Saturday, Jess and I attended the Yule event for the Baronies of Bergental and Beyond the Mountain. It was a lovely chance to get to see people one last time before we pack it in on SCA events for the winter (and the corresponding COVID surge, which of course is already on the rise). We were primarily there so I could deliver a commission:
On Saturday, my family and I attended our first SCA event since the summer: Hundred Minutes War (and EK Novice Day), a fighting event sponsored by our local Shire of Rusted Woodlands. It was a fuller “family” contingent than usual: both of my teachers, Peregrine and Toki, joined us (the three of us have never been in the same place at the same time the whole while that we have been formally working together), as well as some of our Caer Cinniuint family, including the illustrious Rowan de la Garnison (who, along with her fellow matriarch Meirwen uerch Owein, had recently invited me officially to join my wife’s household).
It turned out they, along with some other dear friends, were there for a reason beyond the glorious late-fall day of fighting, or the several vigils and elevations that were scheduled. During court, their Majesties Ioannes and Honig called forth the Order of the Maunche. His Majesty Ioannes explained to the assembled populace that the Order was in fact short its full complement as he wandered into the aisle, and stopped in front of me with a mischievous grin.
For context, this is the highest Arts & Sciences award the East Kingdom offers short of a Peerage.
Last weekend was Bjorn’s Retreat, my first in-person event since the pandemic began last year (and the kingdom’s first except for Crown Tourney last month). While we were all masked even outdoors (thank you, your Majesties, for your laudable caution and concern for the health of the populace), it was still delightful to be at an event with my family, and get to see so many old friends in the flesh.
This is the third video in my summer series, “An Elizabethan Afternoon”: Thomas Campion’s “I care not for these ladies”. (CW: The author compares women based on how “easy” versus “high maintenance” they are.)
Here is the second Elizabethan Afternoon video: “The Binding of Isaac”.
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.