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Since "Bugsters!" has been released on CD it is appropriate to take it out of the "Current Projects"-page and dedicate an entire page to this latest achievement of Tim's.
Aug. 19, 2007:"Bugsters" will soon be released as a book, containing the two stories. The book will come with the CD and will be published by Woods N' Water Press. For more information, check out their website.
Preview copies introducing this book could be found in the Dealers' Room at the recent Creation Con in Las Vegas, where you could also pre-order the book.
If you want to pre-order the book, please download the order form.
Tim and Jedda are both very proud of this project and signed preview copies as well as pre-order forms at the "Bugsters"-table. This table was particularly nicely decorated, with "Bugsters!" in the same font as used on the CD, but in much larger letters, written all over the table, and little cutouts of the characters plus headshots of the actors participating in this project, each complete with a cutout of the character they play in the stories. Here are some pictures of this wonderful promotional event for "Bugsters", and yes, these are thumbnails. As always, the pictures are © Maria Nausch.
Tim proudly shows off the
preview copy during his talk
Tim's daughter Maddy reading the
preview copy during her father's concert
The "Bugsters"-table, detail
photos of Chase with her character Flo
and of Tim with his two characters
the characters Flo, the Fly,
and Grasshopper Stix
the character Pie, a bumble-bee
Ethan Phillips' character, the mosquito Harry,
and Jedda's character, the spider Millie, signed by her
Tim's character, the waterbug
Sterling, signed by him,
Tim's other character, the worm Stretch,
signed by him, and the preview copy of the book
Tim's "Aisle" in the Dealers' Room,
as we called it, since Bob and Jim
were sitting opposite the "Bugsters"-table!
|The new "Bugsters!"-CD is out. It contains 9 Bug-songs, plus instrumental versions of 5 of them and the two stories from the previous CD. The previous version won an award - and here we have another winner! The songs are excellent material to be used in preschool or kindergarten. Some of them require the kids to do some exercise - e.g. for "Caterpillar Conga" they have to form a line and step left or right whenever they are told to do so in the song, and the "Army Ants" have to form a line as well and pass objects from one child to the next, as if they were a group of ants, collecting food in the woods. "Jump - Fly - Crawl" makes the children imitate the various ways of movement that we encounter in insects and "Itch & Scratch" has them scratch those itching insect bites all over their body.|
Other songs are of a more educational nature and teach the kids a few things about insects: They learn about the concept of Mimicry in "Camouflage", they learn to respect insects and not to fear them in "Look, But Don't Touch", or hear about different types of spiders in "Spider Life". "Insect Detective", on the other hand, gives the children a few clues that help them to guess the names of four very common insects - the children are required to think this time, not to act. And "Firefly", finally, is a cute little song about how beautiful it is to watch fireflies when they come out in the dark.
The songs are very different in style, both in terms of educational goals (exercise, use of fine and gross motor skills, discover the world of insects) and in terms of music. That diversity adds to the charm of the "Tunes", and it also shows Tim's remarkable range as a singer. I have said it before, I say it again and I am more convinced than ever: Tim should do musicals on stage. He would be a terrific "Phantom of the Opera". Or "Man of La Mancha". He is ably supported by half his family. Jedda and Tim alternate as the lead singer in two songs, Jedda, Maddy, Angela, her daughter Jisel and Bill Burchell, who as always plays the keyboard, provide the background vocals, and the "Firefly"-song is so easy, that a little kid can sing it - wait and see till you have heard it.
Credits for the Tunes:
Produced by: Tim Russ
Music & Lyrics: Tim Russ
"Camouflage" Lyrics: Jedda Roskilly & Tim Russ
Keyboards: Bill Burchell
Sound Engineer: Phil Moore, Master Groove Studios
Singers: Tim Russ, Jedda Roskilly, Madison Russ, Jisel Ayon, Angela Russ-Ayon, Bill Burchell
1. Caterpillar Conga
2. Jump - Fly - Crawl
3. Look, But Don't Touch
4. Army Ants
5. Itch & Scratch
7. Spider Life
8. Insect Detective
10. Caterpillar Conga (instrumental)
11. Spider Life (instrumental)
12. Itch & Scratch (instrumental)
13. Army Ants (instrumental)
14. Firefly (instrumental)
"Work it Out"
(Credits for the Tales, see below - those have not changed).
The new Tunes & Tales-CD can be ordered through Amazon.com. Or maybe if you ask your local bookstore to get it for you they will do it. The ISBN # is 0-9747064-3-4.
You can find a review of the CD here.
"Bugsters!" won "Parenting"-magazine's Gold Award for Best Children's audio book for Ages 4 and up and it was a finalist for the "Children's Music Web" award! Congratulations on a job well done.
"Bugsters" is planned as an animated children's program or children's multi-media project with animated episodes, audio-books, e-books etc. After selling a demo-version of the first installment of the "Bugsters"-project, an audio book, at conventions last summer, it has now finally been released on CD. You can order it either through his webpage or through Amazon.
(My copy of the CD-cover with all the signatures. Click on the thumbnail to see the full picture).
Tim is also putting together a web page on this project here. Right now you see the CD-cover and get an introduction to the seven characters. It also offers examples of the coloring book and other puzzles that go with the CD and you can email them with your feedback.
The two short stories on this CD are co-written by Tim and his girlfriend Jedda Roskilly, the two also share production credit. They also sing (songs are written by key-boarder Bill Burchell from "Neil Norman's Cosmic Orchestra") and breath life into some of their creations.
Full credits for "Bugsters!" read as follows:
Written and Produced by Tim Russ & Jedda Roskilly
Original Music composed and performed by Bill Burchell
Lead Vocals by Jedda Roskilly and Tim Russ
Guitars: Tim Russ
Background Vocals: Jacqueline Clark, Jeannette Lacey, Eric Zappey, Russell Chan, Rachel Arno, Nicholas Kellas, Jacob Kellas, Joshua Kellas, Tom Hubbard, Jedda Roskilly
Narrated by: Jedda Roskilly
Illustrations by: Ed Schimara & Randy Jennings
Recorded, mixed and mastered at Mastergroove Studios, North Hills, CA
Engineer/Sound Editor: Greg Wolski
Harry........John Ethan Philllips
The stories have a message, they are meant to teach children something in a pleasant way. The first one, "Work it out", is about the necessity to co-operate and work together in order to solve problems, the second one, "The Mothmen", is about prejudice and fear of the unknown. The length of the two stories (approximately 10 minutes each) is adequate to young children's short attention spans, the vocabulary is suitable for small children.
This is obviously the one of Tim's current projects I am most familiar with, since I was lucky enough to be among the first to buy the demo-CD in Blackpool last summer. I like it, the characters are nicely drawn, the performances are good. The stories are suitable for younger children and the songs are nice as well (I particularly like the "Mothmen"-song in the second story - Tim should definitely do musicals!).
My review of "Bugsters!" can be found here.
Tim about "Bugsters!": "I'm working on a children's project called Bugsters, which I'm co-writing with a lady named Jedda Roskilly," he reveals. "It involves music and stories that children can learn certain lessons from. The main characters are seven insects and it takes place in a swamp, so it's a lot of fun." (Star Trek Monthly #85, November 2001, the full interview can be found in my interviews-archive)
"I've also got a project called 'Bugsters,' which is an animated
children's show, it's already an audio book now, it will have a website
eventually - which will be linked to my own. It features seven insect characters
that live in a swamp, we tell some stories that sort of help children, they sort
of have lessons that the children can learn about and understand and also laugh
at. It has music in it, there's always a song in each of the stories."
(interview at "Voyager - The Return", July 2001, also in my
(interview at "Voyager - The Return", July 2001, also in my interviews-section)
Tim explains in the recent chat why he is working on a project for children: "I think partly having a daughter and I think the market is a very good market to pursue, as children are being born every day. I love the audio book format because you're able to perform that live and it's very exciting and fun to put together and I enjoy listening to those types of stories in that format."