Last year, our international teller DANIEL MORDEN was presented with the Hay Festival Medal by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.
Awarded every year since the 2012 Olympic Games, Hay Festival Medals are given for exceptional work in literature.
It was a surreal day. I didn’t know this medal existed. I’d just finished telling stories to 1200 people when I was whisked off to a marquee and suddenly I was in the presence of royalty, being given this award. 15 minutes later they’d all moved on and I was alone.”
Other recipients of this prestigious award have included Margaret Atwood for Prose, Alan Bennett for Drama, and John Le Carre for Fiction, among others.Congratulations Daniel!
To see Daniel’s mastery of language and storytelling, come to the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival this weekend, September 6-8 at the Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, UT. Tickets are available at the gate or online at timpfest.org
The Quintessential Event of the Human Race
When was the last time you laughed so hard your sides hurt? Can you recall the last time when you were moved with emotion in such a way that you didn’t even bother to hide the tears (after all, everyone else was crying along with you)? Have you learned something new about yourself, human nature, or of the secrets of this life? No matter if it’s been since childhood or last night around the dinner table, the art of traditional, oral storytelling captivates audiences on an individual level, entertaining in ways not possible in other storytelling mediums.
If you haven’t been told a story for a while, you’re missing out on one of the most important aspects of life. If you have heard a story recently, then you know all about the real-life magic that comes from it.
Stories aren’t just for kids, and at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, the cast of professional storytellers will fill your soul with laughter, your heart with warmth, and your mind with lucid visions of humanity. You see, storytelling – in this sense – is a medium with as much power (if not more) than the written word or images on a screen.
When you visit the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, you hear from all walks of life, and, despite their differences, their stories all ring with one single truth.
We are one.
True stories that leave the audience in tears—both from laughter and from strong, sentimental emotions (many times within a minute of each other)—provide a connection with the storyteller as well as the other members of the audience.
Listening together, we come together.
As mentioned in another post, you already love storytelling. In fact, you’re a storyteller yourself! Storytelling is ingrained in who you are. It makes you human. So if you haven’t participated in the quintessential event that belongs to the human race, now’s the time.
Ask anyone who has been to the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, and they will tell you of the marvelous stories that uplift the soul and enlighten the mind. They will attest to leaving the festival enriched. Storytelling like this doesn’t come around as often as we would like. But it’s here now, so take a chance and come see for yourself why the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival is one of the nation’s premier storytelling events.
See you there!
The Timpanogos Storytelling Festival is this weekend, September 6-8 at the Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah. Get your tickets at ihttps://timpfest.org/
Daniel Morden respects the power of a great story, stories that have stood the test of time, sifted through generations of tellers until the words and message have been polished smooth. When I listen to his Welsh accent carefully crafting tales I fall in love with words all over again. From Greek and Celtic myths to Jack stories to Welsh folktales, Daniel explores it all. He lights up dark places so we can peer into the corners.
Get to know him a little better by reading his answers to our five questions.
1. At TimpFest we are very family oriented, will you tell us a little about your family?
I live in Wales with my wife Marion and our two sons, Benjamin (11) and Joseph (9). The boys are both soccer mad. As long as they have a patch of grass where they can kick a ball, they are happy. We have a story club in our home, where adults and children share traditional stories. My eldest son won a contest for his storytelling last year. The boys love festivals. Ben likes discovering new acts. Joe likes discovering new food!
2. If you weren’t a professional storyteller, what would you be doing instead?
Probably a teacher. As my sons grow up, I realise what an important and rewarding job it is. Their teachers have had an enormous influence on them.3. Do you get nervous when you tell stories on stage? If so, what do you do to overcome your fear? If not, what is the key to your fearlessness? I get nervous, particularly in front of thousands of people. What do I do? – I trust the stories. I am just a conduit for a tale that has charmed, chilled, or thrilled audiences for hundreds-sometimes thousands- of years. If I can get out of my own way then the story will work its magic. And just before I go onstage I think of the most inspired teller I ever saw, Brother Blue. He was an extraordinary performer, consumed by delight in words and ideas. I remember his passion and try to copy it.
3. Do you get nervous when you tell stories on stage? If so, what do you do to overcome your fear? If not, what is the key to your fearlessness?
I get nervous, particularly in front of thousands of people. What do I do?- I trust the stories. I am just a conduit for a tale that has charmed, chilled or thrilled audiences for hundreds-sometimes thousands-of years. If I can get out of my own way then the story will work its magic.
4. What is the most embarrassing thing that you have done or has happened to you on stage?
I got the hiccups once….’Once upon a (hic) time….’
And a bonus question: How did you get your start in storytelling?
My Dad read to me and my brother when we were children. I remember him sitting at the end of my bed, I remember the sound of his voice. His words became pictures in my head. We went to Middle Earth, the wild west, Asgard, WW2 Poland: many extraordinary places. A wardrobe wasn’t the portal that took me to Narnia, or a beanstalk to the land of a giant. It was a voice. Every time I tell a story I am attempting to reproduce that experience for the audience. To give them what I had.
You can catch Daniel at the 2018 Timpanogos Storytelling Festival on September 6-8 (that’s next weekend!) at the Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. Utah. For tickets, click here https://timpfest.org/
Listen to a podcast of Daniel Morden at a telling at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough at http://www.9thstory.com/tatterhood/
Bill Harley is more than just a storyteller. He’s a two-time Grammy award-winning artist, musician, author, playwright, and, yes, a storyteller too. His weapon of choice is humor (don’t worry, it’s a weapon for good), and with a knack for engaging both the young and the old, Bill is one teller you won’t want to miss at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival.
We reached out to Bill and asked him some questions in regards to storytelling and other things of interest to him. While a comedian in the recording studio, his down-to-earth approach on life encapsulates both wit and wisdom, and we’re happy to be able to share his thoughts with you in this post, which will help you get to know him better before seeing him at the festival. (Our questions are in italics, and his answers are in regular font type.)
Without further ado, we present to you Bill Harley (cue applause).
Q&A with Bill Harley
Our theme this year is “Pathway to Story.” How would you describe your pathway to becoming a storyteller. Was it a road, a back alley, a fast track, or a meandering trail?
It’s a road I’ve travelled for my whole adult life. After college I had a notion about being a storyteller—not really aware that others were doing it—but I soon found them. The real challenge, the real path, is finding your own voice—the kind of stories and the way you tell them—and what you bring to them. That never ends, although you do begin to understand what your possibilities are.
Could you tell us about someone who has influenced you on this journey as a storyteller?
SO many people—many of my peers in the storytelling community—I’ve learned from all of them, but also people I heard in my youth like Stan Freberg, Jean Shepherd, Bill Cosby (hard to say that now, but it’s true), and also musicians who also talked, like Arlo Guthrie, Utah Phillips, Steve Goodman, Rosalie Sorrells, and especially Pete Seeger. Pete’s probably my biggest influence.
What are you passionate about outside of storytelling?
Well, music, too. Biking, swimming, and softball. Reading. Beekeeping. Being outside. And also, working to make the world a safer, kinder place.
Where does storytelling go from here? How do you see it’s influence on society?
I don’t think storytelling is ever going to be HUGE. It’s just part of what people do. I’m particularly interested in storytelling that involves a teller and the people in front of her. Something happens there that doesn’t happen when it’s expressed through other mediums, and I think it’s what the storytelling community should focus on fostering—not digital storytelling, or other platforms. They will take care of themselves. My concern is how we foster excellence in the live performance of it.
Thanks Bill! Come see him live at this year’s Timpanogos Storytelling Festival on September 6-8 at the Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah.
Click here to order your tickets now! https://timpfest.org/