Last weekend, my first scroll text for a kingdom level award went out in the Consules’ court. My friend Agnes Marie de Calais was inducted into the Order of the Silver Wheel for service, and Collette d’Avignon, who was responsible for creating the scroll, asked if I would be willing to compose the text to honor her. I was delighted to be asked, and set to researching and creating something that would, I hoped, fit Agnes like a glove.
(Here’s a plug for an online class I’m teaching tomorrow. You can check in on the Facebook event if you like, or just show up.)
Join Drake Oranwood, Queen’s Bard of the East Kingdom, for this online class.
How do you play authentic Elizabethan lute music if your instrument is a modern guitar? The good news is the instruments are very closely related. Learn about the history and evolution of the lute, how to tune and play your guitar as if it were a lute, how to interpret lute tablature, how to find authentic period composers, songs, and arrangements. The skills are highly transferable, and while lute music has a different feel and sound, the rewards for your investment of time and effort are great. Suitable for all experience levels.
To join the video meeting, click this link: https://meet.google.com/jqn-qaey-zem
Otherwise, to join by phone, dial +1 904-406-7294 and enter this PIN: 606 553 732#
To view more phone numbers, click this link: https://tel.meet/jqn-qaey-zem?hs=5
Good evening. The lute pieces seem to be well-received (and they are giving me some thoughts about starting to transfer these skills back to guitar and learn how to accompany myself on SCA folk music). Here’s John Dowland’s “Come again sweet love”. Enjoy, and be safe.
Tonight’s #SCAatHome video is Thomas Campion’s “I care not for these ladies”, which I analyzed a little while back for the A&S Journey series.
Happy #EarlyMusicDay! People told me that I shouldn’t be worried whether my videos are perfect, as long as I share my art. Mission accomplished! Here is a new rendering of “What if a day?”
At last, we conclude our discussion of researching, preparing for, and entering a kingdom-level bardic competition, if you’re still interested in it (after the analyses of Round 1 and Round 2). For the final round, I debuted the original song “Hold the Door Open”. I researched the Arthurian legends of Thomas Malory, and wove together five characters to convey messages about modern diversity and inclusion. I chose to use my skills in modern composition to convey the emotions of the words.
We continue our review of kingdom-level competition prep (from yesterday’s Round 1 analysis). On to Round 2, and how I arrived at “Ode to Birka” as my performance piece. (Note: I am categorizing this as an A&S Journey entry, because the focus of this round ended up being contrafacts of Thomas Campion pieces examined in this series. Before I found the right one, “My love hath vowed”, I made attempts with “Now winter nights enlarge” and “I care not for these ladies”, which will be detailed below.)
As promised, it is time to break down this year’s Queen & Crown’s Bardic Championship as I prepared for and experienced it. I’m going to do one post for each round–not because this was the year I was selected, but because the work that went into each round dovetails with the A&S Journey posts I have been making since last June. We will start with the first round, where I presented John Dowland’s “Clear or cloudy”.
This week, our A&S journey returns to Campion, for a piece I have been looking forward to re-examining: “My love hath vowed”. This piece, and the way I was introduced to it, marked a turning point in my relationship with Elizabethan songs, as we’ll discuss in coming weeks, so I have saved it for the end of this particular Campion cycle. This is the first Elizabethan piece I encountered that tells a woman’s story from a woman’s perspective, something Campion did more than any of his contemporaries. While I can play and sing this piece with the original lyrics, this video of it, in a modern setting, was the one that made me fall in love with it (notwithstanding they omitted the fourth verse).
I’ve had a heavy focus on advancing my ability to play Dowland’s “Clear or cloudy” the last several weeks. The song, I’m happy to say, has come along nicely in a relatively short time. (Video below.) It’s worth discussing the components involved in advancing a challenging piece.
In a previous post, I made a reference to “deliberate practice” (a term I first encountered in Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers), but today let’s focus in on how what that looks like for this situation. Quoting an excellent article on the topic: “Deliberate practice refers to a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic. While regular practice might include mindless repetitions, deliberate practice requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance.”