This month’s performed reading is Le Mort Vivant, by Steven Chapman. It’s the tale of a monstrous youth. Hiding in the shadows of the Palais Garnier, a masked figure looks longingly at a world he’s forbidden to touch—until he chances upon a precocious girl at the heart of his lair, and a ghastly family secret. Yes – this is the secret origin of The Phantom of the Opera in all its tragic glory. The story is longer than usual, so I’ve taken the decision to split it in two, breaking off at an appropriate point. Fear not, pt2 will arrive next week, so you won’t have to wait long.
Le Mort Vivant can be found in the anthology, Primogen: Origins of Monsters, from Stitched Smile Publications. The book also contains stories from luminaries such as Josh Malerman, Ramsey Campbell and Nicholas Vince.
Le Mort Vivant is my sixth audio piece as ‘Fine-toothed Comb Productions’. Right now, it’s a hobby more than anything else. I’m learning the ropes in terms of narration, sound editing, soundscaping, mixing and the like, with a view to eventually adding Audio Production and Narration to the Services you can hire me for, here at The Fine-toothed Comb.
My plan is to release one new recording each month for the rest of 2021. I already have stories booked in from Alice J. Black, Nicolas Papaconstantinou and John Travis. That leaves space for authors in November and December. If you have a tale you’d like to hear me tell (between 4000 and 6000 words long) then please do drop me a line. All I ask is the flexibility to edit slightly for my ease of performance, and to be able to freely host the audio file on my website. You’ll get a copy a month after release. I make no money from this, but please do check with your publisher before volunteering. I don’t want to fall foul of any legal disputes.
Sound design and attribution:
All music and sounds are used under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
My regular Intro music is called The Fifth Life, by Circus Marcus.
My regular Outro music is called Post Bellum, by Dee Yan-Kee.
Both were sourced at Free Music Archive.
As with my previous two pieces, I was unable to source a single generic soundscape to cover the whole of Le Mort Vivant. I’ve patched together something from various water effects, scrapes, steps, smashes, rodents and the like. Do you find they add to or distract from the reading? I welcome constructive feedback from all listeners. Please post in the Comments section below.
These latest sound effects are as follows:
Crowd int medium sophisticated French theatre active audience by kyles
Wooden Door 2 by Sheyvan
lock and key by brkdwnb3njo
Punch in the effing face by Mixedupmoviestuff
Steps_stone_1 by o_ciz
Door Creak 02 by JarredGibb
Door Slamming hard by NachtmahrTV
Mouse squeaks by Shyguy014
Breathing panicked by giddster
rocky stream underwater by klankbeeld
rippling creek 140706_0289 by klankbeeld
Underwater deep impact by Sheyvan
water_splash by soundscalpel.com
Gasping for air by Jammaj
Picking lock by MC_Minnaar
Cardboard boxes and Glass smash by laft2k
Punch_2_sounds by JotJelly
Heavy impacts by RICHERlandTV
If you enjoyed the first part of Le Mort Vivant, you may also like my previous recordings, including:
The Cardiac Ordeal, by Andrew Freudenberg
Christmas Fare, by Pippa Bailey
Swimming Out To Sea, by Penny Jones
For ease, why not bookmark my Performed Readings link? It’s a one-stop destination for all of my recordings as they appear.