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Drabblecast 251 - The Music of Erich Zann

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:40 pm
by StalinSays
Feature: The Music of Erich Zann by H.P. Lovecraft

Image

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
My room was on the fifth story; the only inhabited room there, since the house was almost empty. On the night I arrived I heard strange music from the peaked garret overhead, and the next day asked old Blandot about it. He told me it was an old German viol-player, a strange dumb man who signed his name as Erich Zann, and who played evenings in a cheap theater orchestra; adding that Zann’s desire to play in the night after his return from the theater was the reason he had chosen this lofty and isolated garret room, whose single gable window was the only point on the street from which one could look over the terminating wall at the declivity and panorama beyond…

Lovecraft Month

Art by Bill Halliar
Music by Paolo Pandolfo
Poem: The Fungi From Yuggoth by H.P. Lovecraft

Twabble: “ The gypsy examined the cards she dealt and foretold, "You'll come into a large sum of money." Indeed, it was a full house. ” by TroyStJames

Re: Drabblecast 251 - The Music of Erich Zann

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:48 pm
by tbaker2500
I really enjoyed this one. Now, granted, I've been extremely tired from work recently, I lay my head down and listen to the story. I wake up later, realizing I only lasted 5 minutes before dozing off. So it took a little while to make it all the way though.

The outro had a salient point about the story which I would not have gotten, about losing home. Thanks for pointing it out.

Re: Drabblecast 251 - The Music of Erich Zann

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:55 am
by Polecat
I, too, thoroughly enjoyed the story, and suspect that the lack of comments here does not reflect a negative or indifferent response to the story, rather that it is very difficult to find anything to say about it. I particularly liked the lack of tentacles - that makes it untypical for Lovecraft, I think, and the "gothic horror" feel and european setting remind me of Arthur Conan Doyle or M R James. Erich Zann's instrument, the Viol, gave me pause for thought - Lovecraft's description of the playing caused me, at least, to picture some Paganini-like "devils music" played by a wild fiddler, but the Viol is a much more staid instrument usually played held between the knees, like a cello. What would the music sound like then? low, slow and menacing, or rumbling like an earthquake? I can't really imagine it.

respectfully

the polecat

Re: Drabblecast 251 - The Music of Erich Zann

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:10 am
by normsherman
Polecat wrote:Erich Zann's instrument, the Viol, gave me pause for thought - Lovecraft's description of the playing caused me, at least, to picture some Paganini-like "devils music" played by a wild fiddler, but the Viol is a much more staid instrument usually played held between the knees, like a cello. What would the music sound like then? low, slow and menacing, or rumbling like an earthquake? I can't really imagine it.
I wish I could 'like' this comment. I felt the same thing.

Re: Drabblecast 251 - The Music of Erich Zann

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:31 pm
by Unblinking
By far the best Lovecraft story I've read/heard to date. It's a bit of a slow beginning, but well worth the wait. the image of the man widly playing his instrument to drive back the cosmic horror is a great one.

Re: Drabblecast 251 - The Music of Erich Zann

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:27 pm
by Richmazzer
Basically the only Lovecraft I'm ever exposed to is on the Drabblecast. I've tried reading a few but I usually just can't stay engaged. It's a different story when Norm's reading the damn thing though. Loved this, and yes, good commentary at the end.
But my favorite part? Gotta give a shout out to that Fungi. With my headphones on those sonnets sent major chills down my spine. The one that played at the very end of the episode after the closing music was my favorite. Went back and listened to the DC Yuggoth excerpts from past years, would be awesome to get them all combined into a single file.

Re: Drabblecast 251 - The Music of Erich Zann

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:10 pm
by eric_marsh
Think Zann's music might have sounded something like this? I can't imagine keeping on like that for hours.


Re: Drabblecast 251 - The Music of Erich Zann

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:37 am
by strawman
"Currently completing her masters degree" means this was probably a jury examination. Plus it says she's supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

I really prefer this piece, by the only guy I know who does it as well as Norm, who did it for his jury (I think).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3ulenPf_II

Re: Drabblecast 251 - The Music of Erich Zann

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:56 am
by eric_marsh
Williams is brilliant, but I was specifically looking for viola music that might be fitting for the Zann story.

Re: Drabblecast 251 - The Music of Erich Zann

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:44 am
by Polecat
Mr Marsh, I fear you will be disappointed, as there's probably nothing other-worldly enough to sound like what I, at least, imagine Herr Zann to have played.

It's somewhat OT, but here, at least, is some pretty devilish cello playing:



Rufus Cappadosia also accompanies Bethany Yarrow, the daughter of Peter Yarrow (as in Peter Paul and Mary), which is where I first encountered him: http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlaye ... &m=7040383

respectfully

the polecat

Re: Drabblecast 251 - The Music of Erich Zann

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:39 pm
by Bad Wolf
I got to compliment Mr. Sherman's reading on this one. He puts a nice frantic edge on it. I'm use to listening to Wayne June read HPL and that is one tough act to follow. Great job.

Re: Drabblecast 251 - The Music of Erich Zann

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:00 pm
by eric_marsh
Another musical treat for Lovecraft month.


Re: Drabblecast 251 - The Music of Erich Zann

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:56 am
by tbaker2500
Heh, nice song.
Also, forgot to mention that the sonnets were fun. Overall good episode.

Re: Drabblecast 251 - The Music of Erich Zann

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:13 am
by Douglas Hackle
"The Music of Erich Zann" has always been one of my favorites. And that's something of a big understatement.

Like John Holmes big.

Because it's not that this story is merely one of my favorite Lovecraft tales. Nor is it that the story is one of my favorite examples of short-form dark/weird fiction. Nor is it--yes, I'm moving in an increasingly general direction here--that this tale is merely one of my favorite stories of all time regardless of style or genre.

Nay, this story is one of my favorite things to ever be created by a human being and then find itself assimilated and passed down through popular culture. In making this assertion, I do not employ hyperbole. If I were to attempt to descibe the strange feelings of nostalgic wonderment and the boyhood memories of my first experience of this story that any present reading (or listening) of the story stirs up inside me today, I, like the nameless narrator of the tale, would be at a loss for words.

"It would be useless to descibe the playing of Erich Zann on that dreadful night."

For me, the invention of this story is right up there with the invention of pizza.

So yeah, I have a wee-bit of a bias when I say that this episode was fantastic, and if Norm ever produced a CD of HP's greatest hits, I'd likely be one of the first geeky, sorry-ass motherf*ckers to shell out eleven or twelve smackeroonies to buy it.

Re: Drabblecast 251 - The Music of Erich Zann

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:26 pm
by Unblinking
Douglas--But did you like it? Tell us what you really think. ;)