Last Saturday, the East Kingdom held its annual Bardic Championship, and I had the surreal experience of participating in this event as one of the MCs and judges. This was hardly the only “first” for the championship, which of course was conducted entirely online for the first time as well.
This weekend, I posted a new video of a brand-new filk, which tells the true story of the origins of The First Bardic War. “The Zoom Where It Happens” is, of course, based on “The Room Where It Happens” from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. This one, as you can see, involved a ton of collaboration from some incredibly talented bards (and a few very generous royals), and I will post more about that experience in the coming week. (The song page has copious annotations for serious geeks and Hamilfans.)
Enjoy (and I’d be very grateful if you subscribed to my YouTube channel while you’re there):
To all the performers of the East, greetings!
(TLDR: Sign up to perform for your kingdom! C’mon, it’ll be fun! But take a moment please to read the long post anyway…)
This is a strange time we are living through together. The first warmth of spring, and for many, the first traces of hope. Hope that the day is drawing ever closer, when we will once more be able to gather together, embrace, and share companionship, song and story at an in-person event. Even now, we do not know just how many months more that will be. It’s tantalizing and at times maddening, no?
And as we wait, lo, this spring brings a bounty of opportunities to put our performance and research skills to the test, in service to our kingdom. (All of them remote! More time in front of a webcam instead of a fire! Will it never end?) As your kingdom’s Bardic Champions, it can be a little awkward asking for people to sign up, particularly since these events ended up scheduled so close to one another. And yet, this is the calendar we face, and the kingdom needs the support of its performers now.
I have a couple of new performance videos to share, from the amazing Journeymen’s Concert held on Saturday January 23 as part of the second Ethereal Bardic Symposium (the same event that included Neurodiversity Panel I shared the other day). Cerian Cantwr is posting the individual performances on his YouTube channel, and ultimately will be sharing out the complete concert (which, rumor has it, will be billed as The Concert that Started a War–but that’s a story for another day, and I promise I will touch on that soon).
The first performance I want to share is of Dowland’s “Can she excuse my wrongs?”, which I have been polishing up for the last several months for public performance, and shared once or twice at circles. (I know the virtual background looks really weird especially when it hides parts of the lute, but my office is full of packing boxes at the moment.) I hope you enjoy.
Grim and I have been the East Kingdom’s Bardic Champions for just over 11 months now. This has been, it doesn’t bear repeating, a most unusual year–but even as we speak, our A&S Champion counterparts are conducting the competition online to choose their successors, and we have announced our plans to do the same.
The next East Kingdom Bardic Championships will be held on Saturday, April 24 (click for details). Performance is, indeed, the best suited activity for a virtual competition of practically anything we do in the SCA. (Click here to check into the Facebook event. The YouTube livestream will be here.)
Grim and I are looking forward to hearing from entrants (note per the event page: You must email us 2 weeks in advance, so that we can plan out the competition day with a sense of how many competitors we have.
We will be holding an online tech check a month or so out before the event, so participants have a chance to verify that their setups work for live online performance. The participants will be on Zoom, and the audience will be able to watch it live-streamed on the East Kingdom’s YouTube channel.
We will share further updates as it approaches.
Grim and Drake, Sovereign’s and Consort’s Bards
Happy Halloween, Samhain, or whatever gets you through the fall. My incredibly talented bard friend Elaisse de Garrigues of Calontir (one of the winners of last weekend’s online Winter Nights event), accepted my invitation to throw a little trick and treat together with Dave on guitar…
…And she delivered. Check it out.
The East Kingdom had our first virtual Coronation on Saturday, August 15, when Margarita De’ Siena completed her unprecedented and eventful reign, and Magnus Tindal and Alberic von Ron Rostock became the new Consules of the Eastern Empire. Grim as Sovereign’s Bard, and I as Consort’s Bard, asked their then-Highnesses what, if any, service we might provide to add to the ceremonies they were planning. As luck would have it, Tindal had a number of thoughts that played well to my strengths, and one that provided Grim and me a joint opportunity.
So…the EK Midrealm Bardic Showcase went off with nary a hitch worth noting. That was spectacular. (Available on YouTube if you missed it, or want to see it agaion.) I want to take a moment to recognize all the effort that went into making this Pennsic highlight a reality in this unique moment.
First, to my fellow kingdom bards:
- THL Honor von Atzinger, Dragon Bard, whose enthusiasm, delight, and communication to all the royals of the Known World made this possible, coupled her with her irresistible Master of Ceremonies skills.
- Master Grim the Skald, Sovereign’s Bard who introduced me to the EK Bardic community once upon a time, thank you for bringing an experienced, steady, supportive hand, and a critical dose of zen. Your comfort sitting backstage and sharing the live stream audience feedback was wonderful for our composure and morale.
I’ve shared this elsewhere, but not here. (It’s under the wire, right?)
The Interkingdom Bardic Showcase is a long standing tradition held at Pennsic. It provides an opportunity for our kingdoms to come together and celebrate the performing arts. (Note: per tradition, the lineup of performers is pre-selected in consultation with the wishes of the SCA’s kingdom royals.)
This will be a YouTube livestream event (link here).
Join us for this year’s online Post-Pennsic showcase, featuring notable and rising performers representing various Kingdoms of the Known World:
Today was my last day as Queen’s Bard for Margarita De’ Siena. She is now sitting vigil as a new Lady of the Rose, and her magnificent heirs, Magnus Tindal and Alberic von Rostock, have been crowned Consuls of the East.
As the Known World rings with praise for Margarita’s incredible and unprecedented reign, I have put together my tribute. It’s my first new piece since I became Royal Bard, and I’m grateful to my muse, my wife Jessa, my teacher Peregrine, and my right-hand guitarist Dave Lambert, for all helping bring this to life in less than a week (the full draft finally took form last Sunday).
There is a song page with lyrics and the like. Some time soon I will add back story on the creative process that went into this (it’s been brewing since the start of the reign). For now, though, I have words and feelings, and I share them with you.
Drake, Consort’s Bard of the East