Mudthaw / Crown A&S

Saturday was Mudthaw in the Barony of Settmour Swamp (Central NJ), which features the East Kingdom’s Crown Arts & Sciences championships. It was an eventful day for us, and my first time competing in a kingdom A&S competition.

My entry was “I asked of thee a boon”, my original Elizabethan air for four voices and lute that was first performed at the Laurel’s Prize Tourney in 2017. A&S entries created within the last 3 years are eligible, and I am proud of this piece, and wanted to see how it would be received in a formal competitive setting, and get the experience of discussing my art with interested parties and going through a judging process.

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Research Article in EK Gazette

My first SCA research article was just published today in the East Kingdom Gazette! It’s titled “The Double Bind: Thomas Campion and Elizabethan Women”. For those of you who’ve been keeping track, yes, this is a continuation of the research I began last year on women in period and taught a class on last Pennsic, though the focus here is on a narrow set of works. Many thanks to Mistress Aildreda de Tamworthe, who invited me to write this article, and proved an invaluable editor and guide through this exciting and challenging process.

Updates for April

Last month was a whirl of activity (and posts), so I thought I’d quiet things down for a while. There are some things worth updating you about:

  • I am developing a couple of new classes to teach this summer. The first one is based on my research into the way men wrote about women in the Elizabethan period. I will be teaching it at the Wars of the Roses and Pennsic.
  • The second is called “The New Bard’s Road Map”, and I’ll be teaching it at Pennsic.
  • I am learning four new Elizabethan lute pieces, and hope to have one of them ready by Roses, and most of the others by Pennsic.
  • I have signed up for an hour-long concert at Pennsic, which will hopefully be at a new night and time. I am in touch with a few cool friends I hope to have performing with me, because it’s so much more fun that way. More details as we get closer.
  • Master Arden was kind enough to provide me with pretty much all the sheet music he wrote for Hidden Gold in its recorded and live-performed incarnations, and I have added these instrumental arrangements to my bardic work page as well as the individual song pages. (Note that, even if his arrangements don’t have it noted, I do have copyrights registered for all the songs.)

There are other developments, but it’s too soon to share them just yet. Stay tuned.

Reflection: Women, Power, and Period

I have learned that, in posting my poetry exercises, some readers took my response to the “Women in Power” topic as an indication of my personal attitudes about women in authority. I’m deeply saddened to hear that, and hope they accept my apologies for any offense. I have updated the post to better explain my intention, which was to write the piece from an Elizabethan perspective.

Of course, I fell far short in that. For any skill I may possess, I don’t imagine I could, in the space of one hastily-written sonnet, capture the complex feelings Elizabethans–men in particular–held about women in power. They lived, of course, at a time when women were expected to be subservient–everywhere except on the throne. Continue reading