry, I THREW A STONE, available at Amazon.com, which has an audio file of him reading the poems accompanying it.

Engine Management Light

Some semi-conductor keeping time
turns his back
as half an orchestra falls flat.
A filament of existence
beyond darkness triggers an enlightenment.

I stare into the void of mystery,
in the pews of ignorance
awaiting the priest,
images of invisible strands
spinning in unknowable blackness
fill my blind imagination.

Others speed by
down the Damascus Road.
On the hard shoulder,
facing the question –
My question,
I open the book and pray.


For a little taste of his enormous talent, listen to him read what has been said to be the “worst poem in the world”, written by Theo Marzials. I found it enchanting!

A TRAGEDY by Theo Marzials. Read by @Oscar_Sparrow  Unforgettable! 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfXSQ9wj3AI

We are all so excited about FREEZE FRAME and offer heartfelt thanks to Oscar and his team atGallo-Romano for all the hard work they’ve done to come up with what we think is a fantastic result!

I had the opportunity to interview Oscar before the release of the book, just as he interviewed us; this is a peek at the character of a very intriguing individual!
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Oscar Sparrow Interview (by Jo Vonbargen)

I appreciate so much that you have been able to put together this unique collection called <em “mso-bidi-font-style:=”” normal”=””>Freeze Frame. You once said to me,

“If we froze the frame – what would we see? A guy taking an order at Burger King and punching the codes on his till? A girl in the line texting her friend the menu choices? A land mine victim smelling a rose? A guy flicking sports channels. So many layers of interface and distraction! Paul Gaugin asked “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?”

Now that you’re wearing the Editor’s hat, has any of this become clearer to you?

What has become clearer to me is that individuals are very capable of focusing on those moving moments of life. In some cases, moments of experience live on forever perhaps and to some extent define those individuals. It is even clearer to me that this IS the work of poetry in terms of how it stands relative to our minds in this multi-channelverse. As for Gaugin’s question – well, the linear idea of an individual life being a flash of light between bookends of oblivion is obviously far too simple. As for what we are, maybe more than ever I see that we are seekers of understanding. Probably we are trying to understand rainbows by eating mud. Poets deal with what they don’t know but they cook the mud before they serve it up.

You are my favourite living poet, hands down. You peel a subject down to the quantum level, disassemble the atoms, then rearrange them into a veritable feast of multi-layered meaning and social commentary. I find them absolutely fascinating! When did you first realize poetry would take over your life and be your very breath?

What a wonderful compliment – thank you. I suppose that as quite a young kid I did not fit in because I wanted conversation and discussion to go much further and deeper. We use descriptions such as “as hard as stone”. The use of words in this context troubled me and kids and teachers shuffled away when I would ask how you “understood” the hardness of stone. My refuge was poetry – particularly Wordsworth. I bought a copy at a second-hand shop. I hated all that poetry they served up at school – all that dah di dah di dah stuff.  I wandered about a lot, looking at yellow iris and learning the smell of water and advancing snow. I wanted a poem to look out beyond to that place which could not be a place but which my tiny brain can only see in terms of a location. I must say that your own work “From This Far Time” touched me deeply by heading out on this path.

That’s very sweet of you, Oscar! Your own response to that work gave me so much encouragement and hope for the future…you have no idea!! I’m curious as to how you actually work in your “poet’s cave”.  As for subject matter, where does your poetry come from and who has influenced you?

The poet’s cave is a philosophical place quite often of no thought or input. I have to go there just to be.  The biggest fact of the human mind, the universe and everything that binds them together is something we completely ignore. Intuition is the dark matter of thought and the construction of our picture of existence within our consciousness is intuitive. This intuition is very much there in the child. The “system” both ignores and discourages it. Who says to a scruffy kid “I want you to wander about free, not trying to think anything. If you want to – or if you feel you just have to, come back and tell me what you felt”.  Now that is not just a school for poets – that is a school for the world. The sad thing is that once we did have that power and freedom. We have forgotten where we left ourselves. 

As for influences – certainly Wordsworth, the English Movement guys like Larkin. Robert Graves, W.H. Auden, Thomas Hardy, Maggie Huscroft, Elizabeth Browning, Walt Whitman, Les Murray  and so many writers and poets. The work of Gaugin, many films and singers like Jacques Brel. The word play and cleverness of Charles Trenet leaves me dumb with admiration. My biggest influence is that elusive intuition in a scene or moment. Always that question “What words can fit the intuitive signal I am receiving?”

You are one of the best spoken word artists I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. You have a natural talent for dramatizing the written word and leaving us spellbound! Have you ever worked in theatre?

No theatre I’m afraid. I think a critic would say that I just love the sound of my own voice. Look – we all have depth and nuances within ourselves. The voice can betray/reveal them. Life and poetry are acting jobs. Shyness and uncertainty make us reluctant to risk the true expression of our spirits. If I’m any good, it is because I have grown old enough to let go and just do what anyone could do if they stepped up and grabbed the microphone. 

Remove the editor’s hat and put on the poet’s. What message would you leave the world on your tombstone?

Wow – hmmmm. It would be difficult to not appear righteous if I gave advice about how to live when I know nothing more than anyone else. If I were to try to combine the basic selfishness of mankind yet their ability to elude its grip, I would condense everything to:  “Love yourself –  for your kindness.”

What direction do you think your own poetry is going and where do you think poetry in general should go? Have you ever been part of the poetry establishment?

I have lived through several re-launches, renaissances, second comings and new waves of poetry.  None of them have changed the sales or perception of it. In a rather joking way I dub myself the “Poet Lorry-Park” in order to underline my allegiance to the cause of non-academic people. I feel that poetry was stolen, mystified and separated from the main stream of life by a clique of media connected cronies. They wanted the poetry world to be ten stars <strong “mso-bidi-font-weight:=”” normal”=””>and all the rest of us fawning upon their latest style of line break. To me, this is tosh. You can stuff a sonnet in your rhyming bonnet or ride into Jerusalem on your assonance for all I care. What I want is for anyone who feels a surge of joy, who poses an infinite question or who sees a dog peeing on a cabbage AND who really sees it and reflects on it to realise that they themselves are the poet. I do not believe in any regime or form of poetry. It is the naked honest mind seeking to use this heavy toolbox of words to do a job no one will ever complete. The subject and my intellectual/emotional relationship with it dictate the form of what I write. How can I be bigger than the power of the unwritten poem? The poem is the statue unborn, yet living in the stone.

I have skirted around the poetry establishment because I thought I might pick up some electricity from the overhead wires. I felt the current but essentially they only wanted a coin for their trochaic meter. In short, let there be poetry and let all be poets. Those with the best words will be guides, not stars.

Finally, Jo – my dear friend, thanks for inviting me to ramble on for far too long. I dreamed that one day I would be a poet.  To be so dubbed by a poet I admire so much is a true honour and happiness. 

Thank you so much, Oscar! It has been my distinct pleasure to know and work with you!!