I have challenged myself for this summer to return to my focus on Elizabethan music, and put together a short “concert” of my favorite lute pieces. This is the first song from that collection, “Come again, sweet love”. I really like the outdoor setting, though it creates its own challenges, and the audio is re-recorded separately. Enjoy.
This is a quick post to address, once and hopefully for all, an issue of writing choices, so that I can just reference it when necessary going forward, instead of having to repeat it.
There are certain contexts in which people are encouraged to use “I” statements instead of “you” or “we” statements. One example is couples therapy, where each member of a couple is invited to talk about their own needs rather than the expectations they place on the other member. Another is in some group support environments, where a speaker is invited to take ownership of their own experiences and wants, rather than hiding behind an imagined group (“I deserve better” instead of “we deserve better”), or an imagined hypothetical person (“and then I get upset” instead of “and then you get upset”).
Yesterday, the First Bardic War, a nine-day, round-the-world, online event, came to a conclusion. This was an event done for the first time ever, with only three and a half months to plan, by a relative skeleton crew, in the middle of a global pandemic. It’s as close as I’ve ever seen to an unqualified triumph.
The 35 War Points were awarded between the three alliances as follows: East/Atlantia 19, Middle 13, West 3. Let me say here what I said multiple times before and throughout the event: this was basically summer camp Color Wars, and the “winners” and the “points” never really mattered. I believe firmly that no one who was on a growth path toward any level of recognition or responsibility will be held up on that path because their side did not win any given War Point.
Let me also admit here: the joy and pride I took as a general, watching our five-kingdom alliance fight their way to victory in the First Bardic War, was simply indescribable. I will do my best to savor it without being insufferable. (I think I got most of it out of my system during the online post-revel.)
After months of planning, promoting, recruiting, and cat-herding, the First Bardic War is at last upon us. Over 100 hours of performances will be available to enjoy, and competitive and non-competitive events will abound. The Facebook page seems to have livestreams of running throughout the day—if you don’t see it when you go there, check the “Videos” tab.)
As one of the East/Atlantia alliance’s generals, I am immensely proud of the scope and breadth of the talent we are bringing to the battlefield. I am competing in three categories myself: the Champions Battle (prerecorded, war point will be streaming on Tuesday May 18 at 5:30 PM EDT), Original Song of the Modern Middle Ages (live, war point streams Saturday May 22 at 7:00 PM EDT), and the Brawl. (Here is the War Point schedule.)
The Brawl videos premiered on YouTube this morning, and will be available throughout the war for the populace to vote on (total YouTube likes per alliance, full playlist is here). My entry is below.
I will also be teaching “My Guitar’s Persona Is a Lute” on Zoom Monday May 17 at 5 PM EDT. (Zoom links are posted at the start of each day on the website.)
I look forward to seeing you on or off the battlefield.
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.