Asylum on the Net
Making Old Turtle Sing
Old Turtle, the exceptionally popular 1991 children's book that is now in its 29th printing, is now a piece of music. Last week, Song of Wisdom From "Old Turtle," commissioned by Dallas' Turtle Creek Chorale and composed by Austin musician Joseph Martin, was performed for the first time and labeled an "impressive finale" to a evening of song by the Dallas Morning News.
That notice is bound to please Don Tubesing, the publisher of Pfeifer-Hamilton Publishers in Duluth, Minnesota, who has been actively fielding proposals to turn Old Turtle into a work of music for some time. "We really wanted a world-class piece, and for obvious reasons the book really fits that but also it would really help make this thing a classic, like Peter and the Wolf," Tubesing says.
"That was kind of my mandate from the publishers," Martin said. "They wanted it to have that kind of power and recognition, something that would appeal in terms of its musical integrity to adults and children." Martin seems to have had no difficulty creating a lyrical piece of music from Old Turtle author Douglas Wood's text: "His metaphors are very tonal," Martin remarked. "They engage all of the senses, but particularly I feel like he's sensitive to the sounds of things and that's very evident in that book."
Austin author Don Webb will read from and sign his new novel Essential Saltes: An Experiment at Adventures in Crime and Space on Saturday, July 10, from 5-7pm. Darryl Wimberley, another local writer, will read from and sign his new mystery A Rock and a Hard Place at Barnes & Noble Westlake on Thursday, July 15, at 7:30pm (see review page 40). On the same day from noon-1:30pm, Congress Avenue Booksellers hosts a Roky Erickson Birthday Salute-Tribute with Jack Ortman signing copies of his "scrapbooks" Roky Erickson Story, Roky II -- The Sequel, Roky III -- Son of the Sequel, and Roky IV -- Roky and His Friends. The event is free, but any donations received benefit the Roky Erickson Trust. Will Erickson himself be there? Ortman says it will be a surprise if he shows up.