Judith and Dan: Storyteller and Musician
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"I am pleased by the way you and Daniel adapted the tales. They are wonderful, if not chilling interpretations of the tales. You're a great storyteller!"
Jack Zipes, Translator of the Complete Works of Grimm, Professor of German
"Your Grimm CD is so horrible and beautiful and funny all at the same time."
Vicki Elberfeld, Author, Producer, Storyteller
"Grimm's Grimmest...will hold you spellbound from the first story to the last musical note...richly layered, soulful, enhanced by Judith's lush, alluring voice beautifully complemented by Dan's evocative music..."
Karen Chace, Storyteller, Teaching Artists, Producer
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"I really liked their show!"   Dan's Mom
News and Reviews for Judith and Dan
​The Magic Carpet: Songs and Stories from
 Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt

Hello, Storytellers,

Way back at the NSN conference in Phoenix, I got a copy of Judith Heineman's latest CD, "The Magic Carpet." Judith and her musical partner did such a great job with their Grimm CD that I was excited to hear this one. Here's my review:

"The Magic Carpet: Songs and Stories from Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt" is as genuine as it gets. And that's saying a lot, because have you ever noticed that many so-called "Egyptian" stories are just modern-sounding tales with a thin veneer of ancient "atmosphere?" That's not the case here. Storyteller Judith Heineman and her musical partner Daniel Marcotte determined to do all the research needed to make sure that this CD would be as authentic as possible --- the stories, the tunes, the instruments, the art. They did the work. Listeners are the beneficiaries.

Judith and Dan are meticulous in their approach, and it shows. The musical instruments are named The sources are listed. Even the borders of the artwork are Egyptian hieroglyphics on one side and Mesopotamian cuneiform on the other. The sounds, the ornamentation, the images? It's all historically correct. The CD was even funded in part by a City of Chicago Cultural Arts Assistance Grant and with the guidance and support of the head of education of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

But this is no dry treatise. It is lively and entertaining and will be enjoyed by general audiences and older kids as well as scholars. Kicking off the CD, "The Mesopotamian Timeline Song" puts several thousand years of history to a snappy, smile-along tune. Now that listeners have absorbed some basic framework. Judith takes over with some stories. "The Wise King of Uruk and the Foolish King of Aratta" is an ancient riff on the "Can you top this?" battle between two wizards. Then there's the story of a bloodthirsty goddess "Sekhmet" that will satisfy any action-seeking listeners. We've all heard of grave-robbing among the pyramids, and Judith fleshes the idea out with a tale of a treasure-stealing trickster. The final tale is of Rhodopis, an old, old story that has a familiar Cinderella ring to it. Add to the mix "A Mummy Song" --- Daniel's musical recipe for making a mummy. And everything is infused with music authentic to the time and place: Egyptian oud, ocarina, doumbek drum, Turkish laouta, gittern, ten-string kinnor harp -- even the Nile River Royal Orchestra. Helpful liner notes document the instrumentation, written sources and information on other works and programs by Daniel Marcotte and Judith Heineman (for listeners who will invariably want to hear more from this dynamic duo).

If your travel, teaching or interests take you to these ancient lands -- or if you wish they would--- this is the CD for you.
Marilyn McPhie
President, Storytellers of San Diego, www.storytellersofsandiego.org
California Liaison, National Storytelling Network, www.storynet.org  
The Magic Carpet: 

Songs and Stories from Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt
Parents' Choice Silver Award!​
Another Review!

The masterful storytelling twosome, Judith Heineman and Dan Marcotte, deliver a series of powerful and energizing stories of ancient gods, quests, magic, monsters, epic battles, and song. Their stories are sometimes deep, bloody, or relentless, but they all offer advice that should be seriously heeded even in today's world. Plots range from the bloodthirsty trek in "Sekhmet, the Lioness Goddess" to "Rhodopis," an Egyptian version of Cinderella. In "The Treasure Thief" (Heineman's adaptation from the writings of Herodotus), both the cleverness and greed of the Egyptians are exposed, but humanity and decency prevail at the end. Music from Egyptian instruments enhance all stories and assist in wavering the suspense. This team's gripping performances energize contemplative minds and leave the audience engrossed in the stories' covert messages. While these stories are not for everyone, listeners with a lust for dramatic adventure and literary sagacity will cherish the experience.

Dr. Flora Joy ©2014 Parents' Choice
Flora has been described as a “founder” in the world of storytelling.