Bardic at Roses

Reminder: Bardic at Wars of the Roses this weekend will be held at the same time and place as last year, Saturday 8:30 pm at the Bardic area. The theme of the competition is legitimacy to rule. See you there.

In service, Drake

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Laurels’ Prize Tourney: First Thoughts

I have been a performer in my blood for as far back as I can remember, to childhood. I have never really not enjoyed performing. The last several years have blessed me with opportunities to perform for loving, supportive, appreciative audiences, and more and more, alongside talented people I admire and adore. It is, really, always a thrill. (No, I’m not saying I’ve never tanked. Different kind of thrill.)

And yet, sprinkled through the joyous memories, including some extremely special ones, there are a small handful of moments that stand out, that were extraordinary. Days or nights where I felt a performance, and the audience, vibrating together in my chest, an electric excitement, when I felt something truly glorious was happening, and I was privileged to be in the eye of a storm, somehow miraculously safe and well.

Yesterday was one of those days. (Video courtesy of Baroness Arlyana van Wyck.)

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A few last notes…

  1. I managed to hand off my Winter Nights Champion armband to Sabine, who is coordinating Winter Nights South in Bhakail next weekend. (I am sadly unable to attend.)
  2. I adore my Baron and Baroness.
  3. Combining King’s and Queen’s Bardic Champions with A&S Champions, from where I was sitting, worked overall as an event. It merged two well-attended events into something more on a Coronation scale. If people had to divide their attention between the two competitions, they nonetheless were both seen by a somewhat broader audience, and people came from all over the kingdom to a degree I don’t normally see.
  4. I adore my (adopted) barony.
  5. A year after being taken as Zsof’s apprentice, I finally managed at the same time to have her green apprentice belt (specially made for me) in my custody, have belt holes in it, and wear it at an event.
  6. My kingdom is amazeballs. (And there is no such thing as a bad opportunity to sing about how wonderful it is.)
  7. Helping to open doors and make connections for newer bards is a particular pleasure I don’t think I will ever tire of.
  8. I am staring at a secret piece of art that was crafted with insane loving care and eye-popping color. Katrusha Skomorokh is a goddess. And a genius. And when she told me she was going to pour as much heart and beauty into this cover as was going into the music it would contain, I cannot argue with her.
  9. I finally found my favorite Elizabethan flat cap (stuck in the garb box where I didn’t see it all these months).

That is all.

The Feast of St. Nicholas

Yesterday I got to participate in an SCA dream made real: the first ever Feast of St. Nicholas in Queen Elizabeth’s Court, in my adoptive Barony of Concordia. Lady Olivia Baker, my friend and sometime collaborator and voice teacher, was able to realize her vision of a day-long, full immersion Elizabethan event, with the help of many hands in and out of Concordia. I want to take a moment to share my recollections of the event while they’re fresh in my mind. (My thanks to everyone who made it happen, only a few of whom will be mentioned here.)

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Wars of the Roses 2016

Over the weekend, we attended Concordia’s Wars of the Roses 37. Got to see old friends and make a few new ones, and it was our first event since K&Q Bardic. Roses is, of course known for its notoriously unpredictable weather (falling as it does on Memorial Day weekend), and this was no exception. This time, of course, we dealt with record-breaking heat. Nevertheless, had a wonderful time, and experienced several firsts. Here are some highlights: Continue reading

New Demo: “We Are the East”

As promised, I’ve put together a quick rough demo of “We Are the East” with the help of my friend and sometime mastering engineer Neil Fein (on guitar). For those who want to get to know the tune, here you go.

[EDIT 5/21/2017: In my typically cruel fashion, I have taken the demo version down. The official recording for Sing for the East is available on the song page.]

Lyrics Sheet: “We Are the East”

Quick added item: In keeping with Duchess Caoilfhionn’s request to me to get the song out there, I printed out lyrics sheets for “We Are the East” at yesterday’s bardic circle, and we sang the song together. Everyone there knows that the song is intended to be shared with any who wish to learn it, as a people’s anthem for the kingdom.

One of the participants asked today online if there was a downloadable version. Yes. I’ve uploaded it now, and added a link to the song page. Please share freely. You can check out the YouTube video to learn the tune (I will upload a version to Soundcloud when I have the opportunity).