Well look what we have here. Author and Sony PlayStation Social Media Specialist Ryan D. Clements has just released a full-length fantasy/folk album with 2-Player Co-op duo Danny and Tori Wiessner at the helm. The album entitled Beggars and Sailors, which features art by Pandamusk, serves as a companion to Clements’ recently released short story The Maiden of Sea Sky which chronicles the adventures of traveler, singer and runaway Meeka Towers.
In a post on his blog Story of Eras, the author revealed, “This immense project, which has been in the works since before I even published The Maiden of Sea Sky, could not be possible without the efforts of Danny Wiessner. He knew immediately after reading an early draft of the story that he would just have to adapt my poetry into music. Our good friend Pandamusk signed on to illustrate our beautiful cover art, and so we began.
If that wasn’t enough, award winning actor–and pretty much the voice of all the video game characters these days–Troy Baker lent his voice for the project as the narrator. Of the actor, Clements stated, “I appreciate his time and effort more than words allow me to express. His skill is rivaled only by his graciousness to contribute to this passion project.”
The entire album is composed by artist Danny Wiessner and is based on the story and songs written in the short story, which is Clements’ second piece of fantasy fiction after Ferius Foxfur and the Bottle of Violet. According to Wiessner, the project spanned over a year. He noted, “Ryan originally approached me with this project over a year ago, passing me a Word doc containing the yet-to-be-published The Maiden of Sea Sky. I read the book aloud to Tori over the next few days and we absolutely loved it.”
With descriptions of what the songs were supposed to sound like the composer got to work. He revealed that adapting somebody else’s work doesn’t always come so easily. He stated, “in the same way people “see” things a bit differently when they read the same book, a good chunk of my first tries didn’t actually match Ryan’s vision for the songs.”
While he had difficulties making “Beggars Win the Day” a bit too bouncy, and “Quarreling Sailors” just wasn’t hitting the mark, it was “The Sword of Summerway Vale” that was the most challenging. He whittled the 20 (or more) verse long poem down to 18 verses. He noted, “I do feel a little bad about messing with an artist’s lyrics, but – I mean, come on. This abridged version you hear is still, like, 7 minutes long.”
As the project was coming together, Wiessner realized that the songs were different from each other and needed a bit more to tie them together. Enter the narrator, Troy Baker. The actor and musician agreed to join the clan and enhance the experience. Of the artist, Wiessner humorously stated, “Besides being an incredibly accomplished musician himself, that dude’s a genius-level talent at what he does. In fact, I’m pretty sure he straight-up alchemized an accent out of the ones you’d expect to hear for the sake of producing something familiar-but-not for Ryan’s fictional world of Eras. Maybe I’m just hearing that, but seriously that guy’s amazing.”
In addition to the pieces inspired by Maiden, Wiessner also added “Chasing the Ardere Fox” which he wrote as a tribute to Clements’ first work Ferius Foxfur which serves as a short and sweet overture for the project. He remarks that this was appropriate “especially since Ferius preceded Maiden.” Though he could never get it past 45 seconds, it fits in perfectly.
If you’ve given the tracks a listen on Sound Cloud or Band Camp and are interested in what you’ve heard, the author has revealed via Twitter that the short story the tracks were based on, Maiden of Sea Sky, is being sold on Amazon for $1.00 at the moment. The album itself is available on iTunes as well for $9.99.
So what do you think of this interesting project? Let us know in the comments below.
[HT: StoryofEras, Feature Image: Provided by Pandamusk]