bardic general

Bardman Year One

(With apologies to Frank Miller and fans of the Dark Knight)

So, as summer comes to an end, I find myself reflecting back on my first full year as a “working bard” (participating in actual bardic events, interacting with the bardic community). I tend to mark a Scadian year as falling from one Pennsic to the next. It is the biggest and oldest event in the society, and affords opportunities to live one’s passions like nothing else on the East Coast, at least.

bardic general songwriting

Updates–website and projects

Quick updates: I did the next thing on my to do list today, and submitted this year’s six new songs for copyright. I know I don’t really have to–or at least I could wait until I’ve written three more to finish the album. But having registered the copyrights, I’m much more comfortable letting my songs fly free.

Also, to submit my songs, I have to transcribe the sheet music (since now I can do the whole thing in 10 minutes and upload sheet music PDF’s online!), which means…

Yep. Sheet music to all the songs are now posted on the song pages. (Also, I re-posted the MP3 download links.) I’ve started posting chords.

And now, the serious recording process will begin. Starting with GarageBand demos of all the songs (some of which I’ll probably post).


bardic Pennsic SCA songwriting teaching

Pennsic 42 as a Budding Bard

I started this post back on Monday of War Week, but Pennsic kept happening, and on our return home, mundane life (particularly my job) pulled me right back in.  Much as I wanted to do a detailed diary of Pennsic, and/or a lengthy gratitude list, I’m going to resist the impulse because:

  1. I’ve spent time thanking the people who deserved my thanks, and will continue to do so, and
  2. As my wife points out, I did enough navel-gazing during my downtime at Pennsic to last me the rest of the year.
bardic Pennsic teaching

New content posted

Still have yet to put together my final Pennsic posts (getting back into mundania), but I have posted a page with my songwriting class notes.

Note that I’ve also add new YouTube videos, and linked to them on the pages for “Mug Your Gate” and “Lady of the Rose”.

bardic Pennsic SCA songwriting

All New Songs from Pennsic Posted

I will post about my experiences at Pennsic when I get home. I will note that I did get several requests for lyrics and/or music to songs I performed during the war. (Bardic squee.)

As of now, all of my original pieces performed during Pennsic 42 have their lyrics posted, including “Lady of the Rose”. I will attempt to put up recordings or videos of performances the songs as soon as I can, for any who wish to perform them.

No one needs to ask my permission to perform one of my songs–there is no higher compliment a songwriter can be given. Please credit me as the author (as Drake Oranwood if you’re in the SCA)…and if you dropped me a note after you performed one for the first time, I would be delighted to hear about it (though that isn’t required).

bardic Pennsic SCA

At Pennsic 42

The family is enjoying our first taste of Peace Week (the first of the two weeks, the setup week) at Pennsic this year. We are also enjoying camping at the event instead of staying at a hotel as we have in past years. Friends have been seen (and are being made), Bardic circles have been attended, fun is being had, and the passive voice is being greatly abused.

Of my newer pieces, “Mug Your Gate” and “Tam Lin of the Elves” are both proving to be hits, and all of the older pieces are being well received. (I have yet to perform any of the others at this point.)

A note for anyone actually checking this blog (yes, you and your friend!), I’ll be part of the mini concert performance set Sunday night between 8 and 9 pm at the Performing Arts tent. And Monday morning I’m teaching my first class, “Songwriting to Tell a Story”, in AS 9. Monday afternoon brings the Bardic Exposition from 2 to 5 pm, and I’ll be performing just before 3.

Hope to see you there!

bardic general SCA

Northern Region War Camp (Award of Arms)

So I just got back from NRWC, and boy are my legs bitten. I mean, the mosquitoes were insane. But apart from that the event was fantastic.

general songwriting technology

Mmmmmaybe I’ll blog a little more. (Technology and the bard)

So, I finally found the WordPress iPhone app. Given that I do most of my writing these days on my iPhone, that’s very cool.

I’ve been trying to manage my writing process better since I committed myself to bardic just about a year ago (a few months before I set up this site and the Facebook group). By “better”, I mean “make it more convenient to write, easier to find my stuff, easier to share my stuff, and less likely to lose my stuff”. And since I first got an iPhone in my hands last year, that has meant (as so many of you have probably already found) doing it on my iPhone.

bardic Pennsic SCA songwriting teaching

Spring Update

I know–I don’t write, I don’t call… What have I been up to?

  • Getting ready for Wars of the Roses, where I plan to debut TWO new songs: my first adaptation of a period piece, “Tam Lin of the Elves” (Romantic! Epic!), and my first historical piece, the long-planned Richard III song “The Last Plantagenet” (in progress). As always, I will post the songs publicly after the event.
  • Listening to the work in progress cut of my first bardic single, “The Bastard’s Tale”, on repeat. I’m pleased to say I listen to this recording over and over and I keep liking it better. Will be finishing the vocals this weekend.
  • Getting ready for Pennsic, where I will be teaching my first class, “Songwriting to Tell a Story.” I’ve done as much research for this class as I have for the songs, and starting to put the notes together.
album bardic mp3 Pennsic SCA songwriting teaching

Overdue updates – the site, performances, recording a CD (!!!), and looking forward

So I haven’t posted since December. Bad bard. Bad, bad bard. Well, busy bard. Which is good. (And it’s not like the handful of you out there aren’t catching all of this on Facebook anyway.)

Still, what’s the point of a “blog” about my “bardic career” if I don’t take the time to post about said “career” when I’m actually “doing things” in it? Probably because I have the grace to be at least uncomfortable with the implicit narcissism involved, but if I can deal with it, I trust you can too (or you’ll stop reading, and we’ll all just have to find a way to cope).