New Pennsic Class: My Guitar’s Persona Is a Lute

So I’m introducing a new class at Pennsic this year, and I’ve just submitted it. My intention is to teach it twice, during Peace Week and War Week (or possibly Middle Weekend, which in my experience can produce some great turnout). Here’s my writeup:

How do you play authentic lute music if your instrument is a modern guitar? The good news is, the instruments are very closely related. Learn how to tune and play your guitar as if it were a lute, how to interpret lute tablature, how to find authentic period composers, songs, and arrangements. The skills are highly transferrable, and while lute music has a different feel and sound, the rewards for your investment of time and effort are great. This is a one-hour lecture class, so you are welcome to bring your guitar to experiment on, but this is not a music lesson so it is not required.

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My Pennsic classes

My Pennsic classes are scheduled.

The New Bard’s Road Map

A how-to primer for new or aspiring bards. Developing a repertoire, finding performance opportunities, seeking mentors and patrons, gaining visibility, becoming part of the bardic community.

  1. A&S 9 on Wed 08-02 12:00 PM
  2. A&S 9 on Mon 08-07 12:00 PM

Thy Name Is Woman: Elizabethan Men on Women

An exploration, through songs and plays of the period, of the complex and conflicted attitudes English culture held around women and their role during the Elizabethan period.

  1. A&S 5 on Thu 08-03 2:00 PM
  2. A&S 5 on Wed 08-09 9:00 AM

Teaching at Pennsic

With two weeks to go until Pennsic, I wanted to share that I will be teaching two brand-new University classes at War this year. One is more History than it is bardic, though it focuses on performance pieces. The classes are:

Thy Name Is Woman: Men on Women in Elizabethan England
(Sunday, August 7, 11am – 12 pm, in A&S tent #1)
An exploration, through songs and poetry of the period, of the complex and conflicted attitudes English culture held around women and their role during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. (Yes, this is the class that grew out of last spring’s reflections on women and power.)

The New Bard’s Road Map
(Wednesday, August 10, 1 – 2 pm, in A&S tent #9)
A how-to primer for new or aspiring bards. Developing a repertoire, finding performance opportunities, seeking mentors and patrons, gaining visibility, becoming part of the bardic community.

If you have interest in either of these topics, I look forward to seeing you there.

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.

Video: Apprentice Ceremony

Video

The long post will be out later today [EDIT: here]. In the meantime…here’s video from Saturday morning’s apprenticing ceremony. (And if you’ve never heard Mistress Zsof doing her full Hungarian persona, it’s worth checking out.)

My Voice Teacher: Lady Olivia Baker

I mentioned in my last post that Lady Olivia Baker, a phenomenal vocalist from Concordia of the Snows, has been giving me voice lessons this year. Apparently, working on my Troubadour scroll reminded Olivia that she had meant to discuss some of our vocal work in her own blog, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet.

Here is her post about our early work together, and her recommendations for performers about warming up their voices. I’m very grateful to Olivia for her encouragement, as well as her exacting and honest feedback on my vocal work this year. I’m also deeply grateful to Mistress Zsof, who as my Peer has made it clear she is comfortable with my working with any teacher that has help to offer me. The SCA model of mentorship and tutelage is a broad one, and styles, agreements, and outcomes will vary widely, but I am deeply happy with my experiences to date.

New Song: “Hidden Gold” (title track)

One final share as we all do our packing for Pennsic. I do have a new song for the war, and it’s the title track from the album: “Hidden Gold”. Yes, I’ve finally written a song with a repeating chorus you can sing along to.

It’s a very personal piece, and a reflection on the Society’s emphasis on mentoring and learning, as well as its values. Enjoy.