I had a great time teaching “Songwriting to Tell a Story” on Sunday. Thanks to everyone who came out for it. For those of you who missed it, the recording is up on my YouTube channel:
I’ll be teaching my “Songwriting to Tell a Story” class this coming Sunday from 4-5:30 pm EDT.
Class description: Principles and guidelines for constructing tight, compelling, original songs that capture (and hold) an audience. The focus is on lyrics, song and story structure. How is writing a good lyric different from writing a good poem? Create a singable story that is entertaining, engaging, and will hold the attention of a SCAdian audience, who enjoy period material, but still prefer a song that runs 5 minutes or under.
While the class is focused on creating folk music in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), the principles are universal. Open to all.
To join the video meeting, click this link: https://meet.google.com/pyb-jvpi-yqr
Otherwise, to join by phone, dial +1 806-410-3532 and enter this PIN: 656 359 101#
To view more phone numbers, click this link: https://tel.meet/pyb-jvpi-yqr?hs=5
(Feel free to check-in on the Facebook event page to let me know if you’re interested.)
I wish to share in this space that, as of this summer, I have made a permanent change to the lyrics of “Lady of the Rose”, and added a footnote to the page explaining the change. The lines that said “Open your petals to fullest display” now read “Bloom in the sunlight to fullest display”. Someone I care about shared with me that the original lines carried sexual undertones that made her uncomfortable hearing the song, though she knew that was not the intent. Whatever else one may feel about the piece, that sort of discomfort has no place in it, so I have made this change accordingly. This is the only version of the lyric I will perform going forward, and I invite anyone else who enjoys the song to adopt this change as well.
[EDIT: I have also updated the song notes at the bottom of the page to reflect that, while it is overwhelmingly composed of women, the Order of the Rose is in fact gender neutral.]
I finally found the time to add the song page for “Shine, Child”, and tell the story behind the writing of the song (commissioned by Lady Angela Mori for her daughter Thora) in the notes. It’s a very personal and special piece.
Checking in. After last K&Q Bardic, I made my traditional long in-depth post, and at the end, I made a number of pledges about actions I planned to take. I wanted to share that I have made progress on several of these:
The song page for my first original Elizabethan-style composition, “I asked of thee a boon”, is now available.
Win or lose, they’ll remember this day…
(from “We Are the East”)
I promised I would do a deep dive (translation: long read) on my experiences preparing for, during, and after this year’s kingdom bardic championships, and this would be it. Of course, this would probably be a little more exciting if this were a breakdown of how I became a Royal Bard of the East…but as Zsof, Jess, and I all spent the last six months reminding me, I can’t control outcomes. So for that post I’ll refer you to Aethelflied’s fantastic recounting of the story behind her being selected as King’s Bard. (Mistress Alys’s blog has documentation for her round one piece, which was her first step to being selected as Queen’s Bard.)
Yesterday, the curator of Tam Lin Balladry, a wonderful website dedicated to tracking all the versions of the ballad (as well as retellings, parodies, and fanfiction) that can be found on the web, asked to include “Tam Lin of the Elves“. I was delighted to be asked, and the page with my retelling is now online here. Given the balladry site was one I scoured when I was researching the song, I feel oddly official now. 🙂
I haven’t checked in around this in a while, but my studies with Maistre Lucien have been a source of constant joy throughout the year to this point. Lucien has been unfailingly supportive, even as he continues to hold me to high standards, with a gently probing Socratic approach.
This last session, Lucien presented me with an assignment to stretch and test my understanding of period music and language, which I enjoyed immensely. He has granted his kind permission for me to publish what I produced in response, and I share it here.
Quick updates: I did the next thing on my to do list today, and submitted this year’s six new songs for copyright. I know I don’t really have to–or at least I could wait until I’ve written three more to finish the album. But having registered the copyrights, I’m much more comfortable letting my songs fly free.
Also, to submit my songs, I have to transcribe the sheet music (since now I can do the whole thing in 10 minutes and upload sheet music PDF’s online!), which means…
Yep. Sheet music to all the songs are now posted on the song pages. (Also, I re-posted the MP3 download links.) I’ve started posting chords.
And now, the serious recording process will begin. Starting with GarageBand demos of all the songs (some of which I’ll probably post).