An evening geeking and recording with Bird was just what my soul needed this week. They’re extraordinarily talented, but even more, they’re incredibly loving, kind, and open. They bring out my best self, as they do with most everyone I know.
Since they moved to Michigan, opportunities to see them are rare (though there is of course Pennsic). But I was grateful they were able to make time for this session, since I very much wanted their imprint on “Plant Your Feet”, which is a song for and about bards.
We had a blast together. And tomorrow I get to edit and mix Bird’s vocals, French horn, and tin whistle into the song and see what we have. (They also provided a bright beautiful harmony for “Shine, Child”.)
The Oranwood clan will be on the road to Pennsic this evening. Some of the places you can find me this War:
- We are camping at McGuire’s Marauders (block N06, next to Ansteorra Royal). Feel free to say hello.
- My concert will be War Wednesday from 8-9 pm (between House Sans Nomen and Heather Dale–still don’t know how that happened, still not questioning it), and planned guests include Efenwealt Wystle, Bird the Bard, Cedar the Barefoot, Sólveig Bjarnardóttir, and my son Spencer Oranwood. There will be new original songs. There will be lute. More importantly, there will be new and even more ambitious Hamilton filk.
- My dear friend Cedar the Barefoot is performing their first concert Middle Sunday from 6-6:30 pm. I’ll be watching, because I wouldn’t miss this and you shouldn’t either. Apparently, there will be new Lin-Manuel Miranda filk performed here as well, and any suggestions that I might have instigated said filk would be grounds for legal action. (Shenanigans? ME?!?)
- Efenwealt Wystle and I will be hosting the annual Bardic Expo on War Monday from 2:00-4:30 pm. Come perform, and come see others perform.
- I am teaching “My Persona’s Guitar Is a Lute” on Peace Thursday from 11-12 pm and War Wednesday from 1-2 pm. This is a new first time offering.
- I will be at McGuire’s infamous Chocolate Bardic on Peace Thursday, and I will try to get to other bardic circles whenever possible throughout the War. (There are rumors of a “secret bardic circle” during peace week, possibly at Highrafters, but the first rule of it is that you don’t talk about it, and the second rule…)
As for music:
- The Sing for the East CD (as well as the new Companion Songbook) will be available at Camelot Treasures (booth 30) and Designs by J (booth 162). You can also find my first album Hidden Gold there if you don’t already have it.
- Efenwealt Wystle’s new music sampler CD together for this Pennsic, featuring some really well-known performers. Somehow, I got a track of mine, and one from bright star Juliana la Badele, on this thing.
- You should be looking for any music you don’t yet have when you have the chance. There are a ton of hard-working artists creating amazing, high-quality recordings within this community, and they deserve your patronage.
Hope to see you at War!
The East Kingdom’s 50 Year celebration is this week, from Thursday to Sunday. I am looking forward to it, and want to mention a few things if you’re going to be be there:
- Friday, 3:30-4:00 pm, Performing Arts Stage: I will be performing some of my songs with my dear friends Bird the Bard and Donal Artur of the Silver Band. It promises to be a lot of fun–and the set includes a new song!
- Saturday, 2-3 pm, Performing Arts Stage: Join the the bards of Sing for the East for a live, sing-along concert!
- The Sing for the East CD will be on sale at Kate’s Kafe throughout the event, along with other popular SCA music (including mine).
Click here for the EK 50 site map. (The Stage is next to the A&S Classrooms, but you’ll probably need to zoom in to see it.)
Hope to see you there!
This weekend, we mailed our first donation, just over $1,400, to the East Kingdom Royal Travel Fund. This exceeded our fondest hopes. It was made possible by the contributions of dozens of talented artists, and scores of generous patrons, in and out of our kingdom. Without your enthusiastic support and encouragement, this project would never have come to fruition. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
In grateful service,
The bards of Sing for the East
Something I'm noticing at Pennsic: a number of people have the impression that Sing for the East is a collection of "inside baseball" songs that will only appeal to East Kingdom folks or those who know our history.
Not true at all. This is a collection of well-made SCA folk songs that celebrate who we are and what we do. Most of the songs have the word "East", or "Tyger", or "Oriens" in them, but that's it. They are by current or former EK Bards, and the album addresses a grievous gap of Eastern recordings.
But if you could use some fresh, quality SCA music to listen to on your drive home, I promise you this CD will not disappoint. (Available at Camelot Treasures and John Ap Wyn.)
So…I went rather quiet for the past month. (Had to find a new day job, couldn’t be helped. Happily, it didn’t take long, but it required some focus.) Now it’s time to get ready for Pennsic, and as Jessa and I race to do that, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on Sing for the East in a little more depth.
My Laurel, Mistress Zsof, has invited me to do more in-depth blogs about what I am learning as I continue to explore bardic. I realize that the sorts of entries she is talking about are usually more A&S focused (meaning, on period and period-inspired works, like “I asked of thee a boon”). At the moment, though, my most recent project was an album, and my entry on that collection was an original kingdom anthem. I learned a great deal putting the track for “We Are the East” together, and applied a number of lessons I learned about music recording and production from my solo album Hidden Gold.
The much-loved Knowne World Bardcast has returned, with an episode featuring music from Sing for the East! Check out the podcast, available in your podcasting app right now!