“Red or white ?!” Before I've fully acclimatised to the basement room filled with book lovers, story-lovers, and most of all, wine-lovers, I get offered a fancy glass of wine and cookies masquerading as canapés. Surrounded by the best editions of a variety of genres, at regular intervals interspersed with unique and antique typewriters, it certainly is remarkably easy to feel at home at Tom's little treasury, Typewronger Books. Being somewhat of a story-listener virgin, I was unsure what to expect from the night's featured guests.
Haunting Voices: An Anthology of Gothic Storytelling from Scotland, came to life in the mind of Rebecca Wojturska. Via a kick starter, she managed to combine the long storytelling traditions of various families and areas in Scotland, with the multimedia of today and their digital storytellers. What could have been more chilling and goosebumps-raising than introducing a few of these amazing storytellers and their Gothic stories to our literary hungry minds on the eve before Samhuinn?
From Max Scratchmann, who weaves the threads of the past into a visual image with his disarming voice and amicable demeanor, to Daiva Ivanauskaitė who, quite literally, puts us under her spell with her animated speech and effects. By slowing down, speeding up, and letting the silence linger the highly skilled artists weave us into their web and guide us through (O)therwordly imaginative journeys.
The evening is concluded by a mixed media example provided by the Aletheian Society. The story, which involves multiple tellers is here supported by digital sound effects. Every week a new episode in the form of a podcast will be published on the society's website.
And just like that – the spell has broken and the evening returns to normal. One after the other witnesses to the event filter out through the door and disappear into the dark, cold, night. Finally having collected my courage, I follow them into the darkness too. Next time I definitely know which one I want – red... bloody red, please.