Dark Adventure Radio Theatre makes its debut this week with a chilling adaptation of HP Lovecraft's celebrated story of horrors beneath the Antarctic ice. This 75-minute radio drama brings the story to life with a cast of professional actors, original music and exciting sound effects. The result is a gripping tale told in a manner that Lovecraft himself might have heard coming across the airwaves of the early 1930s.

The HP Lovecraft Historical Society, creators of the silent film The Call of Cthulhu and many other strange things, produced the recording. Troy Sterling Nies was enlisted to compose original music. With assistance from his son, Storm, Nies also recorded the sounds of genuine North Dakota snow and ice to bring realism to the production. The HPLHS enlisted a cast of professional Los Angeles actors to join them for recording sessions. The final recording was treated with the HPLHS proprietary Mythophone technology to bring the feel of 1930s radio to modern audio equipment.

In addition to the recording itself, the CD version of Dark Adventure Radio Theatre: At the Mountains of Madness features photographs from the Miskatonic University Antarctic Expedition, a newspaper clipping about the expedition, and a reproduction of a page from Danforth's sketchbook, featuring drawings of the Elder Things and their horrific city. The HPLHS has also made available an MP3 recording of the show, so those seeking immediate gratification can purchase, download, and listen to it without delay. Last, the HPLHS took Darrell Tutchton's dramatic album cover artwork and produced a handsome, yet horrific, poster suitable for framing.

Eccentric illustrator Darrell Tutchton of Savannah, Georgia, emerged from his reclusive hideout near the tidal swamps to illustrate the project. Tutchton's grim images of Lake's camp provide the cover artwork as well as the At the Mountains of Madness poster made available by the HPLHS here.

Tutchton is an avid sailor. His work for the Savannah College of Art and Design takes him to distant corners of the globe regularly. Tutchton is among the relatively small portion of the population who has visited Antarctica in person.

Tutchton says inspiration for his cold and horrific illustration came from having to celebrate Christmas with his family in 1983.

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At the Mountains of Madness composer and foley artist, Troy Sterling Nies, had a strange encounter while doing field recordings for the project. Nies traveled from his home in Kildeer, North Dakota to nearby Lake Ilo (pronounced EYE-lo) in the hopes of recording some snow, ice and wind noises for the project. Nies walked near the frozen lake with his recorder on.

I barely noticed a sound off in the distance.... I passed it off as coyotes or a wild dog.  As I approached the frozen lake I suddenly hear a most amazing sound.  I suddenly go quiet on the recording and am immediately mesmerized by the sound. I walk to the edge of the lake, but make sure I am not standing on any ice for fear of falling through.  As I listen I cannot pinpoint where it is coming from – spatial wise – but I am certain of one thing:  It is coming from beneath the lake.  It almost sounds as if a large beast is swimming beneath the frozen layers of the lake – swimming in dizzying patterns, close, then far away at an incredible pace.  Suddenly, the sound is very, very close.  It is then apparent that I hear it echo off across, or rather, under, the lake.  By this time all I am focusing on is the sound – one I can only describe as cross between a deep echoing bass sonar ping and a whale’s call. The icy sting of frostbite tears me from the trance and it is then that I realize I have walked about 15 feet onto the ice!

While this story might seem to inspire a Lovecraftian degree of incredulity, Nies was able to keep his sound recording gear on. We are pleased to offer you this MP3 recording of the Lake Ilo Monster for your consideration. We recommend listening with good headphones on to hear it most clearly.

Celebrated silent film stars Matt Foyer, Noah Wagner, David Mersault and Barry Lynch can at last be heard by their fans as they deliver riveting performances in At the Mountains of Madness.

"I was just happy to finally have a speaking part", said Foyer, who has enjoyed much international fame following his performance as The Man in the HPLHS' production of The Call of Cthulhu. "This time my character had a name and said things, lots of things", said Foyer.

Matinee Idol Matt Foyer

Noah Wagner, well-remembered for his portrayal of Capt. Collins in the same film, plays Chester Langfield, the host of Dark Adventure Radio Theatre. Heard but not seen in this production, Wagner told reporters, "At least I didn't have to get spritzed with cold water for this role".

Veteran silent film thespian Barry Lynch found the radio drama a chance to at last return to his roots and theatrical training. "The theatre is in my blood!" Lynch roared at this reporter, before grabbing my unfinished beer and draining its contents.

Silent film actors David Mersault and Josh Thoemke added their voices to this recording, each playing multiple characters. In an interview recently, Thoemke asked, "Why do they always kill my characters?"

The HPLHS was also pleased to enlist the talents of Seth Compton, a relative newcomer to Hollywood. Seth has been a big hit with the young ladies in and around Hollywood since his dashing performance earlier this year in the on-stage Irish drama, Dockers.

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