Friday, July 21, 2017

sp170720 Stuff of a saga 

In a time when story finds more interaction in video games than opera or movies, the stuff sagas are made of is still the core of these arts. In pop literature, I think James Michener did great things by the way he gave his readers a grounding in primordial time and space in books like Hawaii, Alaska and others.
When I designed and built the Halfwood press, at times working alone in my woodshop—a pencil and paper handy—phrases about the press’ origins came to mind. Like cookie crumbs I followed the trail of the press, a serial of logical sequence. I compared this to movies like The Red Violin. I imagined people’s involvement with the Halfwood press over time. I created a saga like that of that violin, a musical instrument designed for beauty and functionality just like the halfwood press.
Someone observed that in the crafts and the arts that you master your instrument and then the instrument masters you, or that artists and their instruments become one in the making of fine arts, crafts and performances. If I am an artist—living at a time when story finds its greatest interaction in video games—then the halfwood press is the stuff out of which a saga may emerge—the back story for a great hybrid game.
Taking my cue from Michener, I built a sequence of events beginning with The Women Who Fell to Earth and which courses through the history of sailing ships named the Emeralda I and Emeralda II, then to the design of the etching press. My blend of printing press and musical instrument, the halfwood press, travels from 18th Century Spain to the muddy bottom in the Pacific Northwest waters. After two-hundred years it emerges in another story—autobiographical in part—a digital component added-on which makes it part of the Internet of Things—IoT.
My desire for a suite of Games for the gifts of life, I have the right stuff for a saga, a back story for a suite of games I call Emeralda. The saga has the unearthing of skeletons of a man and a monkey, along with a halfwood press chest. In another part a Russian man, dying in the far north, engraved his life story on ivory parts of a facsimile halfwood Press, telling how the halfwood press came to the northwest; and, in the finale of my screenplay, Swipe, a precocious Brazilian street kid grows up to be a globe-trotting teacher of printmaking.
I love the chain of events in words I was given to write—the best gifts I could have received for my part in designing and making of the halfwood press. Now I want the stuff of its saga to be the spine of a video game and a film series.
Who will help?