NEW! “Sing for the East” Companion Songbook at Pennsic!

So there’s a little last-minute project that came up, and I wanted to share. Someone asked on Facebook how they could get a songbook that has all the Sing for the East songs on it. (Most of the songs on the album were written after the publication of the 2004 songbook, which we now refer to as “Volume 1”. Volume 2 is in the works, and will include the rest of the songs, but it will also include a good deal of other music, and is still many months away from completion.) Continue reading

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Ready for East Kingdom 50 Year!

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!

Keeping commitments

Checking in. After last K&Q Bardic, I made my traditional long in-depth post, and at the end, I made a number of pledges about actions I planned to take. I wanted to share that I have made progress on several of these: Continue reading

The Lute Piece

After K&Q Bardic on Saturday, one piece of fieldback I received was that my round one lute piece should have been more polished. It certainly should have. I knew that I would be somewhat discombobulated by the crowd, but I really hoped my intensive preparation would provide enough confidence for me to make it through with much less difficulty than I had.

For those who are curious…I recorded a practice session a little over a month ago and shared it privately with my Laurel. While I had not yet added the spoken words (which of course make it a bit more challenging), being recorded also makes me nervous (though clearly not remotely as much as a public audience). This is what the piece sounded like then.

K&Q Bardic Champions: Wins, Learns, & Changes

What if a day, or a month, or a yeare
Crown thy delights with a thousand sweet contentings?
Cannot a chance of a night or an howre
Crosse thy desires with as many sad tormentings?
–Anonymous

King’s and Queen’s Bardic and A&S Champions was held yesterday. I’ve been running relatively quiet while I prepared for the last several months. While Bardic and A&S have become a combined event as of last year, and are likely to stay that way, for most of us who compete, they are essentially separate events, because there is little opportunity to focus on the other when we’re participating in the one. So I will speak only to the Bardic. And, as I tend to, I’m going to go heavy on process as I experienced it. (I won’t apologize for that…I’m learning that a number of other bards, including some I competed against yesterday, read my posts, and find value in what I share.)

But first, let’s not bury the lede. His Majesty Ivan selected my dear friend Juliana Bird (aka Bird the Bard) as his new King’s Champion, and Her Majesty Mathilde selected my new friend Geoffrey of Exeter, originally from Lochac (Australia), and an experienced bard in at least two other kingdoms, as her Queen’s Champion. I had the honor of competing in the final four against them, alongside Phelippe le Vigneron, who like Bird, is an incredibly talented bard from Bhakail, and relatively new to the SCA bardic scene (this was his first competition). [CORRECTION: Phelippe is from Settmour Swamp, and told me as much. I have a terrible habit of lumping people together who play in Bhakail, because I’m frankly jealous of their camaraderie and live too far away to participate regularly in it.]

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Stepping Down as Baronial Bard

It’s been a little over two weeks since Bjorn’s Ceilidh, so this post is rather overdue. (Surprise.) But life has been very full and busy, and that’s how it goes. Still, it’s important to me to take a moment and reflect on Ceilidh, and my time as Concordia’s bardic champion.

It has been a privilege and a delight to serve as champion for Baron Jean-Paul and Baroness Lylie. They are both warm and encouraging, and I had the opportunity to see close at hand how diligently they carry their responsibilities for Concordia of the Snows.

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Winter Nights: Reflections and Thanks

Last Saturday, I got to participate in the SCA in a way that I had never done before: running a full-day event. As Concordia’s Baronial Bard, I had the privilege of serving as event steward (or, as some say, “autocrat”) for the Winter Nights competition. The event, which had been a Concordian event for several years, recently changed to a three-year rotation between East Kingdom’s Northern, Southern, and Central regions. This is the first time it has come back to Concordia, and so it was a stroke of luck that it happened during my term as champion. While for many people, running an event is a key part of growing and evolving in the SCA, I have never yearned to have that responsibility. Given my ADHD (and my ego’s exhibitionist streak), the thought has been one I have long shied away from.

With one important exception. I have always dreamed of running Winter Nights.

This all-day bardic competition was my introduction to the bardic community five years ago. Winning it two years back was one of the most delightful surprises I’ve had as a bard. This event taught me about camaraderie, about improvisation, about the breadth of talent and skills and generosity that this kingdom’s bards (and not just this kingdom’s) have to offer. In many ways, it is as much home to me as Pennsic is. (Not for nothing did I slip a name-check into my East Kingdom anthem.)

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