Wars of the Roses 2019

We got back late last night from Roses, and boy, is our everything tired. We’re a bit under-slept (which often happens, but a couple of unforced errors on my part made it worse than usual), yet at the same time my heart feels energized and refreshed, and my spirit is lighter and clearer than it’s been in a while.

In the SCA, the idea of going “home” to an event is bandied about a lot, and I’ve seen my share of backlash posts from people who object to the idea of an SCA event, particularly a camping event, as their home. Your mileage may vary. But returning to Concordia of the Snows’ big start-of-camping-season event (hosted by the Shire of Glenn Linn) really felt like a homecoming this weekend. The Albany area is generally a 2-3 hour drive for us, so we get up to the Barony less often than we’d like, and there are places closer to us that probably would welcome us and offer opportunities to do things we love to do…but ever since our first Roses six years ago (referenced in the opening verse of “Concordian Soil”, this has always been a place where we felt we really fit. And the Barony took the opportunity to remind us yesterday that the feeling is indeed mutual.

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Feedback vs. Gossip: The SCA and Courtesy

SCA culture is largely built around a model of Courtesy. As the model of courtesy has evolved organically, it has, to my eye (and not only mine), tended to emphasize an avoidance of confrontation and public embarrassment a lot of the time. When someone takes note of what someone else is doing, there is a standard but unwritten rule we follow: If they did something good, praise them to their face if you can. If they did something not so good…find their mentor, and pass the feedback along to them, generally with the understanding that it will be shared anonymously.

There is, in my experience (and not only mine), a rather serious side effect to this informal model of feedback. If a gentle doesn’t have a mentor, or you don’t know who the mentor is, or if you don’t have access to or a relationship with said mentor…what do you do with your feedback? Sometimes, the feedback starts circulating in whispers behind the gentle’s back. And by the time the gentle finally becomes aware of these circulating whispers, it can be incredibly upsetting and painful.

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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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Upcoming events

Hi again. (Ooh, two posts in the same week? Suddenly he’s all chatty!) It occurred to me that now that I have more time for SCA events, I should mention that I will be at a couple in the next few weeks. Continue reading

Catch-up, and Pennsic prep

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.

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!