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diamonds hadder the tower kind winters promo video

Image: Some artwork I did as I was imaging Hadder or another "Red" wandering the hillsides. Some strange lands out there in our imaginations. Real or make believe, I'm not so sure which is witch. .


Good morning, it’s the last Friday in January 2023. That was quick.

A little update on the weeks work.


The Diamonds Hadder Story: Once again here in the first weeks of 23 I’ve been chipping away at my Narrations for the Hadder tales. I finished up 3 more Field Notes this week, with just 4 more to go. At that point I can focus on other things on my list this year. This is work that’s been on my mind the last few months during my mountain travels and it’s really great to close most of it out here in late January. It’s so much better listening to these little stories. I find myself playing them sometimes and it really helps me imagine the place and times and characters in a way that words don’t. A few new ideas came to me this week.. a new character named Ellsa, who Hadder crosses paths with on route to the Black Forest.. she is a grasslander.. and she’s pretty handy with a sword. Those grasslanders, I’ll tell ya… they are a fierce people. Then there “Jeds Place”, I won’t give away to much about this Tavern just yet… but it has a few secrets that you wouldn’t believe. As I imagined it, I thought to myself, hmmm, oh that’s clever. Usually when I get an idea like that it turns out pretty good. I was at LA fitness late one night, listening to Narrations as I was doing my fitness things, and that’s when it came to me. I often get ideas there.. it seems to be my creative space. In the Master Medlin narration, I mentioned a girl that Zabble had feeling for, the woman in the gardens, an illusion from Master Medlins cloak shenanigans.. well, turns out that she is a real woman who Medlin actually saw in a tavern on the outskirts of BOK, I think she might appear a few times throughout the story.. real and unreal perhaps. Shes very pretty.. I have a picture of her. A face shifting cloak is a great tool to have when telling a mysterious story, or so I’ve noticed. Overall, I have a lot of dots to connect in this story and soon as I get done with scoring the last few narrations, I plan on doing just that. I’m excited to show you the photoshoot I did in the grasslands… but I’ve yet to build that montage of photos.. I thought today I would share it but time got away from me… as it does.. and it will take a bit to sort out the best ones and prepare a proper slideshow presentation. Maybe next time.


Diamonds Hadder photoshoot: Well, all things are pointing toward me having a new look moving into 23. Just another incarnation of me and my crazy ideas. I like costumes and imagery and I’ve now done a few shoots with some new looks. This idea started just before I left for white mountain in October.. I had started designing a few new get ups and make up ideas. Here in early January I did my first photoshoot, very preliminary to start, and it yielded some interesting results. Having seen the results of the first shoot, I’ll make a few alterations and see where I am with that on the next shoot which should happen in the next week or so. As I was panning through the photoshoot JPEGS, I did notice it looked rather interesting as I shuffled the images at about 25 frames per second, and it gave me a clever Idea for a music video. I do plan on having a video released when the tracks all get officially released, so perhaps this new look and this new idea that happened this week is the starting point for that. We’ll see. I can image by the close of 23 the site will have made a slight transition from the original masked Hadder to this new idea I have. I need a few more shoots under my belt. This is the fun stuff.


Music: For now, although I wake each morning singing to Loops and Patterns from the dead rabbit still.. all my focus is on the music score for these narrations. 12 done and 4 to go. I’m just about there. Once I can rest my mind from that, I can shift focus to the record and mixes and releasing it all. I did start a soundcloud page as I started finishing the narrations. Simply because it’s SO SO easy to link to tracks in the website from that platform. We’ll see how I feel about that as time goes by. You may have heard me talk about this in the past, but I try very hard to keep this diamonds hadder website the main portal for all things hadder related. It’s my place and everything I do is here and will always be here. I live here and I’m easy to find. I suppose as the record gets released, it will be everywhere anyway so, I think it’s just time to start preparing for such a thing. Soundcloud is a pretty cool platform for music and it’s amazingly user friendly. I find so many talented artists on that platform. Anyway, I’m really looking forward to releasing the final track and closing out this first record. Just a few hurdles to jump before I dive into that. Hope you enjoy the narrations.


Closing thoughts: What else. I like to close with some personal thoughts each week as it seems the whole damn world has gone crazy. Me I do find myself clinging to the ledge once and a while each week although my own personal footing has been widening these last 6 months. I didn’t realize as last year was closing that I would look back at the year as a whole and recognize all the work I did in 22. It was a pleasant surprise as I started this year. It gave me some needed perspective. I soon started to imagine the body of work I would complete this year… not a weeks’ worth or a months’ worth, but a years’ worth. That thought gave me some comfort, rest and newfound appreciation of the process. After all I am personally painted a pretty big picture here with this Hadder endeavor. And so I leave you this week with a little thought and hope for you, may you realize the same. That your endeavors and battles are not won today, that they are measured in larger hills and valleys. It’s ok to take a nap, even for a week or month.. it’s ok to sigh… to rest… to regroup. Sometimes staying the course, means getting off the road to enjoy the scenery once and a while. Our triumphs, victories, failures and successes are measured over much longer stretches than a weekend in January my friends. May you stay the course as well.. I’ll see you out there someday.


-j


Image: A narration for "The Keeper and the Key", sadly it was the death of Master Medlin, although nothing truly dies in the world of my dreams. More at www.diamondshadder.com/fieldnotes








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diamonds hadder the tower kind winters promo video

Image: Some artwork I commissioned in 22 by Julius Maximilian Strohlein depicting Hadder and his days in the Cypress Swamp Prisons. Not all birds are created equal, but something tells me Hadder is making friends down there.


Good morning, I'm rounding the first bend of 23. It seems like we've waited a year for January and now it’s almost gone. Spring is nipping at our heals, especially here in Bok where the coastal wildflowers bloom in February.

It feels good to be surrounded with hadder things again in the chilly winter air. I’m working hard these days, here’s a little update.


Artwork: As I get closer to getting caught up on Field Note narrations, I’ve been gathering more images associated with each tale. This week I did some “Grasslanders” artwork that was really wild. I took my camera out in the fields to document the Skull huts they live in and took some candid shots of them in their daily life out on the grassy planes. It was pretty cool. I just started looking through the photos… I’ll post some in a blog in the coming weeks. I’ve yet to really elaborate on them and their role in the Hadder tale but they will be involved in a big way. I will say I admire the way they live out there. They have quite the sense of humor, must be all that Grassy Ale they seem to love to much. I did see one wild Jed Spider as well, which I was in complete awe over. It was faraway out on the hillside and it kind of disappeared quick, but wow… those things are pretty rad. The few Spiders that the grasslander have in captivity are cool too, but the ones still out in the wild are each very unique and strange in their own right. They are very conscious beings from what I’m told and they have a sense of identity which makes some more interestingly wild looking than others. That includes how they move and the noises they make as well. Anyhow, lots of cool artwork will make its way to the site this year.

A few new Narrations were added this week, including the one below which is relevant to the image of Hadder in his bird cage prison above. A few more will be added next week as well. Some additional thoughts on this next phase of the Field Notes. These narrations might slowly get edits during the year, building up the score in the background, as I’ve been listening to them I notice some things that need to be cleaned up and other things that need to be added or tweaked to go along with the tale. Litto Biskernat, who by the way is also a bartender at “The Grassy Knoll”, enjoys a drink or two… particularly a thing they call “The Brimble Weed”, a grasslanders version of basically a Tall Grassy Ale with a pure whiskey shot made from Brimble Weeds. The weeds are known for their luminescent green glow which makes for an interesting looking drink, the brinmble weed whiskey sinks to the bottom of the ale and it’s rather pretty with the grass sticking out of the top. Anywho, Litto can tend to slur a little by the end of the night so I have to clean up some things in the narrations he’s done so far. “Quality problems on the road to archers bay, zabble would say.” Don’t ask me, I don’t know what it means… not sure he does either.


Music: Hmmm… I guess I do make music too, ha. This week was basically getting re-acquainted with the final track on the record and cleaning up the tower, fixing wire noises and rerouting things for some new mixing chores. I do believe the first record will be released on all the platforms here in the first quarter of the year… it has to be basically, I want to start working on a new record this year. I wish things moved quicker but they just move as they move. The cover of the first record may change when it gets released. I did some cool artwork recently and I think it might replace the last cover… ha, who knows, like I said I have so much artwork now that it’s quality problems from here on out. The covers for each song are kind of important to me, being a storyteller and all. So when I release them I really want each cover to be a little special and particular to the track, especially considering artwork tends to travel with the song down the digital river these days. The final track on the record, the new “Ballad of the Dead Rabbit”, will be a telling track as I think it’s getting closer to the direction I’m heading, with lots of operatic choirs and moments in the song… like a story it has its highs and lows. I sing all the choirs on the record, sometimes they are 20 or 30 stacked vocal tracks, which I add room reverbs to, to bring them to life. On the rabbit track, aside from the large choir sections, I’ve been dabbling more with some operatic choruses panned left and right, all singing different parts of the song. Like a true choir might do. Separating tenor parts and soprano parts with different words and phrases that hopefully play off each other. It would be a challenge to pull it off live without track assisting, but I don’t really mind things like that, if it’s needed due to being just one person, ha. Not like I’m not a singer dusk to dawn. I like grand, what can I say. Grand light and grand music.


Closing thoughts: I really could go on and on.. but I wont today. The last three mornings while I've been training, I awoke each day with a little crescent moon sinking… and each day it was sinking a little earlier and earlier.. until finally it was a beautiful little curl, like a smile, with a faint circular moon hardly noticeable behind. The sun can do some amazing little things. We’ve been flooded here in BOK these last few weeks, an atmospheric river event. I read that the second week of January hosts the “Bluest Monday” of the year, well, I’m glad that’s done. My Osteospermum Ecklonis and Artemisia Tridentata finally saw the first few rays of sunlight this week after the storm… and it’s obvious they are happy and blooming. Like my own heart these early days of 23. May the same be true for you. Stay the course friend.

-j



Image: A narration for "The wind the prison and the Leaf", which is the 1st mentions of the swamp prison. More at www.diamondshadder.com/fieldnotes








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Updated: Jan 13


diamonds hadder the tower kind winters promo video

Image: Some artwork I commissioned in 22 by Julius Maximilian Strohlein depicting Hadder and his tyme seer.


Good morning, It’s Friday. My first post for 23. Great to back in the tower. All my pilgrimage travels for 22 are behind me and all my gear is packed away now. I’m full time in the Hadder universe these first weeks of 23. Here is a little update on things.


About 23: Well, this year I’ve begun the switch back to Hadder things. Each year I get away the last few months and pour gasoline on some other fires I have burning. It’s a ritual with me, part of my season. You can think of it like a yearly winter of my life. After all the work I did last year bringing this Hadder tale to paper and writing the first Diamonds Hadder record… it was time to step away and reflect. On my way back from a last winter trip to see Zabble, who took the form of an eagle and joined me in the snowy sierra a few days… a new surge of hadder things started filling my blood and bones as my tires were turning and dicing through Icey mud puddles, I felt the end of that pilgrimage like a slap in the face. It was that sudden of a feeling as I watched the mountain peeks drift away in my rear-view mirror. It was the end of a lot of things and the beginning of others. I left that lake where a coin resides. Thanks Zabble.


Music and Things: Well, where do I start. The record may be just about complete but there are some T’s to cross and some I’s to dot… and of course I’ve yet to release it or press records. Then there’s Ramsay/Evermore material and another record to start. I have endless ideas from my morning singing routines… they all seem to point to a more operatic story like, heavy play of sorts, focused on the Diamonds hadder tale. Like phantom of the opera meets the trans-Siberian orchestra meets a fantasy version of annie. We’ll see. Before I start that of course, capping the dead rabbit and some mixing chores are in order this early part of the year to finally release the first record through proper channels and platforms. At this time my focus is on what I can do, what I enjoy doing and not what other people could or might do. That is a very important statement moving forward with all this Hadder stuff. I’m building something and I’m building it my way at a pace dictated my sanity and passion. The doors are unlocked and travelers are welcome in the mud room at any time. Leave your things at the door and feel free to look around. I have a lot to do here in 23.


The Novel: Well 2022 was a big year for the novel. The years before are when some of the stories and ideas first started appearing to me… but late 21 and 22 are when the words and stories found their inquisitive way to digital paper. What will 23 bring? Well, it’s started with me doing some of the narrations for the tales. Several have been uploaded to the Field Notes page. Each little stroke I do for this endeavor adds a little more wonder. The narrations were done by a man I stumbled upon in a tavern in BOK… called the “The Grassy Skull”. His name was Litto Biskernat, He was an English chap and he had a perfectly grand voice for this project, a vocal character mixed wonderfully with cigar smoke and dark whiskey tones. He liked what I was selling and so he decided to read a little for me. We bartered with old willow leaves and some used scaled from Ezras winter shedding. It was a match made in heaven and Ezra even felt like she contributed to the project. Her excitement came in the form of a, you guessed it, “Grumble Grumble”. So, without further addo… fell free to “listen” to Litto read some of the stories now when you like. I think he’s done 5 or or 6 of them this week, with another 5 or 6 each week till I catch up… and then I’ll begin some new stories for 23. Lord Skynn and Hadder are about to reach the gates of Europa… so much will happen there. A few flash backs to Hadders childhood will surely take place, the coin hadder wears around his neck will be explained, A queen and mother will appear, Lord bane and his own dark council will finally discuss their own plans and desires and Master Zabble, Ezra and maybe even Ezras 2 lost siblings will show up in a story or two… then there’s the strange Bailey Barton and the cypress swamps, the grasslanders and their role in this tale and finally John Hadder flashbacks to Lord Krell’s shipping issues and the Warmoth wars…. Hmmm…. finally,… Erza’s father is out there and some other surprises along the way are bound to appear. I doubt I’ll get to it all in 23, but it will be fun trying. Small steps in the same direction… they do chip away at large tasks.


Artwork: Well, I left off last year with the new “concept artwork” page being added to the hadder website. Behind the scenes in 22 I gathered more artwork than I know what to do with. A combination of commissioned pieces from very talented artists who I hope to continue working with in the future, as well as my own creations. All this artwork was for the Novel and for merchandise that I want to add to the site. Concert shirts in particular, and simple coffee mugs. Just some easy things that I want available when the record finally hits all platforms. 22 was a time of gathering, 23 I hope will be a time of creating things with what I’ve gathered and planted. Novel and Music related. I’ll chip away at all this as the weeks stack and the moons of 23 drift overhead. Last thing on the topic of artwork, my good friend Jules, an amazingly talented and kind hearted illustrator from Germany, who has done about 6 or 7 pieces for me to date… has been re-commissioned to do artwork for the narrations in the Hadder tale… he’s working on the first “Zabble and the castle Fanglor” as we speak. Hopefully by the end of 23, if he’s up for the task all year, we will have a Jules Illustration style, NON AI piece of art for each tale. How exciting.


Rehearsals: Over the last 3 months I’ve investigated a few places for rehearsals, nothing yet that tickled my fancy, I’m kind of particular when it comes to spaces and energies for what I’m crafting… I’m sure something will open soon, 408 is still on the mind each morning and I’m hoping that tower will clear soon and make room for me. No hurry I suppose as the wheels on the bus go round and round. Rehearsals will start when rehearsals start.


Closing thoughts: I just wanted to mention this as it was a very powerful dream I had this week and I wanted to remember it. I saw the future I think… it was a long dream and so incredibly vivid I couldn’t whipe the smile from my face all day. Hadder was there going through a crowd of people… some large event… helped through the crowd by some lovely large people… on the way to a stage… it was such a vivid and powerful moment, such a path… I swear it was a real moment yet to happen. I could smell the auditorium and feel the rumble of thousands of people cramming into this echoing chamber… the smoke.. the noise… the energy was electric, like a physical thing in the air that you had to wade through. Scary yet exhilarating. Why do I see these things in my dreams… I don’t ask for them when I fall asleep. why are they so focused and detailed and real to me. It came at a good time.. almost like clockwork, as the church bells of 23 began ringing high atop my white mountain. I hope it fuels me this year and keeps me focused on the things that are important to me. May you have the same energy and focus on your own dreams and goal this year. If you’ve come this far today, I thank you so much for caring and reading about this personal journey I’m on and I hope you find little things that inspire your own path and pursuits. No one’s coming to save you friend, it’s you who has to save yourself. I’ll meet you in the dark. I truly wish you all your own kind winter of reflection, feel free to reach out any time and good luck to you on the start of this new year. Rise and shine friend.

-j


Image: A narration for the first field note, Lord Zabble and the castle Fanglore. More at www.diamondshadder.com/fieldnotes








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