Most of my friends do not know Isolde de Lengadoc (Alix Evans), and that’s perfectly understandable. She is not a denizen of the East, and indeed when I first came to know her she was off in far Drachenwald as part of her day job in the Foreign Service. Her lively, informative, and hilarious blog, The Well-Tempered Harpy, has been quiet for the last few years. Even now, as she is currently settled in Atlantia, her energies are being (rightly) spent raising a beautiful toddler.
On this International Women’s Day, let me share what little I know about this international woman of mystery who spends her days and nights in service. Long before I knew her, she took up the mantle (or at least the harp) of a troubadour, and (in the manner of any true bard) has dedicated herself to sharing what she knows of her art with others. I first learned of her (perhaps inevitably) from a distance, listening to her delightful song “Beer Is for Girls” on Volume I of the “For the Dream!” CD. A short time later, I came across her online class notes on how to compose original songs incorporating period-appropriate forms. So by the time we actually encountered one another online, I was already much impressed with her.
The friendship that has developed between us since then has certainly been a blessing for me, both personally and as an artist and a Scadian. She is one of the great unsung (till now) heroes of much of my creative output the last few years, particularly my recordings, since there is virtually nothing that I have shared with any audience in that time that has not benefited from her careful listening and considerate feedback. Her tremendous gifts for rhythm and authenticity, in particular, have pushed my game higher than I thought possible, and I know I am not alone in that. (If you listen carefully, you can hear both her beautiful contralto and some snarking into her beer on my “pub sing” track.)
I would be remiss if I forgot the service she has done me a few times now of recording female vocals for me, specifically so I could give listening tracks to people to teach them harmonies I had worked out for pieces. It’s been invaluable (and trust me, you don’t want to hear me doing that in my falsetto. It’s not a pretty thing.)
I look forward to seeing her command a bardic stage again, as soon as life affords her the chance. If I’m very, very lucky, I might have the privilege of sharing the stage with her. Until then, I will continue to treasure the connection, brilliance, and wisdom that comes with knowing her.
(What’s #WordFameWednesday? Word fame is a chance to say “thank you” or “you’re awesome” or “you inspire me” to someone you know. It is also a chance to share with your friends and family something positive you’ve witnessed and would like to show as an example to others.#WordFameWednesday is a way to make this a regular habit of acknowledging others and thanking them for being a part of our lives.)