New Song: “Pack Out Day”

Hi everyone! We just got home from Pennsic yesterday, and to my surprise, as we began packing out, I felt a song coming on, and I went with it. So, as my way of thanking all of you for being part of my SCA experience, I’m breaking all my normal “rules” and sharing it with you right now. This is a quick a Capella vocal cut of the song, and it captures my experience of Pennsic this year, which involved my stretching a bit and doing more things that weren’t necessarily Bardic. (No, I still didn’t actually drink, but since the vast majority of adults I hung out with did, it’s still an indelible part of my experience of the War.)

I will set up a standard song page for this later (along with the other new songs I brought to the war, and class notes, and video from the concert–I promise I’ll get to it). But for now…enjoy! Continue reading

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Off to Pennsic!

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!

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

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.]

Continue reading