Last Saturday, the East Kingdom held its annual Bardic Championship, and I had the surreal experience of participating in this event as one of the MCs and judges. This was hardly the only “first” for the championship, which of course was conducted entirely online for the first time as well.
I promised in a previous post that I would share a detailed explanation for how to place subtitles or lyrics directly on a video using a powerful piece of free software, VLC Media Player. This is the easiest and best way to do it that I’ve seen, and the approach I used for “The Zoom Where It Happens”.
Here are the steps:
My #WordFameWednesday today is for the staff of the First Bardic War (which will begin one month from tomorrow, on Saturday May 15, and run until Sunday, May 23).
I am not a member of the Bardic War staff. I am a kingdom general, a partisan in the conflict, which is to say, staff-adjacent. Generals are privy to much of the organizational and planning conversation, but we have distinct responsibilities. This staff, let me say from close observation, is in the midst of a Herculean project that is hard to fathom from the outside (unless of course you’ve staffed an SCA war).
Here is a thumbnail sketch of the task that Hilla, Laila, and their coordinators and deputies are undertaking:
Gentle reminder of a few things:
- Pretty much everyone you know was EXTRA CRISPY and EXHAUSTED as a near-permanent condition by January 1 of this year.
- They (we) pretty much all still are.
- Every one of you who is trying to be of service, by volunteering, creating things to make people happy, or just showing up to the things that are expected of you each day is MY F***ING HERO.
- Try, when you can remember, to treat everyone you can with kindness.
- That starts and ends with yourself.
The motto of an SCA artisan is basically: “Show your work and share your work”. With the release of “The Zoom Where It Happens”, it has turned out that editing a complex video is part of my skill set. And since the upcoming First Bardic War is going to include editing of group videos as a key judging metric for a number of War Points, I thought I would discuss my process for creating this video, as an editing novice.
Here are the different technical components used to create this video:
So, I am totally going to bard hell, as promised. It’s a small price to pay for the joy of co-creating something that lifts spirits and promotes community and fun, and “The Zoom Where It Happens” seems to have done that.
But no one does anything alone. I threw out an idea, and it would have come to nothing without the dedication and talent of a large collection of friends old and new. So I have people to thank.
This weekend, I posted a new video of a brand-new filk, which tells the true story of the origins of The First Bardic War. “The Zoom Where It Happens” is, of course, based on “The Room Where It Happens” from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. This one, as you can see, involved a ton of collaboration from some incredibly talented bards (and a few very generous royals), and I will post more about that experience in the coming week. (The song page has copious annotations for serious geeks and Hamilfans.)
Enjoy (and I’d be very grateful if you subscribed to my YouTube channel while you’re there):
What…shenanigans? About the upcoming Bardic War? From bards?!? Coming soon? That’s…that’s preposterous.
I of course have absolutely no idea what these rumormongers are talking about. The very idea of our fine, upstanding SCA bards being involved in (shudder) “shenanigans” is obviously, patently absurd.
Honestly. (Shakes head) I have no idea where these rumors come from…
Drake, Consort’s Bard, East (and entirely too dignified for such nonsense)
To all the performers of the East, greetings!
(TLDR: Sign up to perform for your kingdom! C’mon, it’ll be fun! But take a moment please to read the long post anyway…)
This is a strange time we are living through together. The first warmth of spring, and for many, the first traces of hope. Hope that the day is drawing ever closer, when we will once more be able to gather together, embrace, and share companionship, song and story at an in-person event. Even now, we do not know just how many months more that will be. It’s tantalizing and at times maddening, no?
And as we wait, lo, this spring brings a bounty of opportunities to put our performance and research skills to the test, in service to our kingdom. (All of them remote! More time in front of a webcam instead of a fire! Will it never end?) As your kingdom’s Bardic Champions, it can be a little awkward asking for people to sign up, particularly since these events ended up scheduled so close to one another. And yet, this is the calendar we face, and the kingdom needs the support of its performers now.
On January 23 of this year, there was a wonderful Zoom concert called the Journeyman’s Concert hosted by the Midrealm, where I had the privilege to perform. This is coming to be known as The Concert that Started a War, because the couple dozen or so folks attending or performing in the concert, had a conversation that catalyzed the upcoming First Bardic War.
At the center of that conversation were Hilla Stormbringer of the Midrealm, who was one of hosts of the concert, and Laila al-Sanna al-Andalusiyya, former Queen’s Bard of the East, who had been performing. TLDR: There were a lot of Atlantian bards invited to a Midrealm event. The word “invasion” was used, followed by a discussion of holding the Atlantian bards for “ransom”, and the boast that if the bards of the East and Atlantia banded together, they could take over the known world… Within the hour, Hilla had posted in the SCA Bardic Arts group that she had instigated an “interkingdom incident”, and people were discussing a full-scale War event.