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Book Trailer for The Angel of Berlin & Explanation of A Modern Fairy-Tale

As told in previous posts prior to its release, The Angel of Berlin, is a story I wrote based entirely on a dream. I have the curse/blessing of often dreaming in vivid detail, extended version, where I can even awake, get up, walk around with memory and then go back to sleep and continue the same dream. No, it is not related to any drug contribution. It’s something that has run in my family as interpreters and healers.

Description: “When young Robin, a university student, saves the life of a beautiful youth, he finds he’s made a devoted friend. But without memory or voice, the newly named Angel is a mystery. Occasionally exasperating with his child-like qualities, he still has touches of darkness that make Robin wonder what kind of being he’s really taken in.”

The Angel of Berlin is speculative fantasy, as things happen within it that cannot be explained by science. It is magical realism because magic happens in a “real world”, the world you or I might live in and recognize. It is set in Berlin, so it is very much in a place I know (which of course represented itself in my dream). It is very like a fairy-tale, for it’s innocent overall with just a few touches of darkness that end up serving to enhance the pure light of the character Angel and his friend Robin.

In fairy-tales, all things don’t need to be known nor shown as explanation. If that is what a reader is expecting? Look into another genre specifically, or if you cannot adjust your view or appreciate different ways of writing or being? As one reviewer said and many appreciative readers have expressed regarding my writing: “you never know what to expect.”  I write all kinds of stories, fiction and non-fiction; surreal or real, unexpected, crazy, or utterly realistic having sprung directly from my experiences or memories. Serious and grim, light-hearted and gently comical, painfully emotional or academically analytical: those are all things and more I can deal with or am capable of, depending on the dream or inspiration or determination I make and wish to present because those are the range of things and more that my life has thus far been comprised of.

I do not write to be liked. I do not write for money or sales.  I do not write to gain respect nor lobby in any genre for the same reason, as I recently wrote of on a post at the group at Indie Book Collective on Goodreads.com.  I write because I have stories in me to tell that I feel with every fiber of my being because they are my being. They come from my heart, soul and mind, creations that are unconscious such as The Angel of Berlin, and those like The Agony of Joy, which was conscious, coming directly from my personal experiences.

Like much of my work, I’ve always have included a complete screenplay and film version in my mind when writing it. With Angel, I knew as soon as I heard this song that I wanted it to be the opening song of a film I would do of it: as the bicycler Robin rode through the streets on his way to work, and as “Angel” walked through the park watching all the people, marveling at the new place in which he found himself.

In Berlin, being a huge city for film premieres, filming, university courses regarding and the like, its  not surprising to see productions taking place wherever you might be. At one place I lived at Rosenheimerstr. a set production was taking place around the corner filming a story that took place during WW2. All through the day you could hear (and feel) bombing explosions.

At Friedrichstr. just outside the bahnhof, it was all closed off one night, a beautiful night, as they filmed a scene. Or you have movie videos filming professionally someplace, or amateur students doing there thing. I saw three students with a vaccum cleaner, a camera and mic filming…something…on the steps of the Berliner Dom as one actor attempted copulation with the sucking device usually used on carpets. Yea, it can be eclectic and crazy like that here but–back on point: I knew immediately after my dream and typing it up, how I wished the film version of The Angel of Berlin to proceed. Maybe one day it can happen, but for now…here’s the video description. The music is “Wild Is The Wind” sung by Nina Simone. Like my writing and reading, my range of music favorites greatly varies.

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Filed under Announcements, Books, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, Gay Interest, Writers and Writing

Song of Fire by Jon O’Bergh

Review: “Song of Fire” is a unique type of what is essentially a memoir and personal journey through the author’s experiences in which the love of music was dominant. It is written as a series of vignettes combining both words and musical tracks you can download to fully appreciate the depth of the author’s passion as scenes of his life are revealed as the motivation of composing a song. Even were a reader deaf, the descriptions of melody and sound might be quite provocative. Some of the titles include “Loma Prieta”, “Orpheus in the Underworld”, “Uncertainty” and “The Blue Grotto.”

The writing itself is expansive, and was refreshingly mixed with intelligent, well-written prose and vivid memories often combining contemporary observations and historical perspectives. The commentary was both informative and interesting discussing everything from Mayan cosmology or Darwinian theories; from cacao bean differences to the innate attraction to music most of us are born with. Definitely a work of creative non-fiction, whether you are a true lover of music and its history or not, “Song of Fire” was what I call a beautiful work, and revealed aspects of the author’s life. What I particularly appreciated also was the author’s presentation of the sometimes utter normalcy yet special dynamics that gay life and relationships can naturally have.

I absolutely have to say this is one of the best books of its type I’ve ever read in my life. I literally had tears in my eyes while as I read and listened, for I’d rarely experienced anything that spoke to me strongly. I felt I’d been privileged to share the spirit of one I find comfortable soul-wise. Thank you, Mr. O’Bergh for letting me read your work.

Reviewer Note: Some prefer to get right into a book, but unlike a print copy, which you can usually flip over and find the synopsis on the back cover, with e-books that’s not an option. You download them after deciding to purchase after reading the description, and you start reading at your convenience. Sometimes it is easy to forget what it is exactly about if there was a long pause. This author chose to include an “about this book” section at the beginning. I completely appreciated that because I didn’t have to do a web search for it until I wanted.

  • Publication date: June 12, 2011
  • Publisher: Jon O’Bergh
  • Available at eMusic (music, and other places online), Smashwords (text and music)
  • Genre: Memoir, Non-fiction, Autobiography
  • Source: Author

Description: From the rotational beat of a pulsar in space to the rhythm of the heart, music infuses everything in the universe. Is it possible that music is the essence of the universe itself? The narrator in Song of Fire is on a journey to discover this fundamental truth. The interconnected stories are a rhapsody on the elements that constitute how we experience the world: the moments of humor, sorrow, passion and revelation that give significance to our origins and endings.

The vignettes are arranged according to how they resonate with one another, and are organized into four chapters titled after the four elements: Fire (Tales of Music, Love and Passion), Earth (Tales of Appetite, Desire and the Body), Water (Tales of Soul, Spirituality and Compassion), and Air (Ghost Stories, Spirits and Tales of Passage). As the narrator explains, supernovas “collapsed in an explosive release of energy, creating and dispersing the heavier elements into interstellar space: oxygen, for the air we breathe; carbon, present in the earth as the basis of life; and the marriage of hydrogen and oxygen to create water, which constitutes two-thirds of our bodies. We are literally made of stardust. A bit of fire. A bit of earth. A bit of water. And a bit of air.”

The real incidents that comprise Song of Fire range from the poignant to the humorous: love and loss; the history of chocolate; hurricanes and earthquakes; a close brush with a mass murderer; eye-opening journeys to other cultures; the presence of God. Accompanying the stories are links to original songs that provide another dimension through which to experience the tales. The songs are included with the purchase of the ebook and can be listened to online or downloaded.

 Author Bio:

Jon O’Bergh has been playing piano since the age of 7. He graduated from the University of California at Irvine, where he studied piano performance and composition while performing with a rock band. He has released 7 CDs, including “Intergalactic Odyssey”; “Specters of Twilight”; “Songs from Other Planets”; “Meditations from a Lost World,” which reached #3 nationwide on the NAV chart; “Sacred Spaces”; “Carta,” which reached #1; and “Millennial Landscapes,” which reached #2.

He has recorded and performed with the jazz/funk fusion band Gemini Soul, and co-produced songs for Marcel on his 2003 release “Uptown : 2025 A.D.,” and for Jarrod on his debut CD “Every Part of Me.” Jon has written songs, music for television, and concert music. “Timescape 2” for piano and violin introduced his music to San Francisco audiences in a concert that was subsequently broadcast by National Public Radio station KQED.

Website: http://obergh.net
Blog: http://obergh.net/songoffire

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Filed under Gay Interest, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Reviews