Q. Cool logo - where is it from? I have this feeling I've seen it before?
The Lore & Legend logo uses an old woodcut image which is in the public domain, modified slightly for our use. You may have seen the image used in free font packs with signs of the zodiac. We believe it depicts the Greek god Chronos (Roman name Saturn), the Father of Time - an appropriate keeper of myth and legend. He appears to be vomiting forth the waters of life, of time - or perhaps of story?
Both the original zodiac images and the fonts based on them can be found here, and the site owner gives his explicit permission for their general use:
Q. What do mean when you say this is a storytelling podcast?
Lore & Legend is consciously produced out of and in respect to the culture of traditional oral storytelling as it is still practised today all over the world. The material is primarily traditional and mythological - it is strongly connected to the worlds of folklore, folk music and history. The creators of this podcast attend and perform at storytelling clubs.
However, there are lots of different ideas and traditions about what traditional storytelling involves. Usually, it doesn't involve learning a set text, and it certainly doesn't involve reading or reciting one. However, some storytellers will write out stories as part of their composing and learning process.
Due to the constraints of time on our production, and the goals we want to achieve, the stories in Lore & Legend are composed into a text that is then performed, though the text is written with vocal performance - and possible live performances - in mind. You might want to call this 'bardic storytelling' - that is what we are calling it! It may not satisfy the purists.
There are other storytellers and storyteller pocasts who do not use a text like this, and we'll be highlighting other traditional storytelling podcasts soon.
Q. Hey! You changed a traditional story. I'm not sure how I feel about that...
In the same way there are different ways to learn, perform and engage with stories, storytellers take different approaches to their material.
Some are what we may call 'tradition bearers' - they like to stay as true to the original tale as recorded or transmitted as possible, and believe that preserving every aspect of the tale is crucial to communicating, honoring and preserving the past. This may extend as far as keeping in archaic and recondite language, and incidents whose meanings are obscured by holes in our historica and cultural understanding, either individually or generally. However, they are themselves working with material, that has itself been changed, adapted and artistically shaped over the course of centuries.
Other storytellers will be freer in the way they work with traditional material. They may introduce slight or major changes, re-interpret tales, or even invent wholly new ones. A good or culturally aware storyteller will make these choices consciously and with specific goals in mind. Often, tales are changed as storytellers look for ways to relate more powerfully to their audience, by speaking to emotions and experiences they can identify with and connecting to them where they currently sit. It could be as simple as choosing to find a more readily understandable word or turn of phrase (replacing the archaic words 'Childe' and 'Burd' with 'Squire' or 'Knight' and 'Maid' or 'Girl' for instance), subtly restructuring motivations and behaviours that are no longer sympathetic in our heroes and protagonists, or making significant changes that transform the meaning of a tale to serve our own ends as storytellers.
We respect both traditions here at Lore & Legend, sticking close to traditional and historical materials and stories, but also making conscious artistic decisions where it suits us. The stories we tell exist not just as historical curiosities, but as art in their own right. One of the advantages of the podcast format is that we are able to highlight and explain our own creative choices and process in the podcast and through our blog. We hope that listening to Lore & Legend is informative for newcomers to myth and folklore, while also giving folk story geeks fresh and interesting takes on familiar material.
Q. Nice illustrations! They look like woodcuts or lino prints. Where are they from?
They are digital illustrations, in faux-woodcut style, and they are done by our very own Rick Scott. You can follow Rick's artistic and illustration work on Facebook.