February 2009 Archives

Rockford's Rock Opera Live (Again!)

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Following our sell-out Christmas Shows... by popular demand, Rockford's Rock Opera is going live... again!

Rockford's Rock Opera (Part One and bits of Part Two) Live (Again) Special!

Based on the acclaimed audio book and featuring the Sweetapple Orchestra, Steve Punt, Jess Pendall and Foulds School Choir, Rockford's Rock Opera will be live at The Bull Theatre, 68 High Street, Barnet (EN5 5SJ) at  
8pm on Friday 20th March 2009.

Tickets can be purchased from the Rockford's Rock Opera shop - £5 and £10 each I'm afraid, but ALL proceeds go to the Dare to Dream Children's Charity. Places are very limited so please book your tickets now (or you can let us know by email).


The show should finish around 9.30 and we hope to see you afterwards in the bar area (children welcome).

We really hope you can come and bring your friends and family.

Note: There are two large car parks very near the Bull Theatre and its a 5-ish minute walk (up the hill) from High Barnet Tube.

"Rockford's Rock Opera http://www.rockfordsrockopera.com is an amazing
mix of story, songs and soundeffects. It has a freshness that makes you smile
as you listen and could become a cult favourite as beloved as Wallace and Gromit."

Christina Hardyment. The Times Best Children's Books (December 2008).

Recording Audiobooks

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I was reading an article last week by Radio 2 DJ and (excellent) author, Stuart Maconie. He was talking about audiobooks and how they're becoming more and more popular - so much so that he's been asked to read all of his books so that they can be turned into audio versions.

He describes the process of sitting in a small room in some dingy studio reading for hours on end. It's not a very glamourous life being and audiobook reader! Stephen Fry who, as I've already mentioned in this blog, is a huge audio book fan and performer also describes the small dank studio spaces that are the habitat of the reader. 

Still, as Mr Fry and Mr Maconie both agree, even a big book doesn't take THAT long to read - perhaps a week in the studio at most - so the suffering is only temporary...

Rockford's Rock Opera is often described as an audiobook. I suppose it is the best description although it does upset me a bit to be compared to someone reading a book on tape. It is certainly a story on CD with a narrator I suppose but, really, that's where the similarity ends. 

Rockford's Rock Opera took 3 years to record! Three years recording narration, sound effects, characters, songs and all the rest. So, if you'd like to hear what a audiobooks really can sound like, give it a try.

God bless Stephen Fry and his iPod

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Just been watching a repeat of (Sir.) Stephen Fry on the Jonathan Ross Show. Not only is he simply a wonderful chap, he also did a major plug for the unique pleasures of audio books.

Apart from being, famously, the voice of the Harry Potter audiobooks (in the UK, they were read by Jim Dale in the USA), Stephen is also a huge fan of the genre, listening on his ipod has he strolls around London. 

I wish we could get him a copy of Rockford's Rock Opera but, I'm afraid, he'll probably now be inundated with all sorts of audio products from every audiobook publisher on the planet so our offering probably won't get through.

Still with friends like the wonderful Mr. Fry, audiobooks like Rockford's Rock Opera will soon be reaching a wider audience. Stephen Fry for PM!

Audiobooks for Tinnitus Sufferers

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This is how I use audiobooks to 'cure' Tinnitus.

As a musician of many years standing, I suffer from Tinnitus - for anyone who doesn't know what that is - it's a permanent ringing in the ears. Tinnitus is caused (mostly) by exposure to loud sound (in my case, far too much loud recording through headphones). If you've ever gone to a loud gig you'll have experienced it yourself, normally when you get home and go to bed and you find your ears are buzzing with abuse. Well, that's just what Tinnitus sounds like but, unlike the the ringing you'll experience after a gig, Tinnitus never goes away. It's with you, always. Morning, noon and night.

It many sound horrible and I suppose it is (Tinnitus is caused by the death of tiny hairs in your inner ear) but, Tinnitus is something, with the right techniques, you can learn to live with.

Firstly, it's terribly important to say that the degree to which Tinnitus affects the sufferer is largely dependent on their state of mind. I certainly don't mean by this that's it's all in the mind. It's not. It's in your head. BUT, depending on how stressed you are does directly effect the extent to which you are aware of, and bothered by, your Tinnitus.

In other words, when I'm relaxed and unstressed I hardly notice it. When I'm tired or fed up it's REALLY LOUD. So, Lesson One. Don't get stressed!!! Easy to say I know!

Next, certain foods certainly make it worse. High protein foods are worse. For me, Cheese guarantees I'll notice my Tinnitus getting louder!

And finally, and most importantly, for this blog. The time when Tinnitus is most noticeable and, perhaps, most irritating is at night. Of course, it's quiet and you're trying to get to sleep so you notice it more. As a result you can't sleep. As a result, you get more stressed. As result the ringing seems louder... and a sleepless vicious cycle is created.

Many Tinnutus help groups suggest listening to music (or even white noise) to reduce the impact of the ringing. For myself, I love audiobooks - just the right mix of sound, brain stimulation and comfort. I often listen to the same audio stories time after time so they become old friends.

I really would recommend Tinnitus sufferers try listening to audio books - A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson is my favourite plus, of course, the brilliant Rockford's Rock Opera audio book! :)

And, before you say, 'that's all very well, but what happens if your lucky enough to have a partner', what will they do?! Well, in my case, I do, and she finds the soothing influence of a great audio story before sleep is just what she needs to wipe away the stress of the day and to launch her into restful sleep. Try it.

So. If you have Tinnitus. Fear not: 

1. Less Stress
2. Less Cheese
3. More audio books (especially Rockford's Rock Opera)

And you'll be OK.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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