Reflections on the Release Concert

So I want to take a few minutes today to get down my recollections from the release concert Saturday night, before it fades. I’ll be sharing pictures and video probably later in the week for those who couldn’t be there…but I want to take a breath and step back and let my work be out there for people to enjoy if they wish, and get out of the way.

We had some thirty people or so, not counting the band, of all ages and from various parts of our lives. My teacher, Zsof, came all the way out from Ohio to attend (and sing with me), and several other SCA friends came down and joined us. Additionally, a couple of my brothers in the ManKind Project were there, one of Spencer’s teachers from The Therapeutic Nursery, and some friends from High School, as well as a couple of friends of ours from Paramus. So it was an interesting mix, adults, children, and even a teen.

The performance space, our living/family room/kitchen, was interesting. The audience was sitting on our left and our right, so engaging everyone required active effort. (No one said being a bard was easy.) And being in “concert black” rather than SCA garb, given the mixed crowd, meant I didn’t have the Drake mask completely in place. Additionally, with a five-piece band, I had a microphone so I wouldn’t have to blow out my voice singing over them (thank goodness), but it meant I couldn’t move about as I’m used to doing in a bardic performance.

I haven’t performed with a band in close to 10 years. I’ve done musicals for years, and I was in a “garage” band for a couple years back in millenial times, but doing all these things at once? Bardic, plus microphone, plus live band? In my house? Doing my own original songs, with the rich involved arrangements Arden put together for the album? Thank the powers that be I wasn’t trying to play an instrument.

It was intense. And amazing. And terrifying. And joyous. When I finished, and I felt the exhaustion sinking in, it felt like I had been a piece of iron in a forge for two hours (I’d also forgotten how much time the intros, and intermission to sell the CD’s, would add to it). But I’m beyond grateful to have had the chance to do it once. (Once.)

I have to thank my wife Jessica for being the supreme hostess, and Paul Butler (Arden of Icombe) for suggesting this and leading it, and Playing All The Things as he does. I have to thank the band: Wendy Gale (Sabine de Kerbriant) on recorder and tambourine, Chris Robinson (Cynon Mac An Choile) on guitar, Christiane Truelove (Adelisa di Salerno) on percussion and backing vocals, and Kirsten Erwin on flute. I also have to thank the talented young bard Tawny Brock (Cedar the Barefoot) for supplying most of the female harmonies, and Zsof for joining us along with Christiane on Lady of the Rose. And finally, thanks again to everyone who came out to hear it.

Back to life. For now.

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