Sorry the posting is still so sporadic. Some updates:
- East Kingdom 50 Year was lovely–what I got to experience of it. As it happens, 30 minutes after I finished my Friday concert with Donal Artur and Bird (which was a blast), I was rushed to the ER for pain that turned out to be a kidney stone. By the next morning, it was clear that managing my discomfort was going to be difficult at the event, so we packed up and left early. I hated to miss the rest of it. (And yes, the stone passed a couple of days ago.)
- Efenwealt Wystle has put the bardic sampler CD together for this Pennsic, and I’m excited to have my music and Juliana’s on it. Some major names on this thing, I feel very privileged.
- I’ve put together Facebook events for my concert and my classes for this war. I will be posting my two new songs when I get back.
- Rehearsals for The Mystery of Edwin Drood are eating up my evenings, as expected, but a promise is a promise, and I’m having a ton of fun.
So, in other Pennsic news, I found out when my concert has been scheduled. Wednesday of War Week, 8-9 pm. (For those unfamiliar with the concert schedule, it means I’m the lead-in for Heather Dale’s time slot.)
This was a surprise to me. One of those good surprises. The kind that is followed by a lot of mental scrambling and complicated feelings. (A lot of them start with “Holy crap.”)
I’m making no assumptions about what will happen in future years. I plan to really enjoy this opportunity, and make sure the audience and my guest performers do too.
I’ll put an event out at some point. But since it’s right there on Thing at this point, I figured it was time I shared.
So I’m introducing a new class at Pennsic this year, and I’ve just submitted it. My intention is to teach it twice, during Peace Week and War Week (or possibly Middle Weekend, which in my experience can produce some great turnout). Here’s my writeup:
How do you play authentic lute music if your instrument is a modern guitar? The good news is, the instruments are very closely related. Learn 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 transferrable, and while lute music has a different feel and sound, the rewards for your investment of time and effort are great. This is a one-hour lecture class, so you are welcome to bring your guitar to experiment on, but this is not a music lesson so it is not required.
So, there are moments when I really hate having set up a blog. They have a tendency to come after a big SCA event. That’s because most of my SCA friends end up doing Facebook posts where they share what they enjoyed about the event, memorable moments, and people they wish to recognize or thank. They usually run a few paragraphs. And I look at those and think: Wouldn’t it be great if you could just do that? But no…you had to be all clever and set up a blog. Because bard growth blah-blah-blah, so you can’t just do a nice simple Facebook post. You’re going to have to go do a whole blog post on this.
So I end up waiting days, because I don’t want to craft that involved blog post. (Also, I started my new job this week, so I was legit busy.) But eventually, I do it anyway. And if one person who is new to the SCA or bardic draws inspiration because my musings are collected here, and it makes their path any easier, it will be worth it. Or so I tell myself.
Anyway, this Pennsic was a significant milestone to me. It was five years ago that I showed up looking to forge a path as a bard, and connect with the community. I had only set up this website, and founded the Facebook group, a short time before. And it is gratifying to look at this Pennsic, five years later, and see this community from the inside, as we work together to create joy, and welcome new bards to our number.
We’re back from Pennsic. Will have a post with my full reflections later. In the meantime, I wanted to share videos from this year’s concert for those who weren’t able to attend (or wanted to see some of the performances again).
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.)
After weeks of having to focus on Real Life, I’m doing some mad last-minute prep for this year’s concert (Monday of War Week, 8-9 pm, Performing Arts Tent), and I’m really excited.
The set this year is going to be really fresh. I mean really fresh. There will be stuff you’ve NEVER heard me perform before on this stage. And I’ve invited guests who are just getting known to the bardic scene…Cedar the Barefoot and Bird the Bard! (Don’t worry, Master Efenwealt is up for a song too.)
There will be three songs from Sing for the East. I am planning to actually play a lute piece.
And–oh yeah. The Hamilton filk. That too.
Hope to see you there!