All posts by JennyK

A lady of subjective substance. Singer, songwriter, writer. I live to create, egocentric bastard as I am.

If I were a building

If I were a building.

I would have cubby holes and symmetry. Flexibility and safety. I would be space age and dreamscape, order and safety. I would have a name.
My foundation would hold steady in any storm within or without. But come the will and need I would move.
Based on all the souls that made me, my boundaries would be no more and no less than the sum of you.
Saving space to give it room.
I would hold safe and offer myself as toolshed and canvas for those within my body.
Were you to paint a mural on my wall, I would attractor you a muse and mentor.
I would have order within reason. I would demand respect as I give it.
I would be dignified but offer my spaces for laughter and lovemaking.
Where I catch the sun, where I protect from wind, where I offer hiding places, it all makes sense.
I would have a spirit but no designated place to speak to me. I would constantly listen and accommodate wishes in all the ways I am capable.
I would be strong and beautiful. I would be dignified and pure. I would be your safe haven and your communication device.

If I were a building I would be your home. And yours. And yours. And all your homes would be your perfect home as my body and spirit wants to hold only those who understand to respect their spaces with love and creativity. Do with me what you wish and if your wish is for a place to be really you, I will let you and I will keep you for as long as you desire. Your dream home; for a time or for a life, for your children to be offered that same choice.
If I were a building. I would be your dream home. And yours. And yours.

Jenny Brennan
January 11 2017

Focus, Girl, focus! How do you do it? Just a rant and and ask.

JennyK on her nice new Mac, but what good is it when it's not used for something? :)

Focus! Get at it. Rant time for JennyK — Again. 🙂

Feeling scattered, unfocused, restless. So much I want to do. But what? Which of the many things I want to do should I direct my attention to? O, what a first world problem. 🙂 But still, it’s something that unfortunately becomes bigger the more I ponder it. One day becomes a week becomes a month becomes the seed of uncertainty. Writers block? — Maybe. But honestly, it it was only about sitting down to write because I’m not writing, I could simply sit down and write. But I find it hard to sit down and write when the constant critic in the back of my mind reminds me that I should record those vocals and transcribe those lyrics, world-building for Mother of Crow. And do some social media promotion, update the twitterverse, format my old computer for someone else to take it over, push to find someone to review my book, write an interesting blog on the website, some fantastic reward on patreon, add something on reverbnation, upload a track on soundcloud, do the laundry, organize my backup cds, scan my mail for OCR, call my mother, get the…. —– Whoah there, Fool. This is getting more than ridiculous.. and I didn’t even mention exercising, , writing a 100K word novel, feed the dog, making an appointment with the dentist, deal with paperwork I would rather burn…. and cut my toenails. —- Oh, and podcasting, don’t forget the people who actually do know I’m around and who do hear me, my music, my band and our music, subscribe to my blogs, and perhaps also enjoy my fiction and other rants.

Oh, and I really should be social and call the few friends I do have, make an effort to “get out there” and be interested in the rest of the world.

Well. Should, could, would. Aint gonna unless I — focus?

Here is that point… The point I often reach when I drag it out in the open to look at it and realize how ridiculous it really is.

It’s the point where I balance on the slippery borderline between inspiration and desperation.

I can choose to look at that list and get overwhelmed by it. I can be sad for the people I feel I’m disappointing and despair over the inevitable giving up on me. And I can add to that list this: I need to get better and work harder.

😀 (And we all know how well such a pledge works. It doesn’t!)

Or….

I can take a look at that list and break it into pieces, see them as parts of the whole and realize that at this moment, this second, just now; I can’t deal with all of that no matter how much I try. If I look at those things one at a time I will notice that none of them are a big deal. If I see them separately, they are all good things.

Oh, maybe not the dentist thing.

But seriously; It’s all good.

With focus. Hmm. Back at the beginning. I feel a pattern appearing as I type this. Seeing and dealing with one thing at a time does take some type of focus. And that is where I get lost.

So I ask you, listener, reader, friend;

How do you focus? . What are your tips and tricks to manage all the things when they start to overwhelm you? Do you procrastinate to the point of anxiety and panic? Do you schedule your days and stick to it?

I know I’ve been rambling like a neurotic nut in this post, but I am genuinely curious. Leave a comment and share your thoughts. I didn’t manage to make things much clearer in this rant so I need to sit on this for a while as I’m sure the amazing “back of my mind” is working on it. As long as I let it do that without fretting more just now and then maybe. So that’s what I’ll do. I’ll leave it to you – and my poor subconscious for a little while.

Let me know what you think 🙂 Because I could really use your help. Certainly some other perspective and maybe even the classic kick in the ass. 😀

Jen

Stepping back into podcast land — The difference a year makes — Icarus Machine, Mac, and the future

The Studio Chaotic tentative return – With music and news — And Imp

Play

Here’s a slightly confusing and disjointed episode where I try to tie up over a year of JennyK.
Not possible, I know I didn’t do a great job on this one. But I just need to get my feet wet again and truth is; I’ve missed it. So take it for what it’s worth. Got some news and places to check out.

Links

Check out “Wasted” – Video by jennyK.

Icarus Machine official page

Icarus Machine on Facebook

Become a patron of Icarus Machine

NaNoWriMo – Mother of Crow — The Novel page

Cheers

JennyK

November kicks off Mother of Crow — This Sundered World Volume II

So November is here again.

It’s dark and it’s cold. Perfect climate for the introverted artist with a story on her mind.

Even better when there is a crazy story in need of telling. “Mother of Crow” picks up where the first book in the series left off; In the sundered world among death and confusion. So what more do I need?

Oh, coffee of course. Some peace and quiet perhaps. The occasional bit of nutrition in the form of parts of dead animal, bits of brutally mutilated vegetables, and crushed and burnt grain of some sort…. Oh, that’s right, it’s called food.

And after all of that ready, I also need a kick in the arse — also called motivational violence. That motivation can come from many different sources but I find that a community of other introvert artist types going on a month of coffee and poor diet can sometimes be the ticket.
Introducing NaNoWriMo. (National Novel Writing Month) where us lunatics decide to write and little else for the entire month. The NaNoWriMo website comes with every motivational and wordcounting tool you could imagine. Forums, blogs, fellow professional as well as new writers struggling, and all the social connections possible. How could you fail?

Oh, it’s not that hard. But the satisfaction a winner trophy can give after that brutal month is sweet. To become a winner, a certain word count must be reached. (The definition of “novel” is a work of 50 000 words or more.).

So that is where I stand; entering Nano with “Mother of Crow”.

Check out a short synopsis and an excerpt at the novel page here:
Mother of Crow NaNoWriMo page.
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Note: This author has published this post using an external blogging app. As this is the first time using the app and no testing has been done ahead of time, there may be errors and complete fuck ups in this blog. Sorry bout that. Guess I’ll drop in to the site for corrections later. But for now, I will simply push the publish button and hope for the best. Dare to publish cold, prepare to blame someone else after.
Thanks

Jenny

JennyK and Icarus Machine now on Patreon.com. How to support the band. Become a Patron !

Fan funding at its best Patreon connecting fans and the artists they want to support

Icarus Machine looking for supporters. Our fans are what makes us happy. But fans can also help us continue creating. And here is how.

Become a patron!

From our patreon page:

“Icarus Machine is creating Prog-Metal Music and Steampunk Fiction. It’s all story.

After nearly a year of writing and producing our music from our different parts of the world, from Spain, to Canada and the United States, we have released our first album, “This Sundered World”. The first book in the steampunk inspired fiction series of books with the same name has been released simultaneously. Our goal is to continue creating music and tell stories. In This Sundered World there will always be something to tell, whether it is in a fast metal tune about a clockwork guardian with ill intent, a prog-rock dive into insanity or a chapter about Gabriel looking for the end of the world. This is what we love to do and any support will make it easier for us to express the vision we have.”

Check out the rewards. Some cool stuff there. 😀
And it’s easy. Become a subscriber for as little as $2 per month and get your reward
• The album “This Sundered World” 
• The companion novel “This Sundered World” Kindle edition. 
• Your name on our Wall of Guardian Survivors.

Become a patron!

Other ways to support the band are to:
Buy “This Sundered World A Mother’s Heart” by Jenny K Brennan – for Kindle here.

Buy yourself some really cool merch here, or

buy the prog-Metal album “This Sundered World” by Icarus Machine” on iTunes.

Whichever way you choose is okay with us. And money is not everything. Tell your friends, tweet, just listen to what we do, or simply connect with us on
Facebook..

Thank you!
Bill, Jordi, and Jenny. We thank you from USA, Spain, and Canada.

Icarus Machine
Sundered Records 2016

This Sundered World – More than music! Get the whole story

This Sundered World – Get the whole story.

Icarus Machine – the band
This Sundered World – The Album – iTunes
The book.

The Icarus Machine vision is based on the interaction between fiction and music. And as a lyricist and author as well as vocalist, this is such a fascinating concept for me. This album was written alongside the story that is now the companion novel with the same name. Each song on the album has its origin in some part of the story of Gabriel and his companions making their way through “The Sundered World”. The story is available at Amazon. This doesn’t mean that the album can’t be enjoyed without knowing what is inside the head of Bird (As the crow flies), who the fat lady really is (Indestructible), or who the spirit is that haunts Gabriel (Salt From Tears). And it doesn’t mean that the story can’t be enjoyed without the hard driving guitars in Clockwork Guardians, or the crazy bass and angst of Majesty of Waste, or the amazing drum work in Failing Son. But if you are a reader and you found yourself on the Icarus Machine pages, I can recommend experiencing both.
If you are a member of Kindle Unlimited you can already read this book as part of your subscription. For the rest of you, “This Sundered World – A Mother’s Heart” can be yours for less than a semi-fancy cup of coffee. And even if you’re not a reader, get it for a friend and support Icarus Machine while you’re at it.
As Lady Morette once said:

“”I’ll expect a gentleman such as your good self dear Gabriel, could deal with the matter as soon as may be appropriate?” She raised her one eyebrow and waited for Gabriel to nod his agreement.

“Ah. Um. Certainly my Lady.” He said without having a single idea regarding how he would accommodate the lady’s wishes anymore than he knew how to bring a dismembered rock-spindel to life.

“Oh, don’t be daft Boy. I’m no Lady. Mistress Morette will do.” She waved a hand and stepped past Gabriel and Jesse. Without looking back she crossed the little rail with its resilient little automaton guardian and reached the road before Gabriel had even collected his thoughts. Jesse grinned at him and followed the lady who stopped at the side of the road, looking both directions before, without hesitation, turning left and south. Jesse whistled as she passed the drones and Bird came from nowhere and walked beside her as they followed the lady south. Gabriel had sighed and scratched his head. Muttering. “Bath? Okay. Certainly there will be a bath around here somewhere.”

Jenny K Brennan
Jenny Brennan’s Amazon author page.

Icarus Machine – Sundered Records 2016

Icarus Machine is now Live – Album and Novel released

Icarus Machine

Today Icarus Machine released their debut album and the companion novel with the same name.

This Sundered World

Read: The start of it all – by Bill Babcock.

The album can be found on:

iTunes,
Amazon, and Google Play.
More sites coming…

The novel is available on Amazon

This Sundered World – Kindle Edition $2.99

Icarus Machine can be found here:

The Facebook band page,
IcarusMachine.com,
Youtube,
Soundcloud
and on
Reverbnation

Find our merch here:
Icarus Machine – The Goods. T-Shirts, mugs, and more.

And it all started here:

On Kompoz.com in 2015, where the members of Icarus Machine got together, found common ground, got some crazy ideas, and started working. And here we are. More to come.

Bill Babcock, Jordi Ribas, JennyK. We are Icarus Machine!

Icarus Machine Band Image
Icarus Machine Band Image – Bill Babcock, Jordi Ribas and Jenny K Brennan

Icarus Machine and Sundered Records 2016

The validity of virtual – A band member perspective

This virtual band – Is it real?”

What does it mean to be an exclusively online band?

There are probably as many answers to that as there are online bands currently online. 😀 But as always, I have my own take on it and and it is slightly troubled.

It is a normal thing these days – collaborations between individuals that do not, and may never, meet in real life. It’s getting easier and easier to pull it off. There are problems with it but in my case, the advantages are overwhelming. Without places like Kompoz.com I would not be on the path that I am. A member of a great band with a serious album release coming up.

But is it as valuable and “real” as a “normal” arrangement where things happen within a studio space, a garage, a basement, or at a gig in the local bar?

Well. Of course it is.

I say that with confidence because I know it is true. But do I say it with true feeling and belief?

I don’t know. And that bothers me.

Or maybe it bothers me more that I would love to jam in the studio with those I create music with and that is something that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. 🙂

But back to the point; The validity of online bands.

When this phenomena started to appear, they were commonly called “Virtual” bands. And that has done quite a bit of harm in my perspective. The word “Virtual” means “Not real”. And if you don’t think words have power, then think again. Using those words in a sentence becomes a big hole that is hard to climb out of. Let’s just take this short conversation and see what is really going on:

What is said:
“Hey pal, I just joined a virtual band, I’m the guitar player. is that cool or what?”
What Pal is hearing:
“Hey Pal, I just joined a pretend band, where I pretend to be a rock star on the internet, where nothing is real, Is that cool or what?”

What Pal says:
“Yeah? Sounds like fun.”
What Pal is thinking:
“Yeah? You chatting on skype about guitar hero, hoping to get a record deal? Good luck with that!”

Yeah, I know. That sounds really bad. An maybe it’s not quite like that anymore. But moving away from the word “Virtual” hasn’t quite repaired the damage done. At least not for me.

But isn’t the issue more about my personal experience of always believing that music is a “hobby”? -hobby, another word that I wish I could delete from my vocabulary. Another powerful word that in my mind means; “Something that doesn’t matter.”

Yes. I think so. I believe my view is skewed toward the negative. So back to why I am so troubled and what I can do about it.

The trouble is a lack of confidence. This has no quick fix. But it is growing, and here’s how:

By doing what I love and worrying less about what other people think. slowly learning that what I do is okay. And that it has value. Slowly, but surely, I’m learning to say “This is my band, we are the bomb! Come check this!” With true feeling and belief. 😀

By not using that word at all. Instead of saying “Online band”, just say “band” Who would know the difference? Is there really a need to point out that we don’t tour, we don’t gig, and we’ve never met? Really? Because if I really probe at how I feel when I say I’m in an online band” vs “I’m in a band.” Now, I choose the latter.

By abolishing the word “hobby” in the studio. In all seriousness; Working ten hours a day without pay is work. And just because it is work I created myself because I love it, does that make it a hobby? Hell no. But isn’t that the crux of the matter? The definition of work Is “I do this, you give me money.” The work we do is different and the rewards are different. But that doesn’t make them less.

By moving forward.
The truth is that any band, online or not, actually doesn’t have a product to show until the work is done. Rare are the magical appearances of record company representatives offering a generous advance, promising fame and fortune. No. We do the work first, then we let it out, let it live, and hope for the best. And it’s still not free, still no paycheck. And that has to be fine.

And the simple truth is that it is! It has to be fine because the bottom line is: I do what i am, and I am what I do. And at the end of this page, after calling it out in the open, the word “virtual” has somehow lost part of its power. I still can’t say the word “hobby” without cringing, but I am like all the creations I’ve imagined and sometimes brought to life. A constant work in progress.

JennyK. From the Dungeon of curiosities and psychiatry – third padded cell on the left.

The Flanger Perception

The flanger perception.

So there is this song. And there are these wave files that I created by yelling miserably into the microphone, because that is what the song warranted. So I was a bit intimate with the mic. It happens right? And the take turned out just how I wanted it. I didn’t really check the result in the file.

So that’s all fine and dandy. Files are sent to Bill. He puts them in place, sounds great.

Except for this little click I hear. It annoys me. Now, fast forward a few weeks when we go back and forth working on the mixes for this album – This Sundered World. Many things are redone and fixed, and straightened out. But that click is still there.

Bil: “Where? I can’t hear it.”

Fast forward some more. I’m ready to bite my fingers off.
Bill is ready to send me to the lunatic asylum. I’m hearing things all over the place.
Finally we get some other problems taken care of, everything is fine.

Except for that click. That damn click.

Bill: “Where? I still can’t hear anything.”

Silence

Bill: “Well, there is that tiny little click there. I thought it was part of the flanger.”

Silence.

Bill: “Oh. What are the F-ing odds of that? It’s in the flanger. Shut that off and it’s gone.”

Me: “Ah.”

Bill: “the main shape of the flanger setting is rectangular
with no smoothness, it’s got a vertical transition across the waveform axis. All I did was change the shape of the flange and it’s fixed.”

At that point I glazed over and started thinking about other things. Not that I don’t understand it, but there is a reason I sing. I can be a tiresome pain in the ass and in the end Bill will fix the bad I create, and I don’t need to understand waveform politics.

Me: “So it wasn’t all my fault then?”

Bill: “Well, if you had been singing it differently…”

Me: “Blow me.”

So, In the end I’m not going to the asylum, although I’m certain that Bill will find more reasons to send the dreaded men in white to Ontario. But I can deal with that.
more importantly; I will check my files more often. And Bill will never again trust a flanger.

JennyK – From the dungeons of phase shifting and zero-crossings.

The assumption entrapment

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I assume you assume things, I assume

You know what people say: Assume makes and ass out of you and me.

So why do I assume shit? 😀

I dunno. Some of the things are just stupid mistakes such as assuming this video or that audio will work after I publish. Why? Well, it works for me.

Sigh.

Yeah, private videos work for me. But only for me. 😀

And assuming that broken links are just something wordpress makes up to annoy me because they’ve been incorrect so many times, reporting broken links that were only temporarily down. At some point I stopped checking the notifications because I did what? Ah, that’s right. I assumed I knew better than wordpress. 😀

The worst assumption of them all:
Assuming that someone might mention it? “Hey dickhead, yur video isn’t working! You suck!”

I wouldn’t mind that one little bit. I prefer dickhead over nothing. And it is true that “I suck!” if I assume it’s working. After twenty plus years online, I really should know better.

And really, if I really think about what I would do when coming across a broken link, missing video, messed up page…

Um… that’s right. As a rule I do nothing. I move on in search for something else that will work. There is plenty around. 😀

Sigh.

So, basically I suck! But that’s alright, I’m in good company on this thing they call the
World Wide Whereverittakesme.

Cheers.

JennyK

As the Crow Flies – Icarus Machine Video

As the Crow Flies

(Written by Bill Babcock, Jenny K Brennan, Jordi Ribas)
Find Icarus Machine on
SoundCloud,

Reverbnation, and
Facebook

Where do the living go when the guardians take them by the hand? Where do the crow fly?
Were do all the dead ones go? It may well be that the sky can become me. As I become sky.”

Bill Babcock: Guitars, Keyboards, Drum Hackery
Jordi Ribas: Bass
Jenny K Brennan: Vocals, Lyrics, Piano

About the song

“This was a song that sort of just…happened. Jenny had this acoustic part she really liked and so she sent a file of the acoustic by itself to Bill and asked what he thought. Bill started playing around with it and the next thing the song was born. Jenny and Bill had been talking a lot about the row of Bird in the story and also in general about the mythology surrounding crows and how that fit into things and the title struck Bill as he started playing with the part Jenny had written and it drove the rest of the song from there.”

Lyrics

Whatever you do you will fall
Whatever you feel I’m not that far away
(I’m not that far away)
(as the crow flies)
(I’m not that far away)
(as the crow flies)
(I’m not that far away)
(as the crow flies)

As the crow flies is the long way around
(I’ll meet you on the other side where all the dead crows go)

Come make me into sky
Show me all of your scars
Show me where the crow flies
Tell me where the dead ones go

Come make me into sky
Drown me in stars
Show me where the crow flies
Take me where the dead go

When everyone’s a shadow in this land
And every face is carved and stained by pain
(we’re not that far from dead)
(as the crow flies)
(we’re not that far from dead)
(as the crow flies)
(we’re not that far from dead)
(as the crow flies)

As the crow flies is the hard way to die
(Always alone)
(let the crops burn make your body learn)
(as the crow flies)
(we’re not that far from dead

Come make me into sky
Show me all of your scars
Show me where the crow flies
Tell me where the dead ones go

Come make me into sky
Drown me in stars
Show me where the crow flies
Take me where the dead go

Come make me into sky
Drown me in stars
Show me where the crow flies
Take me where the dead go

Where do spirits go when there’s no heaven there’s no place to rest your soul
Where do living go when there’s no wanting there’s no need and there’s no goal
Watch out that steel contains your mind and every thought will burrow down ’til they take you

Come the Guardian
Take you by the hand
Come the Guardian
Take you by the hand
Come the Guardian
Take you by the hand
Come the Guardian
Take you by the hand

Where ever you go your gonna fall your gonna fall
Whomever you love All those that you love will go
(to that place)
(where all the dead ones go)
(go tend your scars go)
(as the crow flies)

Come make me into sky
Show me all of your scars
Show me where the crow flies
Tell me where the dead ones go

Come make me into sky
Drown me in stars
Show me where the crow flies
Take me – Take me home

Copyright 2016 Icarus Machine

Salt From Tears – Video by Icarus Machine

Salt From Tears

Icarus Machine’s first music video.
Video production Bill Babcock.
From the album This Sundered World.
Find this track at
Icarus Machine on Soundcloud.

About Salt From Tears

(Written by Bill Babcock, Jenny K Brennan, Jordi Ribas)

Don’t forget, don’t forget! The heart, the heart. Ticking clicking whirring. Oh poor me, have to see. See this. Don’t forget, don’t forget.

Bill Babcock: Guitars, Keyboards, Drum Hackery
Jordi Ribas: Bass
Jenny K Brennan: Vocals, Lyrics

“The opening acoustic part is actually part of something Bill wrote years ago and would perform with 2 friends on acoustics for open mic nights in clubs like The Channel in Boston. While trying out different tones from the piezo pickup on his Parker Fly Mojo, he started playing the guitar part and then next thing he knew, he’d decided to record it. The names of songs are always something Bill thinks about early in the writing process since for him, they set the tone. Jenny had just shared an initial draft of the opening pages of the novel with him and ‘Salt From Tears’ struck him after reading.”

Lyrics:

Still her heart.

Goodbye Mother, you taught him everything he needs to know and he’s hiding his fears.
It’s a lonely road but there won’t be salt from tears.

Gabriel, don’t forget, don’t look back
Gabriel, step by step, step by step.
Gabriel, don’t hold on, she is far away.
Let her have her dream, let her sleep.

(Still her heart)

Goodbye Mother, you taught him everything he needs to know about being alone.
He’ll walk a lonely road but there won’t be salt from tears.

Close your eyes, there’s nothing left here for you.

Oh Gabriel Go, turn away, let her stay.

(Turn away).

Close your eyes but open wide.
Are you watching the sky, it’s gonna fall, it’s gonna cry.
It’s coming your way, letting you stray no more.

(Still your heart)

Goodbye mother, you taught him everything he needs to know about being alone.
It’s a lonely road but it won’t be salt from tears.
Goodbye Mother, you taught him everything he knows from pain to fear.
It’s a lonely road but it won’t be salt from tears.

Goodbye Mother, He’ll get right up when he falls.
Goodbye Mother, he won’t cry for you anymore.
Goodbye Mother, He’ll move on if he has to crawl.
Goodbye Mother, he won’t ever cry for you.

(Still your heart)

Goodbye Mother, you taught him everything he needs to know and from here.
It’s a lonely road but there won’t be salt from tears.

Come on bird, let’s follow the road to see where it goes.
(There won’t be salt from tears.)
Come on bird, let’s tell each other stories and I’ll feed you corn.
(There won’t be salt from tears.)
Come on bird, Let’s follow the road to see where it goes.
(There won’t be salt from tears.)
Come on bird, let’s follow the road to see where it goes.

Goodbye Mother, you taught him all he needs to know and from here.
(Still your heart)
Goodbye Mother, you taught him all he knows from pain to fear.
It’s a broken road but there won’t be salt from tears.

Come on Bird, let’s follow the road where it goes.
Come on Bird, to the end of the world.
Come on Bird, let’s follow the road where it goes.
Come on Bird, to the end of the world.

Icarus Machine – Pre-release – This Sundered World

Icarus Machine

We are now live. We can currently be found on Icarus Machine official website,
the Facebook band page,
and SoundCloud,
where you can find our preview tracks and videos along with more information about the band, the album, and the book.

Mother's last words.

How, who, where.

Nine months or more has gone by since I had this hairbrained idea and I spoke it out loud. Well, not actually speaking it but in text I said something that changed my focus, my goals, and in many ways my life.

Sounds dramatic doesn’t it? 🙂

Well, it wasn’t. Not really. I approached a musician that I have admired since his music reached my ears on Kompoz.com where I started collaborating with musicians just over two years ago. I wanted us to work on a song together. Something from scratch. I don’t think I even knew what I was trying to ask. We started talking about more than one song. We talked about a short story I might write that would go with the song. It all goes fuzzy from there.

The thing is that “The biggest dreams come true in the most subtle of ways. One word, one song, one idea at a time.”
It sneaks up on you and before you know it, things fall into place. Suddenly you are in a moment of time you always wanted to be but never knew the way to. It crept up on me.

“Icarus Machine” is such a dream come true for me. And it came with more than just a new band with a cool name. The album “This Sundered world” is a concept album in the realms of Prog metal. We have 12 tracks and one story. We are looking at a mid-August release for both .

So who is this magical person that could settle JennyK to work with others and dedicate all time and energy on one project for an extended period of time and beyond? It had to be someone very special. Because as we all know; JennyK does not know how to spell the word “consistency”.

Well, here are the ingredients for this cake of all cakes

Bill Babcock

a.k.a sriracha Is the driving force that can pressure me into doing better and not make me want to kick him in the teeth for it. A teacher, a mentor, a nice guy, and an extraordinary asshole. Bill is the producer and has written most of the songs on the album. His guitar is never not impressive, his compositions never not right for the vision. He also does keys and effects, all mixing and mastering with deep knowledge, feeling, and precision. That would be enough wouldn’t you think?
Oh, hell no. When we couldn’t find a drummer, he superglued the drum sticks to his keyboard fingers.
You can find Bill and much more music at his
Kompoz profile page.

Jordi Ribas

a.k.a Srhangover has composed one song on this album and several for the future and has been an inspiration from the start with his undeniable style and excellence. Jordi plays the bass on all tracks and is nothing if not absolutely amazing. Beyond this band and album he is a serious force in prog rock and metal among other genres. He is a talented musician and songwriter in his own right.
You can find Jordi on his
Kompoz page, where he brightens the music collaboration world with his amazing creativity and love of the music. Jordi plays in a Steampunk themed prog metal band in his hometown of Galicia – Spain, with his wife as the lead singer.

Jenny K Brennan

a.k.a JennyK does the word forging and the voice melody making on all tracks. Lyrics are all inspired by characters in the novel. As an author of various styles of fiction from horror through comedy to paranormal erotica, Jenny is now moving on to steam punk for the novel titled the same as the album – “This Sundered World.”

About us

Icarus Machine
The members of Icarus Machine came together late 2015 after collaborating online over several years on various projects with each other. The members, Bill Babcock, Jenny K Brennan and Jordi Ribas, hail from all over the world: Massachusetts, United States; Ontario, Canada; all the way to Galicia, Spain.
Having discovered they were like minded about music and art, they found a common vision and desire to create something different – a project encompassing music and literature where the music was subtext for the story and vice versa.
Their first album is written around the events in a novel written alongside the music. “This Sundered World” is a steampunk inspired story about Gabriel who finds himself alone in a sundered society, a world he knows nothing about. Gabriel and the characters he encounters became the inspiration for the music and lyrics on the album.

Copyright 2016 Icarus Machine

A Mother’s heart – This Sundered World – The first chapter.

Excerpt from This Sundered World

Chapter 1 – A mother’s heart

“Don’t forget, don’t forget! The heart, the heart. Ticking clicking whirring. Oh poor me, have to see. See this. Don’t forget, don’t forget.”

Bird

“Oh no you don’t. I can’t. Shit, spit god fuck. Shit you don’t do this to me. Oh no, not to Gabriel. Not fucking fair… not fair. Not fair.” The rant exhausted itself in a moan and a sudden hiccup. The outburst of frustration and fear morphed into wordless mumbling. The sounds didn’t even seem his own anymore. Gabriel kept making sounds to stop thoughts about what he was doing from crushing him. Because Gabriel had no fucking clue. He didn’t know. He had never known. So he kept sputtering garbage because it might, on some level, help. Gabriel’s fingers worked quickly but clearly at random where they had never been meant to be working. They prodded and poked at the intricate machinery. Turning one small knob, flipping one switch, prodding desperately at the bundles of wires and pipes grafted into flesh.
He stared intently into the clockwork and willed it to keep going. Each desperate searching touch seared his fingertips as the overheating little engine spewed intermittent bursts of steam. Each leak decreased the pressure in the tiny engine he was trying to get going again. He had to get it right and do it before it failed. It had to be repaired while still running as it would never be restarted. That was the only thought in Gabriel’s head as he scanned the incomprehensible clockwork that was his mothers failing heart.

A ragged cough stilled his fingers and he looked up at his mothers face. Her pale lips were turning a shade of blue that Gabriel had never seen before. He stared at his mothers trembling mouth while avoiding her eyes. A dry tongue prodded outwards from between perfectly manufactured teeth fronting the darkness of her mouth. It waggled weakly in a futile attempt to moisten dry and cracked lips. He stared as another cough racked all of her and a dribble of dark blood joined the already gore spattered chin and neck. Too much pressure will do that to a person, he thought numbly. Failing fucking machines will do that.

The woman on the table drew in breath and smiled weakly. “Mind your words, Son.” Her voice was barely loud enough to make out over the hissing steam and gurgling from her chest. It was no more than whispers of leaves, crackling and buzzing of insects dying. Not the intense fight for survival but the feeble twitching lingering remnant of the same. Accompanied by irregular clicks and incorrectly modulated functions, her words rested in the air between them for a moment before they registered as actual words. The meaning became clear several long moments after that. She slowly shook her head and laughed a rasping huff, wobbled a frail shuddering chuckle, “Gabriel, you idiot. Get your hands off my tits.”

Gabriel blinked in confusion at the unfamiliar words but did look at his hands. And true enough, one of his hands had slid out of the cavity in his mother’s chest and rested on one of her withered sagging breasts. A desperate sound emerged from his chest. It might have been a laugh. It might have been a cry. It was both. How could he feel embarrassed in a time like this? Mother was dying and Gabriel was trying to mend her breaking heart. However, long habit told him he should be feeling shame and so he did. Something that had built up inside him ever since he had found his mother in the state she was in now, wanted to burst out in the open. It felt hot and acidic in his chest, but moved about frail and thin in his mind. He closed his eyes and willed it to stop; that thing that he didn’t want to feel.

He mumbled, “Sorry Mother.” and pulled his hand away from the unseemly touch.
Mother raised her hand and placed it on top of his where it trembled against the blood spattered crumpled fabric that had been her dress. A splayed open corset and neatly unbuttoned shift completed her outfit. She breathed. For the time being she breathed. But he knew it would soon stop. She strained to speak but speak she did. “Don’t worry, silly one. I didn’t expect you to fix me. But you just ruined your vest. You can’t go out like that.” A disapproving wrinkle appeared and disappeared. “Your gloves. Did you lose your gloves again Gabriel?”

Gabriel jerked his head and stared into her eyes. Her hand was cool and sticky on top of his. It was so still. Calm where his trembled. He wanted to say something. That he didn’t understand. That of course he would. That of course he hadn’t lost his… what the hell? What did his gloves have to do with anything? He would mend her up just right. He could fix things. His face burned from the obvious lie even though it hadn’t actually been spoken.

“It can’t be fixed.” she appeared to regain a sliver of energy and she kept talking as her failing clockwork heart kept loosing power, “One too many bad parts got put in to that heart of mine.” She rested for a moment and in the silence her body produced one labored breath, and one heavy unsettling clunk from her chest. Just another part grinding to a halt. She ignored it and breathed again. “I taught you what you need to know. You idiot son of a true bastard. Dead River is not for you.”

Gabriel looked away uneasily at the face that came foggily to his mind. His father had been recycled for so long that the memory barely stirred anything in him anymore. The remade cripple had been Gabriel’s first, and last, lesson in Body work. He hadn’t known what that meant then and he didn’t know now. A machine like any others he had thought. Machines made things happen. Machines wheezed, sputtered, mumbled, transported heavy things from one place to another, worn down, ticked, gurgled, and broke. But what that machine had done with his father after Gabriel hoisted the limp stiff body into the hopper had been something Gabriel hadn’t known machines could do. The machine broke people. Broke them into parts. Some bits to reuse, other bits to process into fertilizer, and some bits to place in glass bowls to look at. He had never figured that one out.

Mother noticed the familiar bemusement and sighed. As much as her ruined apparatus could express exasperation, it did. Two surprisingly powerful fingers pinched Gabriel’s hand and he immediately jumped to attention. Mother was talking. “I wonder…. I wonder if I taught you the wrong thing. You know, stupid child that you are.” She paused as she contemplated words that she should have used a long time ago. She wondered if there was any meaning to telling this boy. This creature … This child. “Listen, you idiot. I know you can’t do shit. You are no repairman.” She drew shallow breaths and seemed to want to say more. So much more. But after some moments, she slowly shook her head and closed her eyes. Gabriel’s own natural heart skipped a beat but his mother was still breathing, just gathering strength.

Finally she said, “I have been remade, repaired adjusted, prodded on for the last time. You hear me? There is nothing you can do Son. Even if you had the…” She coughed up another glob of bits of her mixed with gelatinous slime and blood, grimacing at the taste of her own fluids. “Go.” She said, shaking her head as if that could banish the things she would have said if there was time. She turned her head away and the world seemed to fall in on itself as Gabriel realized he could no longer hear the hiss of breathing. There was a whistle of steam escaping but no human apparatus ever made that sound. Cooling pipes ticked. Cogs slowed, blood no longer had power to move. With just a whiff of air that barely moved vocal chords, Mother spoke so softly that Gabriel had to put his ear next to her mouth to make out what she said. In the stillness he heard it though.

“Go. Away from Dead River. Get out of Crawdin Lands. There is more out there. Outside. More…” Her body shuddered before she told him what she had kept from him for so long, “more people. Find them. I was afraid to see. I was… was wrong.”

The hand that rested on Gabriel’s twitched violently, turned into a grasping claw for a long second, and then grew still along with the rest of her body. Gabriel stared at the failed machinery, the failed body. He was hoping for just one more sound from her. Just a few more words to explain what he had just heard her say. But he was not that dim. He knew she was dead. She should go in the hopper. That’s what he should be doing; recycle her body and all the extra parts that were her. But if… The thought came slowly through resistant patterns of being. Patterns shattered by his mother’s last words. “More people.”

More people. Gabriel spoke the words out loud. Tentatively at first and then louder, “More people?” The air fell quiet and somehow suffocating around him. He felt suddenly calm. He was cold and calm, and to his own surprise not just a little bit angry even if he couldn’t quite point that anger at anything in particular. There was too much to rage at. But there was also so much to revel at. “Outside. More people. Find them.” He used the words as anchors to hold his inner world in check and away from grief.

Clarity came to the young man. It stepped in and stomped all over Gabriel’s mind with brutal knowledge that he couldn’t take in and understand in a hundred years and a million lessons from mother. There was too much. From the overwhelming influx of never thought before ideas and revelations, Gabriel distilled two distinct facts.

One: His mother had lied to him.
And two: His mother had lied to him. Those were two distinct facts. He knew they were. He refined it further:
Firstly: his mother had lied to him and that meant that she was not who he always had thought she was. Now that was bad enough but not that surprising as far as Gabriel’s view of the world went.

Secondly, mother had lied to him. Meaning that they had not at all been alone as she had said. There were others. What others? Had she known them? Who? Where? Why?

Gabriel pulled his hand away from Mothers body and turned from it. He stood motionless and simply listened without hearing what he should have heard from the start. But what he didn’t hear didn’t matter at that moment; instead he was absorbed by another feeling that was so odd he had to grab hold of the edge of the steel table for stability. He felt the world speed up and expand away from him. He sensed his own place within it change. Gabriel shifted from the centre to the insignificant edge. From just the one part to one part of many. Then the world around him rushed back to settle in its new unknown configuration. Gabriel stared at some spot of nothing some place just ahead of him and finally shook his head and blinked furiously. After a moment of that, he started scraping gore and drying blood off his fingers, grimaced, and pulled his newly realized self back to the centre of the universe. He grew taller and the rest of the world came closer. All he had to do was to go get it. Go. Mother had said “Go.”

Go where?

Authors note

“This Sundered world has no release date. It is being written along side the prog metal album with the same name.

Please add your thoughts.
🙂

JennyK

The words telling the events in this wholly fictional story were conjured and transmitted via fingertips, through computer keyboard, and subsequently into digital storage by Jenny K Brennan. All rights reserved.

Sundered – Developing the game – From World building to conversation – Interactive Fiction Creation

Sundered – The Game – Creation of.

An interactive not quite steampunk Interaction

Play Sundered in your browser! (Opens in new window.)

There are no downloads for the work in progress. At time of Alpha testing, files will be made available.

Sundered – The concept

It all started in the fall of 2015. This Sundered world is a prog-metal album, a novel, and now I got it in my mind to write this Interactive fiction game with it. Oh, I almost forgot. What say ye of a graphic novel? Huh? Actually, graphic novel might be a maybe. i love the idea but shit, there are only so many hours in a day so that is a loose thread as of yet. the game is related to the novel and takes place in the same universe, but is unrelated in every way from the novel so playing the game will produce no spoilers.

So that is why i set up this page from the start. This game in progress will be playable at every step of the way but there will be little to do to start with. We meet Gabriel. We meet Bird. And we get to know the world in a typical Interactive Fiction condensed fiction fashion. So, if you are interested in following the building of this game, come back every now and then to see what Gabriel is up to and what he is capable of.

Before you click on the link above to play the game, you may want to start this player. “This Sundered World” is as you may guess the title track for the music album under production right now by the brand new band “Icarus Machine”. More information on that is upcoming. Enjoy, as more stuff will come along and fill this game and this page with interesting stuff.

From the game

Excerpts from the actual game play. Including work in progress fuckups coming up as there is more gameplay to draw from.

Call to action

At this point, there is not much game to report bugs on. But I will happily take what you find as well as suggestions. Please add your thoughts on this page.

JennyK