My first SCA research article was just published today in the East Kingdom Gazette! It’s titled “The Double Bind: Thomas Campion and Elizabethan Women”. For those of you who’ve been keeping track, yes, this is a continuation of the research I began last year on women in period and taught a class on last Pennsic, though the focus here is on a narrow set of works. Many thanks to Mistress Aildreda de Tamworthe, who invited me to write this article, and proved an invaluable editor and guide through this exciting and challenging process.
I’m not much of one for resolutions. But I do like to make commitments and plans. This year I plan to:
- Publish my first SCA research article.
- Unveil and complete a super-secret collaboration project for the East Kingdom. (Announcement coming soon.)
- Organize two bardic competitions for Concordia.
- Participate in the Laurels’ Prize Tourney in Carolingia.
- Write some new songs.
- Develop a brand-new class.
There are other things, but it’s too early to commit to those.
Let’s make this year count.
Happy holidays. I wanted to let you all know that we have sent a check for $400 or so, our Hidden Gold proceeds for 2016, to the Therapeutic Nursery. This brings our total donation to date to roughly $1,550.
Once again, I want to thank the generous support of all the patrons and collaborators who brought this successful project to fruition. I will update you again after next Pennsic, when we complete the 2-year commitment to donate all the initial proceeds.
“Go big or go home” represents a legitimate choice about how to approach a performance. When striving for intimacy rather than flash, “home” might be exactly where you want to take the audience.
Yesterday I got to participate in an SCA dream made real: thefirst ever Feast of St. Nicholas in Queen Elizabeth’s Court, in my adoptive Barony of Concordia. Lady Olivia Baker, my friend and sometime collaborator and voice teacher, was able to realize her vision of a day-long, full immersion Elizabethan event, with the help of many hands in and out of Concordia. I want to take a moment to share my recollections of the event while they’re fresh in my mind. (My thanks to everyone who made it happen, only a few of whom will be mentioned here.)
The event included a sumptuous multi-course (and multi-tiered) feast, which emulated period practice of providing different levels of experience depending on where you were seated: “above the salt” (the “good seats”), “below the salt” (the “cheap seats”), and staff (the “help”). There was no level where you weren’t going to experience fantastic food and entertainment, and I considered this a cool (if possibly controversial) twist. There was entertainment throughout the day: live musicians, period choral music and solo singers during the second course, a mock fencing bout, and a masque (the Elizabethan equivalent of a modern musical: singing, dancing, and a scripted story). I contributed some of the lute songs I’ve been learning during the live music, and sang with the choir and performed a couple of solo pieces. I enjoyed the chance to work with (and finally meet!) my friend Solveig Bjornsdottir from Malagentia in Maine, who did a phenomenal job organizing the choral music, and whipping us into shape with only 90 minutes of live rehearsal. (Kudos to my fellow singers, who included the lovely Cecelia, formerly known as Kirsa who sang with me and Olivia at a past Pennsic concert, and my erstwhile competitor Robert of Anglespur.)