Strange Monsters is a music and words collaboration of imaginative fiction and poetry set to contemporary jazz. In Strange Monster‘s six audio fictions, women challenge what’s expected and find their voices in unexpected places.
More Info + Freebie
Download the free Story Companion PDF to the album here, with links to the stories in the album, selected descriptions of the writing process, and photos from the recording sessions.
Strange Monsters is a music and words collaboration of fiction and poetry set to contemporary jazz. Read by actors, Stufflebeam’s stories unveil a world where the fantastic is familiar. In these six tracks, each set to one of Brewer’s ethereal compositions, women challenge what’s expected of them and find their voices in unexpected places: Rumpelstiltskin’s wife endures police questioning regarding the disappearance of a local boy; a group of deadbeat friends in love with the same woman encounter the skeletons of various extinct animals on a doomed camping trip; and a cursed ballerina longs to do nothing but dance while forced to contend with two men: her obsessed fan and the jealous director of the ballet company. Brewer wrote each musical composition to accompany each story; these layered pieces utilize a blend of traditional small-group jazz with clarinet, bass clarinet, flugelhorn, and unique sound effects.
Praise for Strange Monsters
“Over melodies both slow and easy, and chaotic and exciting, a cast of actors reads five short stories and five poems by Stufflebeam. The resulting listening experience is fulfilling, funny, and ultimately haunting.”–Fantasy Literature
“Haunting, ethereal, and unforgettable, Strange Monsters is music-storytelling fusion experience like no other. Highly recommended.”–Midwest Book Review
“Strange Monsters is something you need to listen to more than once in order to fully appreciate the words and the spaces in between them, not always filled by music. Sometimes the delivery of the words is the percussion, the engine room of the piece.”–Interzone
“It’s easy to tell how much heart went into this album. It was a real treat to listen – I was sucked in with the jazzy sounds of the opening ‘The Stink of Horses’, and I was close to shedding tears by the time I reached the end of ‘Where You Came From’.”–Lloyd Reads
Front Porch Journal interviewed me here.
Speculative Fiction Showcase interviewed us on the project here.
Thanks to our Kickstarter backers for their support!
Linda Wallace, Cat Rambo, Jonathan Hodges, Taylor Fitch, Shannon Cason, Deborah Judith Walker, LTieger, Jennifer Aglio, Courtney Marie, Vicki Kincaid, Mr. & Mrs. Jim Stufflebeam, Billy Orpheus the Fandango King of Upper Peoria, Ellery Marshall, Jimin Lee, Suzanne Enck, Joe Tucker, Stephanie Wood, Lew Andrada, Evan Klavon, Jay Wolf, Joshua Wilson, Isabel Hernandez-Cata, Art on the Boulevard, Tony Pisculli, Anonymous, Teresa Otten, Karen Bovenmyer, William Ledbetter, Eric Rutan, Ronan Delisle, Steven Heck, C. Liddle, Michael J. DeLuca, Mara Penatzer, Shawn Scarber, Garrett Marco, Patrick and Lindsey Lancey, Cassandra Rose Clarke, ashlea, J. St.John, Robert E. Stutts, Gregory Martin, Glynn Ann Garner, Bran Minster, Shawna Borman, Allyson Whipple, Jeremy Brett, David Glenn & Laura Curtis, Brian Christensen, Denton Watenpaugh, Cynthia ray, Julie C. Day, Karla Fossett, Rachael Acks, Larry & Pat Block, Laura A. Burns, D.L. Young, Mur Lafferty, Laura Klavon, Gabby Byrd, fundamental, Craig Cronin, Rager, Conor Alexander William Wallace, Garrett Wingfield, Sarah Steinberg Heller and Seth Chatfield, Tim and Carolyn Brewer, Spenser Liszt, Brit Carroll, Anna Jalkéus
And thanks to our performers!
Devin Eddleman–alto & tenor saxophone
Peter Brewer–flugelhorn, silverware
Sunny Heesun Yun–piano
Moria Crowley, Christopher David Taylor–“Mrs. Stiltskin”
Natalia Borja–“No Eyes”
Stephanie Francis–“Where You Came From”
Ashlea Ryan Britton–“Skeletons”
Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam–Selected Poems
Christopher David Taylor, Matthew Schipper, Benjamin Henry, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam–“The Stink of Horses”