The Point: Ep 5 (finale)

©2022 Michael Raven

Oh my garsh. This is it. Golly. We’ve reached the stage where we are at the end of a long journey.

The final episode of The Point, as written and performed by Cherie Lynae Cabrera Suski (who also had a hand in putting the multimedia part together using some kind of magic). Art was by O’Wisp. I added some sound and stuff.

Warning: if you are the type who requires there to be trigger warnings before you consume content, you probably shouldn’t watch the following video. We accept no responsibility for any trauma you might experience by ignoring this warning and choosing to watch or listen. This is a work of mature fiction and is not intended for minors.

A couple of short notes about the parts I added. I promise — short.

I’m actually pretty proud of the music on this one, as minimalist as it sounds, it is also more complex in a number of ways. Without delving deep into the details, it is in an atypical key for me (B minor) and uses a time signature that I don’t typically use (6/8). I’ll admit, I trend towards 4/4 in 99% of the music I write, although I’ve tried to explore really atypical time signatures like 5/4 and 7/4; I did a bit of 3/4 during my Irish folk music phase, but mostly I stick to ye ol’ 4/4.

And while those things make me happy to have gotten a chance to explore and (I think) make work for me, I think I hit the background music elements best on this episode (although recorded and composed 4th in the series). I start off very minimalist and build up towards the end with subtlety (again, personal opinion, you may disagree). I ended up layering 3 pianos along with the keys, bass, guitar, and a choir voice on a synth, avoided drums almost entirely, while playing some of silence to my advantage.

Influences on this were pulled from late Joy Division, along with listening to several soundtracks from era movies, typically from the end where things are unsatisfactory resolved (instead of the Disney “everyone ends up happy” tunes).

See? Short.

I hope you enjoyed this series of collaborations. I’m probably needing a break with respect to multi-episodic multimedia BGM for a spell but, if you like what you heard, I am always interested in exploring collaborations with other writers and other types of artists. Hit me up at my about/contact page if you have an idea you’d like to explore.

A little reminder: The Point

©2022 Michael Raven

art by o’wisp

In about 29 hours from now, episodes three and four of The Point go live. The Point is a five-episode collaboration with storytelling by Cherie Suski (story and telling), O’Wisp (art things), and myself (general racket and sound production).

Here is an early mix of the music “teaser” from the track (w/o voiceover). This “demo” is what I sent to the others to get feedback for Ep 3., so the final version is quite a bit longer and has a different mix:

Listen to Episodes 1 & 2 here if you haven’t already.

Stop by again after 6pm CST tomorrow to hear the next two episodes. And a week after that to hear the final episode. Honestly, that last episode is my favorite in terms of overall sound production and I really can’t wait to get that one into everyone’s ears.

“The Point” advance release announcement

©2022 Michael Raven

Cherie has told me that the episodes will be posted via a YouTube page and I’ll get the links for these first two episodes posted sometime on Friday. There are things, listening to the first episode even now, that I am resisting the urge to go back and tweak for the music/sound production. But I have to remind myself, I was actively learning some new techniques with that and the second episode, and learning where that fine line was between promoting music and promoting the story. Still… I wish I could dial the ‘verb back a bit on Cherie’s voice.

Anyway, these first two are my least favorite. I started getting comfortable with everything around episode 3, which has a scheduled release alongside episode 4 on Friday the 19th. Episode 5 (and finale) is scheduled for release on the 26th.


©2022 Michael Raven

It is rounding around that time again when the house will become emptied of everyone but myself and seven ornery cats who expect to be fed five times a day (when they’ve never been fed more than three times a day). Next week, I will experience a temporary empty nest and, unlike the past few years, I’m not looking to fill up my freedom with social engagements that I am normally unable to pursue because of, well, seven demanding cats and three kids.

Instead, I think I might make other plans.

Continue reading “Nuthinduan”

triptych — a poetic collaboration

©2022 krista marson | michael raven | towint

Below is a “blind” collaboration several of us put together based solely on three random tarot cards drawn from a standard deck, The Crow Tarot as designed by MJ Cullinane. Krista, Towint, and myself independently wrote three poems with no more than 100 words total based on those random tarot cards. None of us was aware what the other had written while we wrote out own contributions. The text colors are consistent for each author throughout the piece: Krista=beige, Towint=yellow, and Michael=blue. The text follows each panel of the triptych for those people who utilize screen readers or only have handheld devices.

This post is best viewed on a full screen tablet or monitor.

Continue reading “triptych — a poetic collaboration”

shadowfell/ [collaboration]

tara caribou + Michael Raven | ©2021

artwork ©2021 | tara caribou, used with permission

through the damp wood
dim and heavy,
humid with the tears
of Danu’s children
from ere they dwelt
in their mounds,
where betwixt and ‘tween
the misty veils
lies a fortress forbidding 
bare and stark
built of
black mud,
river boulder,
bone and feather

in single file dressed
all alike, 
black robed and solemn,
walk the pathway
climb the tower
up the stairway
‘round cold bricks about my heart
tight, so tight, i cannot breathe!
worms trying to
shatter those stones
reshape my world, theirs


‘neath the soul’s window 
on the ledge 
there stands a raven 
black and dark
her feathers silky
beak so sharp
eyes that glitter
in the night

upon stairs tread
by boots of traitors
line they then 
of one accord
first the one
and then the other
bend a knee
lift arcane stave
as one voice
murmur dark curses
known only to those 
across the vales
all at once 
with sudden vigor 
raven surges upon her wings 
takes to air 
caws and cries 
an eerie shouting 
a dismal spell all her own

to their horror 
and great amazement 
notice they,
the twelve of cloak,
within her claw 
she holds a blade of silver 
etched with runes 
they cannot bear

rending these speckled sill
maggot interlopers asunder,
them vying for a premature seat
at the funeral feast

This is a collaborative effort with Tara Caribou, who provided the starting material which we both built from over the course of several editing periods over the past few weeks. After reading her initial suggestion, I felt it should appear as a seamless piece that could have multiple authors, or a single author. She may have had other goals — we hadn’t discussed that element during the process of creation. That goal, in my opinion, was largely met with the results above, although I suspect you could probably extract who did what if you really wanted to make such an effort. I honestly wouldn’t waste your time doing so — you’ll just get annoyed because it isn’t by stanza and I won’t admit to anything.

I’m very pleased with the results and look forward to working with Tara in the future (assuming she’ll continue put up with me and my weird habits of notetaking on other writers’ writing and abstract, nonsensical comments).

As always, I am interested in collaborative efforts, should you wish — be it with fiction, poetry, music, or some combination of all of the above. It makes a different part of the creative mind work than that which creates solo efforts, and I feel it has the potential to make both participants better at what they do as a part of their overall growth. It won’t always work, sadly, and I will honestly (and yet politely) say so if it comes to that — but we’ll never know if we don’t attempt to work together.