Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Should Be Writing

I Should Be Writing

Mur Lafferty, author of "Playing for Keeps" and the "Heaven" podcast series amongst other things, has recently posted an article written by me on her "I Should Be Writing" blog.

The blog is the companion to her regular podcast aimed at new and aspiring writers, one that has provided a great deal of help and inspiration to guide me on my way. The article deals with the particular challenges of writing an ongoing piece of interactive fiction like "Some Other Scotland" and how I keep track of where it is going and ensuring it stays on course.

It is aimed at fellow writers, but if you are interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the SOS podcast, you might well find it interesting even if you're not a writer. Do take the time to check out Mur's own podcasts at the site; they are quite different to SOS, but you're sure to find something of interest.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great Hites Catch-up

Somehow I have managed not to mention a whole truckload of things in the last month. Rather than off-load them all at once, I'll stick up a series of short posts to get back on course.

First of all, since I last posted, there have been another two stories posted to Great Hites, both 'Some Other Scotland' spin-off tales.

GH Week 66 "Wearing sunglasses in the early morning."
Breakfast Hat [sos]
Sometimes people just don't want to be found. This is a short tale about what happens to Razer between wiping out the Empire State Building and finding himself in deep water.
GH Week 67 "A man with a duck-headed cane is at the door."
Hide and Seek [sos]
A detective is sent on a chase that can't end well. It is a longer tale set during the Second World War, giving the full story of the detective mentioned by Erica in Episode 16 of SOS and the previous attack on the 'Merk'.

Since these are spin-off, they will both appear in the main SOS podcast feed in the future.

In addition to those, I recently included a 100-word story in the SOS feed that was to have been submitted to the 100 Word Stories podcast. It also gives more information about the first attack on the 'Merk' in a highly-condensed form.

There was also a bonus prompt for Great Hites recently for a 100-word story, written with a tight deadline, on the subject of "Spicy Mustard". Like "Kelvin's Last Message", this is set in the future of SOS and may never come to pass. I will post the link to this when it becomes available.

Finally, just a reminder that there is a link on the right of this page that will take you to all my short stories, headed "Mick's Short Stories".

Monday, August 31, 2009

Let's make a PodioRacket!

I'm doing a live chat and interview with PodioRacket's Rhonda Carpenter on Monday 31st August at 2:30 pm PST / 5:30pm EST / 10:30pm UK (BST) and there will be prizes:

  1. Name a character - we'll be taking suggestions for names of some of the new characters introduced in the last week or so of the podcast.
  2. Call with a question or ask in the chatroom - the best one will receive a signed copy of the SOS short stories.
  3. Twitter about the show to receive a free copy of the music from SOS.

Full details of the competitions can be found at the BlogTalkRadio PodioRacket website.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waltzing With Werewolves


This week's Great Hites episode includes the biggest number of stories to date, with a number of new authors joining in and existing authors pulling out all the stops to make this a really good stepping-on point if you've never visited the site before.

The prompt for the stories was "Silver Bullets; the real reason that some cowboys carried them" and as you can imagine this has resulted in a number of werewolf-westerns as well as a few more unusual approaches. There are 12 stories in total, so Jeff has split it into 4 chunks, but it is all well worth a listen or two.

Two of the stories are mine: "Waltzing with Werewolves" is a 100 word love story set to music in a sort of spoken-song format, whilst "Silver Solves The Dilemma" is a fairly traditional western tale, but with werewolves and a somewhat skewed moral code.

Incidentally, the introduction music for each part that Jeff talks over is the theremin solo from The Ballad of Rufus Amos Adams - the country song I wrote some time ago for the Masters of Song Fu. Follow the link for the whole song.

Over on 'Some Other Scotland' this week, the action heads over the Atlantic to New York where the final scene shows how the influence of the story is reaching far beyond the shores of Scotland, with some devastating consequences. I was delighted to have Philip 'NorvalJoe' Carroll join me as the guest voice for Razer's American friend Kyle, who provides him with a place to lay low for a while. The two of us also concocted the creepy promo for Great Hites that you'll hear in the same episode, which was fun to put together.

Live Interview and Chat

Finally, I have been invited to do a live interview and call-in chat with on BlogTalkRadio on the 10th of August. I will have more information about this shortly, but in the meantime, visit this link to set an email reminder of when the show will be broadcast.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Take It Away!

Piano Keys

Over at Great Hites, my story "Take It Away" has proved reasonably popular amongst the people who take the time to vote. It tells of a great pianist who returns to his old school, whereupon he sits down at the old wreck of a piano he last played in his youth. The music teacher who stands watching him is surprised by the result.

This coming week is going to see a bumper Great Hites episode, with 12 stories being included, no doubt due to the prompt being related to cowboys and werewolves. More details when the episode is posted online, but I wrote two stories for the prompt, one of which just so happened to also fit the prompt for 100 Word Stories this week, which was "The games we play". That means you'll be able to read and/or listen to one of my stories from next week's Great Hites in advance. It is called "Waltzing with Werewolves" and is in a spoken-song format with musical accompaniment.

Some major changes are afoot in the world of 'Some Other Scotland' later this week, with something that will force the plot out into the public view in a rather impressive fashion. I'm keen to get another interlude episode out this week as well, so keep an eye on the website.

Finally, I have had some great support from Seth Harwood, author of "Jack Wakes Up", following his appearance on the live Podioracket talk show. He has very kindly played the promo for SOS on the latest episode of his "Hot Tub" podcast, side-by-side with one for Arlene Radasky's book "The Fox". Arlene has been a strong supporter of SOS from early in the life of the podcast and I'll be talking a little about her book in the next Interlude episode.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Cave and Podiobooks


My latest short story to appear at 'Great Hites' is called "The Cave". It is another short spin-off from 'Some Other Scotland', taking us back to the events (thousands of years ago) that set in motion much of what is taking place with Harald and Razer in the story at the moment. Remember the seemingly innocuous comment about cloning polar bears back in episode 8? Well, this story returns to that topic. The events mentioned here will be covered in SOS, though from a different perspective. This story is subtitled "part 1", as there is more to tell about what happened in the cave...

The short stories will be taking a break from linking to SOS for a couple of weeks, covering different topics for a while. I don't want to go overboard with SOS and make you all sick of it!


Welcome to new visitors coming here from The version of the story on podiobooks does not include the news items or the extras I include in the main podcast feed, the spin-offs and Interludes, just the story itself. I was delighted to gain over 100 new listeners within the first three days live at podiobooks, putting SOS into their top ten for this month, alongside some of the big names in podcast fiction. If you are enjoying the story on podiobooks, please do take the time to rate the podcast and leave a comment, as well as stopping by the main SOS website to vote in the poll. Follow @SOScotland on Twitter to be notified of news, poll postings and new episodes.

Finally, I was interviewed recently about SOS by Rhonda Carpenter of Podioracket, a podcast that covers everything new in the world of podcast fiction and features interviews with authors, news, competitions and promotional details of new books. If you are enjoying SOS or Great Hites, I would recommend paying them a visit for lots of ideas for what to listen to. I'll put up a direct link to the interview when that episode comes out.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dandelions Of Memory

Airship? Not exactly.

No, it's not a UFO or an airship - it's the blimp flying over T in the Park, just down the road.

This week's Great Hites story is ready and waiting to be read and/or downloaded. It is called "Dandelions Of Memory" and is another 'Some Other Scotland' tie-in, probably the most direct so far, featuring Erica at the airport before heading off towards Skara Brae. Go and have a listen and don't forget to vote for your favourite!

My 100 Word Story last week had the most votes (thank you to all who enjoyed it enough to vote for it), so I got to choose the topic for this week, which is "Shrouded in mist". I had no great plan for the topic, it is simply what I saw when I looked out the window at the time. However, it did result in me writing the shortest SOS spin-off so far. I've had something of a Harald special for this week of writing and both that story and my next Great Hites story give a little more background to him, tying into him being the focus of the latest SOS episode.

There is a new episode of 'Some Other Scotland' ready for download, the topic this week being 'Ghost'. Please have a listen and don't forget to vote for the future plot twist! On the SOS site you'll find a couple of audio promos for the podcast, set to some Song Fu tracks from the past. If you have a podcast or can use them in any way - please do! Let me know what you do with them, too.

Finally, I have just had confirmation that SOS will soon (17th July) be available at - probably the best online source of free podcast stories, with all sorts of things available there, including several that have gone on to become published novels. They are very focused on the story, so the version of SOS that will appear at podiobooks will lack the news items and any other chat from me, having only the story itself. Note that subscribing to the podcast there will not include 'Interlude' or 'Spin-off' episodes which can only be downloaded from the main SOS site, but if you want to hear them you can still just download those individual episodes.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Gruelling Schedule


It has been a busy week for writing, with a new episode of 'Some Other Scotland' and two new short stories.

Over at Great Hites episode 59 you will find "Kelvin's Last Message", a tale of two UFO hunters trying to follow a pattern of sightings and ending up getting more than they bargained for. The prompt this week was "It is verboten", which had me struggling for a while until I remembered that 'verbo' is a word that appears on my mobile phone's predictive text when I try to type in 'tesco' (the biggest supermarket chain in the UK, for those unfamiliar with it). Upon further investigation, I found that the keys used to spell 'ten' could also spell UFO and the idea came from that. I like the idea that so much can change at the delicate interface between man and machine.

Although I didn't set out to create another spin-off from SOS this week, this could be read as one, given what we know about unusual flying contraptions in that world. It is open-ended enough that it could foreshadow what is coming in SOS, but don't hold your breath - the story changes tack every week, so anything is possible.

The 100 Word Podcast features my story "Gruel", taking the run of animal-related diseases we're in the midst of and extrapolating a little, where eating meat becomes a game of chance with more serious consequences.

Don't forget to vote for your favourite stories at both GH and 100WS!

The first of the Great Hites Anthology episodes will be coming out fairly soon, so I have done a couple of short promo recordings to (hopefully) help Jeff reach a wider audience. One was just me chatting, whilst the other was a collaborative effort with Norval Joe, another Great Hites regular, and was really quite fun to do. I'll certainly be including it within the SOS feed as well as linking to it from here once Jeff is ready to launch.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Therapy Session

Alternative Therapy

Great Hites episode 58 is ready to view and download now. My story this week is more of a short character study than previous entries have been, dealing with a single woman struggling to come to terms with bereavement despite her familiarity with helping others do so.

Although it is a stand-alone story, it is set in the 'Some Other Scotland' world and features Sarah Fullarton, a minor character we last saw back in episode 2 of SOS. It takes place at her home shortly before the events of SOS.

The latest prompt at Great Hites is "arriving at the airport", probably the most open-ended prompt for several weeks, and will almost certainly end up being related to SOS as well.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Running Shoes


There is a new episode of Great Hites with an impressive seven stories this week, all inspired by the prompt "Running Shoes". Mine takes place in a not-too-distant future where there is a ban on footwear, a seemingly innocuous and silly law to pass, but one which has major implications. The tale provides the viewpoint of one person who's life has been turned upside-down from the day of the announcement.

I must give a big "Thank you!" to everyone who voted for my last two stories at GH, in particular for "Signal", which has been one of my personal favourites since I started submitting to Jeff's site. The three 'winning' stories will be appearing at some point in the future within a special anthology edition of 'Great Hites'.

I have just completed another story for the site, this time based on a minor character from 'Some Other Scotland' - more on that when it surfaces.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ida the Fossil

Ida Fossil

There's another of my short stories available to read or download and listen to over at Great Hites this week.

This one sets up a tale of lost love, interplanetary travel and homecoming around the recently discovered primate fossil, claimed by many to be the 'missing link'. Does it seem like I have a thing for ancient, advanced civilisations? You might think so.

There is some very subtle sci-fi background music in this latest tale. It comes courtesy of The Lunacy Board, and is called "Japan In A Trashcan". You'll find it on our third album, the entirely instrumental Stockholm, which is available to buy on CD or as a digital download. Follow the link for most information about the album, a couple of samples of other tracks and an order form.

There's also a new episode of 'Some Other Scotland' ready for download. There seems to be a link between Charles' letter and another letter written to William Wallace - interesting, since around 400 years separates them. We also learn a bit more about the object Razer found in the underground tunnel.


The Euro elections may have passed, but there's still plenty to vote for. Both 'Great Hites' and 'Some Other Scotland' feature polls that affect future episodes - if you are enjoying either of these podcasts, please take the time to vote and make your choice count!

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Robot Band

Robot Band

There's another story from me, now ready at Great Hites. This one is musical in nature, after a fashion, and puts a bit of a spin on the question "What kind of band would you hire if money was no object?"

I've been doing quite a lot of behind-the-scenes work on "Some Other Scotland" this week, which should hopefully allow me to forge on with the story with out interruption. I now have a massive chart with all the character details, who they have interacted with, who they will meet in the future (subject to change, of course) and a rough idea of where the next 5 or 6 episodes are heading. Now I just need to get writing.

Finally, I've been giving some thought to promotion of the podcast. It has been reasonably low key to date, partly because I wanted to be sure it could work and that people would actually want to listen to the ongoing story. Now that I know this to be the case, I'm ready to start pushing it out a bit more. I have a few ideas so far, so will probably pick the best of them and plan around doing something in line with the 13th episode (i.e. 1/4 of the way through the story).

Monday, June 01, 2009



Another week - another episode of Great Hites - this one is very short, and you'll either love it or hate it. It's about a little dog that rescues a group of shipwreck survivors.

After this, I have another couple of short stories headed towards Great Hites. I have been intending to put it aside for a while to focus on Some Other Scotland, but Jeff does insist on putting up prompts that keep the stories coming. The one I have just completed is my favourite since 'To The Clouds', but I have yet to finish recording it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Elvis Lives!

Elvis Tour Bus - Click image for CC attribution

Yet more podcast short fiction from the Bordet pen. This one is a very short tale for the "100 Word Stories" podcast. It was based on the prompt "Elvis drives a bus" and goes somewhere along the road of trying to explain just how that could happen.

Obviously, it takes place in some other reality. It isn't the 'Some Other Scotland' world, though there is some common ground. It's based on Elvis' Scottish roots, it's fun and it only takes seconds to read. Alternatively, download the whole podcast and enjoy a barrage of stories with roughly the same theme, albeit with very different approaches.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Busy Theremin Week

Three bits of theremin-related news popped up this week:

Don't Mind Me

My short fictional tale of the effects of excessive theremin-playing is now available at Great Hites for you to read or to listen to as part of the podcast. The advantage of the podcast is that, not only do you get to hear my dulcet tones reading it (oh deep joy), but it is backed by some reasonably subtle theremin effects, hopefully adding to the atmosphere. It's a fair bit less serious than my last GH story, but I'm quite happy with it. Whilst you're there, check out the other stories and vote for your favourite.

The Beat Frequency Theremin Method

Experimental thereminist and Lunacy Board collaborator, Gordon Charlton (a.k.a. Beat Frequency) has released a rather special double package that incorporates both his treatise on experimental theremin playing, "The Beat Frequency Theremin Method", and his debut solo album "The Chordless Chord" for the bargain price of only £8. The book is an interesting read for anyone interested in making electronic music, or in the experimental process, and not just budding theremin players. The order form is available on his blog along with video clips and an online preview of the book.

Hands Off 2009

It really doesn't seem like two years since the last Hands Off event, but here we are. This time round there are no workshops and no concert, with the event being a completely different beast. The aim this time is to use the combined theremin might of those attending (around only 20 in total - a select bunch), along with whatever additional noise-making equipment we can get hold of, to craft an album within two days. I believe the idea will be to split into smaller groups to work on pieces, recording them as we go, before picking the best to go together on an album. Given that the Lunacy Board managed to pull of an album in a single day, I don't think this is an impossible task and wouldn't be surprised if we got a double CD out of it. Time will tell. What will be interesting is the mix of people attending, from instrument builders and experimentalists through to classical theremin players - it is certain to feature lots of strange and unusual stuff. I'm looking forward to this, but it's not until the end of August, so the wait begins here...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wearing my pen out

Great Hites

You'll no doubt have seen my previous posts about a couple of my short stories that have been included on the 'Great Hites' podcast. There is a section for voting on the site and I'm pleased to say that my first two efforts both came in first place on the list, so I must be doing something right.

To celebrate the podcast's first year of existence and to secure a wider audience, Jeff (top man and head of the 'secret council of three') has recently announced that future poll winning entries at Great Hites will be eligible for inclusion in the forthcoming Great Hites Anthology (name to be confirmed - Jeff is still looking for suggestions) . This 'Greatest Hites' will be available through, which has a fairly large audience. I'm delighted to say that, as the 'winning' story in the anniversary week, "To The Clouds" will be the first tale in the anthology. Since writing that, I have submitted another two stories, so this seems like a good time to provide a quick summary of recent writings.


I have created a page with links to all my online writings that I will update regularly. It is linked from the front page of this blog and can be found here.

Great Hites - Short Stories

GH Week 51 "Anthropomorphism"
Gregory and Friends
What can you do to squeeze the last drop of earning potential from something? Anthropomorphise it!
GH Week 52 "It has been a year, what have I done with myself?"
To The Clouds
One man's view of the historic R34 airship crossing of the Atlantic.
GH Week 53 "My mind has been going places without me lately."
Don't Mind Me
The theremin is a mysterious-sounding instrument, but does it affect more than just sound waves?
GH Week 54 "A pound of flesh"
A touching tale of man's best friend.
GH Week 55 "Robots, they are all robots!"
The Robot Band
If money was no object, what would the band be like?
GH Week 56 "Missing link primate likely to stir debate."
A tragic loss sends Maart miles from home, but his return years later holds some surprises in store.
GH Week 57 "Running Shoes"
Running Shoes
A seemingly minor change to the law has major implications. A barefoot world.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"To The Clouds" - A life changed by the R34 Airship

R34 at Mineola

Life can take you on interesting detours.

I sat down a couple of nights ago to write the next episode of 'Some Other Scotland', only to find myself some time later digging through the internet for every scrap of information I could find about the R34 - the first aircraft to make a return Atlantic crossing. Why? It all ties in with the first 'spin-off' story from SOS, and I was checking some facts from the past before including them in the main podcast so that I wouldn't end up contradicting myself when I come to writing the off-shoot. It seemed like a logical course of action.

What I ended up with, in conjunction with the latest prompt from Great Hites, was a short stand-alone story providing background for the main character of that story. It is, in effect, a spin-off from the spin-off.

This new story tells the tale of one year in the life of a rigger on the R34 airship, which was based at East Fortune, not far from North Berwick. As it stands, there is no direct link with the podcast story, but the forthcoming special episode will tie the two together.

Pay a visit to Great Hites' latest episode to read the story or listen to me reading it, along with a number of other short tales read by their authors. Great Hites celebrates a year or podcasting short fiction this week, so drop by and show your support!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Things to be done and things not

Viva La Fry

First of all, I've signed up to do a song for the 'Viva la Fry' project. Click on the link for more details of what it is. I have no idea what to do for this, but my inclination is to keep it very simple, maybe just uke and vocal. No deadline has been set, other than ASAP, which is pretty non-specific. They're still looking for participants, so if you're interested in going head-to-head with Coldplay, take a look.

If you'd like a bigger challenge, there is still time (until Monday) to sign on for the next edition of 'Masters of Song Fu'. Having done a few now, I can recommend the experience as a way to develop your songwriting chops and getting some useful feedback about your songs. I'm sitting this one out to concentrate on other things, but will be following along as spectator.

Finally for now, I have submitted another short story to the Great Hites podcast. My first one seems to have been well-received, so the new one may appear within the next few days. More details if and when it does, but it is a more serious story which feeds into 'Some Other Scotland'. If you haven't heard (or read) the first one - have a look at the site - you can subscribe to the whole podcast or just read the individual stories if you prefer.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Music for Podcasting

One thing I have found since starting the podcast is that sometimes I just can't synthesise or recreate a sound effect to my satisfaction - that's what full-time sound designers are paid the big bucks for (assuming they ARE paid big bucks, that is). There's a wealth of stuff out on the internet, some free and some very expensive, with little assistance in distinguishing between the two. My preference is to go with Creative Commons music where I don't have something of my own that will fit the bill, but often the stuff I want to use has a non-commercial or no-derivatives licence. There are quite a few sites offering royalty free music, but most of the ones I came across were either needlessly complex, hideously expensive or only offered music on CD or DVD. seems to be a little different, with easy to navigate categories, a pretty wide variety - not just piles of electronic breakbeats - and per-track pricing, meaning that if my podcast only needs one short snippet of polka, then that's all I pay for. Prices are around the $10 mark - high in comparison to most online music shops, but quite reasonable for a lifetime of royalty-free commercial use. They also do their own Reason drum kit with a range of 15 different kit styles using 24 bit samples.

Certainly worth a look if you're on the look-out for jingles for your podcast.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Great Hites

Great Hites

The short story I mentioned in the last post has appeared in Episode 51 of the Great Hites podcast which features short stories based on a common weekly theme. I have enjoyed several of the stories featured over the last few weeks that I've been following it, and the prompt for the latest week, "Anthropomorphism", inspired me to pen a short tale of (perhaps) the world's first marketing department.

It has been a nice little departure from the ongoing saga of twists and turns at Some Other Scotland, light-hearted with a tang of cynicism. Next week is the first anniversary of Great Hites, so I hope to submit something to that episode too, though that will depend on whether I get this week's SOS completed in time.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Masters of Song Fu - Hanging up that hat

For the first time since it started, 'Masters of Song Fu' has been won by a challenger - well done Molly! They have already announced the date for sign-up for the next round, but I think I'm going to take a rest from the Fu for a while.

I need to devote more time to the Some Other Scotland podcast for a while, as Song Fu deadlines meant that podcast episodes have slipped back. I have a special non-story episode coming up soon (after episode 10 launches) that will deal with some questions I've had about the story. That has yet to be recorded, so please feel free to send questions and/or feedback to me at mickbordet {at} gmail {dot} com and I can reply on the podcast.

When the podcast started, I hoped to be able to expand the world with a few spin-off stories giving some background to certain characters or events - short tales that would stand on their own as well as giving more depth to the main story. I have come up with a rough plan for the first of these, though it has turned out to be a bit more ambitious than originally planned because it will be more of an audio drama than the main podcast. More news on that as I settle the thing down in a script.

I've also completed a short story for possible inclusion on another podcast, so details of that will follow if it comes into being. If it doesn't I may just post it here instead.

All of this writing and podcasting activity does NOT mean that the music has been abandoned, though. There are a couple of possible guest appearances in the pipeline, a Lunacy Board session of some sort is long overdue and I have a few half-completed songs still kicking around from the FAWM challenge that need to be finished off. At some point soon I'll also revisit the Song Fu material I have amassed and combine it into an album, though there are some parts to be re-recorded with the luxury of no deadline, as the originals make me cringe in several places. Finally, I have a top secret plan for a podcast-related musical piece that will surface at some point and, who knows, maybe one of these days I'll get round to sorting out the pile of Dunoon songs.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Brokeback Cowboy

The latest to come out of the Roy Harper stable is not his long-awaited next studio album, but this little film. It's a joke you're probably familiar with, but it's so well-presented that I couldn't help but smile. I'd love to see Roy do more of this sort of thing (once he's finished that elusive album).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Masters of Song Fu - "#onedayintwitter"

Song Fu Logo

Another 'Masters of Song Fu' comes to a close with the final voting round posted today and it's been fun. The format of the competition has changed significantly from the first time I entered, with all contestants staying in until the final round and letting us enjoy a much bigger collection of new songs. 'Shadow' entries for the final have also been encouraged, so my latest song can be found at, even though I didn't make the final as a competitor.

As for the outcome, taking a look at the last set of vote results, I placed 12th out of 22, so just in the lower half - not exactly a shining star, but not too bad against some strong competition, and substantially better than the showing in the first Song Fu I tried. It's interesting to see that several other people with lower scores in the first round (Jutze, Insane Ian and especially Edric) went on to pull substantially more votes in the following rounds, as I did.

I think I'll probably take a break from Song Fu after this - there's just too much other stuff to do at the moment, both on the 'Some Other Scotland' podcast and other musical ideas I've had simmering slowly for a while. I'll be pulling all the songs together shortly to make them easier to download in one go.


The challenge:

FRANKENSONG. For this fourth and final challenge, you must craft a composition that contains AT LEAST THREE (3) distinctly different songs within your final song, but which fit together into a cohesive whole. By distinct, I mean both tempo and style.

I struggled with this for a while, looking for three or four things that could be grouped together, yet remain unique in their own right. It finally struck me whilst looking for something on Twitter that it could be used for the song - indeed it could form the cohesive entity around a group of otherwise unrelated topics. I used the twitter search facility to find 'trending topics' and came up with four I thought I could write unique songs about that would fit under the heading "One Day In Twitter" - these were merely the most popular topics at the time I looked:

Despite everything from Cyrano de Bergerac to Shallow Hal suggesting otherwise, it's apparently been a common belief that you need to be beautiful to sing/act/dance/etc. Like some warped version of a fairytale (with Cowell, Morgan and Holden as fairy godmothers?) the World has suddenly woken up to discover that ugly people can have talent. Welcome to the party, guys. The fact is that ugly people probably make better artists because they don't get handed their career on a plate because some sleazebag wants to get them on his casting couch (or whatever the equivalent is for musicians). The music business took a massive detour thanks to MTV, resulting in the rise of the drop-dead-gorgeous-but-musically-bland artists we've been subjected to for so many years now, but maybe this will signal to them that there is something beyond airbrushed beauty.
I jest.
Of course they won't, despite the fact they're wishing they had a tenth of the sales that Ms Boyle has had YouTube views.
He entered a race with CNN to get to one million twitter followers first. He had at least one company offering prizes to people who signed up - shame on you EA. How desperate for fame and adoration do you have to be to post pictures of your wife's arse on the internet just to get more people to sign up to receive your inane drivel? Apparently he's an actor. I may have already seen one of his films - I don't know - but I do know that if I hear his name associated with a film in the future, I'll probably be a little less inclined to want to see it.
Literary agents opened themselves up to questions and provided insight into why they knock back many book pitches. Some writers praise them for being open and honest, appreciating the feedback, learning from the experience and maybe going on to produce a pitch for their own book that may get them noticed one day. Others throw their toys out the pram, rant on about what the agents should be doing for them, complain about even the most common-sense of advice and end up looking like unprofessional prima-donna numpties who will doubtless be avoided by every agent on the planet.
Twitter is full of little internet memes like this - change a word in a well-known science fiction title (book or film) to make it a little less inspiring. As with all these things, some work better than others.

I wrote a verse for each topic and recorded a mini-song in a suitable style - mock-operatic for #susanboyle, emo rock for #ashtonkutcher, wistful waltz for #queryfail and robotic electronica for #badscifi. They are bound together not just by being twitter hot topics, but by the same chorus lyrics (the words stay the same, but the music is different each time) as well as some instrumental overlaps and a theme from the start that reappears later on. I had intended to feature a theremin part at the beginning and end, but ran out of time to practice it - hopefully I will get around to this and release a version which includes it. The whole thing is rounded off with a title that both describes what the song is about and serves as a hashtag for searching twitter.


[Operatic/Musical Style]
There are thousands of less than beautiful people
With voices to make a nightingale proud
But thanks to Mandy and Piers and Cowell
There's one who won't throw in the towel
Please step forwards Susan Boyle,
That YouTube clip will help you always
Stand out from the crowd.

Tweet tweet tweet tweet
tweet tweet tweet tweet
What'ya twittering on about?
Tweet tweet tweet tweet
tweet tweet tweet tweet
What's this twitter thing all about?

[Waltz style]
Authors harassing agents in a bid for Rowling fame
Queryfail sparked off the "he said, she said" game
But queryday has showed how much common sense is lacking
In some people sending manuscripts in the hope of getting backing


[Emo rock]
How needy is the boy who craves a thousand, thousand followers
Desperate to outnumber the avid newscast swallowers
I'd never heard of Ashton Kutcher till his name came up on twitter
But will a million followers and Demi's arse stop his career going down the shitter?


[Tangerine Dream Style - robot voice]
Making up names to substandard shows
Twitter hive mind, borg-like complies
Avon visits a corner shop in "Blake's 7-Eleven"
Art from the chronosynclastic infundibulum in "The Sirens of Titian"
Noddy's looking for Replicants in "Slade Runner"
All available on #badscifi


Tuesday, April 21, 2009



I've been listening to Jutze's album "HETEROSCEDASTICITY" on and off over the last week and thought it was worth a plug here.

Jutze provided a couple of sets of backing vocals for 'Big Red Nose' and is the only other person to complete a shadow Frankensong for the final round of the latest 'Masters of Song Fu'. There is a nicely eclectic selection of songs on his album, which is named after a statistical term (and why not), ranging from acoustic ditties to heavy rock. He manages to out-R.E.M. R.E.M. on the song "I Wish Natalie Portman Was My Neighbour", covers similar territory to Katie Melua's "If You Were A Sailboat" with more wit on "If I Could Paint My Feelings" ("If I could weave my heart, I'd just make towels") and even get a little serious with "Spirit She". All of the songs are performed in English, apart from two statistical songs in German, which is a language built for rock.

The wonderfully chirpy "In Love With Michael Owen" reminds me of Judge Smith, which is high praise from me, and in fact the whole album does share a similar sort of low-budget charm with Judge's earlier efforts "Democrazy" and "Dome of Discovery".

So give Jutze a little listen - his whole album is available as a free download and would be a bargain at ten times the price!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Masters of Song Fu - "It All Makes Sense At The End (The Spoiler Song)"

Song Fu Logo

Here's a low-budget video for the latest Song Fu challenge song. Only the title was set for this round, so I took a little inspiration from the rather mixed reception the finale of 'Battlestar Galactica' received on the internet. Like several other popular cult series, it finished with several untied loose ends, some of which are quoted in the song. When it is running, you should be able to click on the little upward-pointing arrow at the bottom-right corner to switch on subtitles which display the song lyric.

If you enjoyed that, then please head over to Quickstop Entertainment and vote for it!

Red Nose Song Fu Special

Quickstop have also now made the songs from the Red Nose Day special available, right here. During the webcast show one of the Song Fu-ers, Joe 'Covenant' Lamb, composed another song which can be found along with the other songs here. Incidentally, in the same way that a number of people guested on my Red Nose song, Joe's Red Nose song also featured guests including me (playing yobstick and singing).

Don't forget to donate - the Red Nose Net event raised over £4,000 for Comic Relief!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Masters of Song Fu Special - "Big Red Nose"

Red Nose Net

I finished the song at the weekend, but today is Red Nose Day, and so at some point today it should appear for your delight over at the webcast on Red Nose Net. It starts at 12pm EST (which I think is 5pm in the UK), and runs for 24 hours - I have no idea what time they will play the songs, but watch the video below for a brief preview. Once the song itself is available to download, I'll provide a link to it as well.

This was a much more collaborative Song Fu effort than the others I have done, specifically because the challenge was to write a song that encourages the listener to join in. A select band of volunteers sent me their contributions to the song and they have been glued together into some sort of a consistent whole I have named "The Furfurescent Choir". A big thanks to all of them for taking the time to do their bit and entering the spirit of the event with a wonderful selection of singing and other vocal strangeness. Their names are listed below.

The song is just a bit of fun, starting as an upbeat pop number and degenerating into a vocal meltdown. It may not be to your taste, but it's all in a good cause - see Red Nose Net for more details.

Big Red Nose

Intro - F C Bb F C Bb

[verse 1]
When you're standing in the storm
Rain soaked through your clothes
And people laugh at you
'cos of the colour of your nose

[verse 2]
And you there, in the pub
Heavy drinking pros
Labelling yourself
with the colour of your nose

F C Bb
Everybody loves a big red nose
Everybody loves a big red nose
F G7 C F
It brings a grin and it makes us laugh
F Bb C
Everybody loves a big red nose

[verse 3]
You've got the man flu
It's running like a hose
Tissues make it worse
Bringing colour to your nose

F C Bb
Everybody loves a big red nose x14

Music & Lyric: Mick Bordet

Mick Bordet: Keyboards, guitar, bass & lead vocal
A-DooM: Drums
The Furfurescent Choir: Vocals (from left to right)
Andy Roberts -
Paul Davison -
Cruella Bordet
Matt Walton -
Angela Brett -
Jutze Schult -

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Red Nose Net

Red Nose Net

I'm pleased to announce I'll be doing something musical in support of this year's Red Nose Day, via the online efforts of Red Nose Net. They are a group of internet folk who are using the web to promote Red Nose Day all round the World. Whilst Comic Relief is based in the UK, they do a lot of work in developing countries, and this initiative aims to give them much more attention than they currently receive outside these little islands.

My part in this will be within a special one-off edition of 'Masters of Song Fu' which has the aim of creating songs to get everybody involved. To that end, I'd like to invite you join me on the chorus...

Just send me an email to mick @ lunacyboard . com (without the spaces) OR leave me a comment below with a contact point, and I'll send you a copy of the chorus to the song to record yourself singing (or shouting, whispering or talking) along to. I'll then combine all the voices into one massed choir for the finished song.

The final deadline for song submission is 10th March, so please let me know if you are interested as soon as possible!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Masters of Song Fu - People love a gimmick!

Song Fu Logo

My entry into the latest "Masters Of Song Fu" contest is now available on their site, ready and waiting expectantly for your vote.

It looks like my decision to abandon my initial idea has paid off, with some support for the one-word-that-lasts-three-minutes approach, to the extent that after only a few hours of voting I have as many votes as I did for the whole of the last round.

Without counting premature chickens, it is very nice not be right at the bottom of the list. Of course that could all change, but I'll just enjoy it while it lasts!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Masters of Song Fu - "What is wrong?"

Song Fu Logo

My entry into the latest "Masters Of Song Fu" contest will shortly appear on their site, ready and waiting expectantly for your vote. Thanks to everyone who voted for my song in the first round - a small and select bunch!

The challenge was to use only 10 words in the song, though each word could be repeated. The idea clearly being to get our brains working overtime on combining those ten words in different ways to change their meaning. Nice idea. I did try it, and will post my first attempt shortly (I have a very rough demo which I'll tidy up and post), but it just seemed too obvious. Thinking cap back on, I decided that if I couldn't fill a song with variations on ten words, then I would just fill it with a single word. A single l-o-n-g word. One with over 1900 letters.

It's the name of an enzyme, Tryptophan Synthetase, and amazingly is NOT the longest word - that is the technical name for another enzyme and runs to almost 190,000 letters - I'll leave that one for somebody else to sing as a whole album!

Instrumentation is just guitar, bass, piano and vocal. I did try some drums, but the song is so damn fast that they sounded ridiculous. And yes, I had Danny Kaye firmly in mind as I sang it!

Lyrics are as follows:-

What is wrong?
"Doctor,what is wrong with me?"
"You need some methionylglutaminylarginyltyrosylglutamylseryl-

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Masters of Song Fu - "Happy People"

Song Fu Logo

My entry into the latest "Masters Of Song Fu" contest is up on their site, ready and waiting expectantly for your vote.

It's a happy little ditty featuring uke, yobstick, synth (the old Crumar Performer string synth) and shaker. Comments on it so far include 'dystopian joy', 'sounds like toads playing tiny tin digeridoo' and 'there's something ominous here'!

Lyrics and chords are as follows:-

Happy People

When you are happy
it makes me happy
to see you happy
to see me

When I am happy
You say it makes you happy
to see me so happy
to see you

We're happy people
We're happy people in a happy
World, we're happy people
Happy people in a happy
World. We're happy people.
We're happy people in a happy
World, we're happy people


C Bb A
Apparently my joi de vivre's getting on your wick
My natural exuberance is making you feel sick
Your grumpy face just makes me want to laugh
Even when you're drowning me for singing in the bath

G A7 Bb6 A7
So turn that frown upside down, smile, your face won't crack
I'll keep on singing happy songs 'til I receive a smack, because...


~Verse~ (rinse and repeat)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Welcome Quickstoppers!

Song Fu Logo

If you've arrived here via the link on the latest 'Masters of Song Fu' page, then Welcome!

On the off-chance you enjoyed my entry into the first round (which is due to be made available later this week), you can find a wealth of additional music for free download (as well as real, physical CDs) by clicking this link right here.

More details can be found at the following places:-
'The Lunacy Board' have three albums of quirky, eclectic rock, one available as a free download. If you like Pink Floyd, Krautrock, The Bonzos, or other cerebral rock music, it's worth a try.
'Some Other Scotland' is my weekly fiction podcast, based around a warped version of current events in Scotland.
'The Deserters' date back into the early 80's - a world away, but worth a trip for the sheer hell of it.
If you do the twitter thing, this is my feed - find out about the latest new music from chez Bordet as it happens.

Thanks for visiting, and don't forget to vote!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Some Other Scotland - An Alternative Now

Some Other Scotland Logo

I mentioned this project in passing a while ago, but since I've just completed the third episode, now seems like a good time to let you know a bit more about it.

Some Other Scotland is a podcast novel. Huh? In effect, it is simply a book read in weekly episodes, not unlike a radio show. There are quite a few of these about if you look around the internet, but I like to think this one is a little different from the rest.


Rather than the more rational method of writing, then editing, a book before reading it and broadcasting the podcast, Some Other Scotland is much more immediate. It is based on a week's news in Scotland. Every day I pick out one item of news that I think could be interesting to incorporate into the bigger story, then I post a poll at the end of that week. Listeners (YOU!) can vote for the feature story. This feature will appear in some major way in the following week's podcast, though altered in some way. This creates an alternative Scotland, full of 'paths not taken'. For example, in the most recent episode, a mansion on a West Coast island was burnt down in the real world, but in Some Other Scotland, the fire came to nothing, stopped by a new character to the story.

The first few weeks have run without much to join each story thread together, but as new items crop up in the news, changes in direction become apparent, and already I have a general plan for the larger plot.

It is my intention to run this until the end of the year, unless the story draws to a natural conclusion before then. In the meantime, please visit the link above to sign up for the podcast feed, or you can stream the story from the little widget on the right hand side of this page.

Your feedback would be very welcome.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mad Dog Days

John Martyn

RIP John Martyn

Another month, another rock legend passes on...

It's been over 20 years since I saw him perform (as a duo with Danny Thompson). It was the first gig I had been to where I had never heard anything by the performer - I normally dip my toes in with an album or two before dragging my carcass along to a live show. This was Cropredy 1987 and I was happy enough to be seeing Fairport, Jethro Tull and Richard Thompson live for the first time that anything else was a bonus. There were several bonuses that year, but John Martyn was the one that really stuck with me.

He's performed not far from my door a few times recently, but at ridiculous ticket prices, so I haven't gone, but I'll never forget that glorious summer night in '87 when he came so close to outshining Tull (my favourite band at the time).

Solid oaf (for Iain D McGeachy)

Free love/free with...
The drunken mouth,
The soft fists,
Of the trip-hop king;
Can't hear you anymore,
Can't separate the beast,
From the alleged beauty...

~ Rev Dr Stanford Razall

New Challenges


February could well go by the moniker of "Crazy Challenges Month" for this psychonaut...

First of all, the Masters of Song Fu challenge is opening up again early this month. If I make it into the arena, I'll be repeating my last 'shadowing' of the event, writing songs to meet the challenges despite being knocked out in the early (or first) rounds.

Next up is the "February Album Writing Month" (FAWM), with its challenge of writing 14 songs within the 28 days of February. If that seems a bit of a breeze, then I would add that I'll be combining it with the RPM Challenge, which is to record an album of at least 10 songs in the same period. In other words, by the end of the next month, expect a new album from yours truly.

I've given the project the title "Furfuressence" and I'm hoping for some new collaborators to join me, but nothing is set in stone as far as this one goes.

Finally, you may have noticed a new addition to this site - a little box on the right labelled "Some Other Scotland". I'll be posting about this shortly, but in the meantime, please try it out. You might like it!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Something Different

The Mandelbrot Set's version of 'Skullcrusher Mountain' is coming along nicely with the addition of some spoken vocals in the style of the late, great Vivian Stanshall. I have re-recorded some of my bass part, as the original did not sit properly in the rhythm of the piece - partly due to my choice of syncopated bassline, I think.

I have been giving some thought to starting a podcast, but without sufficient material it would die off fairly quickly. I've still got some ideas to iron out and work on so that it can fill enough time to make the download worthwhile and compelling enough to encourage people to listen every week. My current plan is for it to be some kind of alternative history in the making, with listeners able to influence events on a weekly basis. More information to follow as I start to pull it all together.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Happy New Year.

It's been quite a while since I last waved my hands in the air to produce music, but tonight I recorded four theremin parts with varying degrees of success for "The Mandelbrot Set."
We currently have three songs started as works-in-progress, with "Skullcrusher Mountain" being the most advanced in terms of completion. I've done basslines for all three, theremin parts for two of them and even dug out my mandolin for a little section, too.

In other news, the band I do sound for had a bit of a crisis of confidence in December - a somewhat underpopulated audience and a series of fluffed songs all contributed to a general feeling of concern that there were not enough rehearsals or too much emphasis was being placed on learning newer songs. However, we did a gig at Hogmanay which turned out to be a bit of a blinder, so that sorted those worries out. Nothing definite for the coming year, yet.