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Works of Fiction

Five of the albums of music I have recorded (one has not yet been recorded) are companion works to identically named works of fiction also written by me (one has not yet been written). The details are as follows:

The Apprentice (PDF, 86 pages)

by D.L. Stieg

The Apprentice is a novella set in an American Midwest college town around 1970. The action centers around a once-grand three story brick home called the castle, its eccentric elderly chiropractor owner, and the young adults who reside there, most of them college students. Though the narrator is not, the other residents are all of a decidedly hippie persuasion, and their amusing adventures and misadventures are well documented in the story, albeit from the narrator’s somewhat tilted perspective. There is a particular emphasis in the story on the bond of friendship among a gifted but conflicted musician, an aspiring political scientist, and an impossibly obscure poet.

Click here to read the first two chapters (16 pages) of The Apprentice.

Click here to advance to the catalog listing for the album

New Orleans (PDF, 74 pages)

by D.L. Stieg

This two-act musical play is a period piece set in 1898, in the early days of the development of the Dixieland Jazz tradition. The action centers around the Gaslight Café, a small out of the way night club located exactly halfway between the French Quarter and Storyville, the infamous legalized prostitution district. The owner of the club is Doc Williams, a 60 year old retired black academic and intellectual. Doc is an interesting and enigmatic character who does not participate musically, but does offer up a number of historical insights relating to early developments in the Civil Rights movement in America. The leader of the club’s resident musical ensemble is Donny Gates, a former music academic who, together with the boys in the band, is attempting to fashion a new sound based on fingerstyle guitar and dixieland horns. Donny has befriended Porter, a promising young college student who is an employee at the club and the leader of a male quartet singing group. The three other principal characters are Carla, a waitress at the Gaslight Cafe, Porter’s sister Camille, a talented and aspiring singer and songwriter, and Robert, a local folksinger.

Click here to read the first 24 pages of the script for New Orleans.

Click here to review 6 documents detailing the requirements for the performance of New Orleans either as a musical play or as a musical concert with narration (and dance).

Click here to advance to the catalog listing for the album

The Gaslight Café (PDF, 18 pages)

by D.L. Stieg

“The Gaslight Café” is a short story based on, and in effect a continuation of, the musical play “New Orleans”. The first part of the story consists mainly of background information about the Gaslight Café, a small club on the outskirts of the French Quarter, and about the characters who inhabit the place in “New Orleans”. Most of this information is not revealed in the play itself, and most of it allows for a better insight into the characters and their motivations. The second part of the story, set about three years later, details numerous changes to the café itself as well as to the main characters, and includes a surprise twist regarding the identity of the narrator.

Click here to read the first 6 pages of “The Gaslight Café”

Click here to advance to the catalog listing for the album.

A Song of the Western Wind

by D.L. Stieg

A Song Of The Western Wind is an as yet unwritten novelette set in Colorado around the turn of the 20th century. The story centers around the various adventures and romantic liaisons of the narrator/protagonist, and traces his unlikely friendships with two completely disparate characters – Jamie Wells, an impetuous and incendiary wrangler, and Miller,Dan, a gentle giant decidedly lacking in intellectual prowess, whose nickname resulted from an amusing situation in which he failed to recognize his own name because the order of his first name and surname was reversed. The interrelationship between the fictional work and the album of music is different for A Song Of The Western Wind than for the other three albums in the D.L.Stieg Catalog that are associated with works of fiction. Unlike “The Apprentice”, in which some of the songs are referred to only indirectly in the story, or the musical play “New Orleans”, in which the interplay between story and song is obvious enough, and “The Gaslight Café”, in which the song titles are inserted in parentheses at the appropriate points within the narrative, the titles of the twelve chapters of the novelette A Song Of The Western Wind will be identical to the titles of the twelve songs in the companion album of music.

Click here to advance to the catalog listing for the album.

Shantyman (PDF, 199 pages)

by D.L. Stieg

Shantyman is a carefully researched historical novel, set in 1852, in which the narrator, a recent University graduate, chronicles the maiden voyage of an American merchant ship named the Britannia. The story includes detailed accounts, presupposing no prior knowledge of the subjects, of the construction and functioning of square-rigged merchant ships of that era (otherwise known as packet ships), of the crews that manned them, and of the tasks that they routinely performed. Much of the narrative has to do with the practice of singing sea songs (sea shanties) aboard merchant ships, which was a fairly common practice at the time. Many of the incidents or situations described in Shantyman are directly based on experiences I had during my brief tenure as a sailor in the Merchant Marine in the 1960’s . The impetus for writing this book evolved from my research into the sea shanty genre (in preparation for writing and recording an album of sea shanties), thence into my decision to expand my research into a general study of the era and of the American Merchant Marine at that time, and finally into a desire to tell the story that I ultimately told in the 40 brief chapters of Shantyman.

Click here to read the first 3 chapters of Shantyman.

 

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