First Bardic War WordFameWednesday

#WFW: The Bardic War Staff

My #WordFameWednesday today is for the staff of the First Bardic War (which will begin one month from tomorrow, on Saturday May 15, and run until Sunday, May 23).

I am not a member of the Bardic War staff. I am a kingdom general, a partisan in the conflict, which is to say, staff-adjacent. Generals are privy to much of the organizational and planning conversation, but we have distinct responsibilities. This staff, let me say from close observation, is in the midst of a Herculean project that is hard to fathom from the outside (unless of course you’ve staffed an SCA war).

Here is a thumbnail sketch of the task that Hilla, Laila, and their coordinators and deputies are undertaking:

SCAatHome video WordFameWednesday

New Song: “Her Garden Grows” (for Margarita De’ Siena)

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

album WordFameWednesday

#WordFameWednesday: Linette de Gallardon

For #WordFameWednesday, I want to recognize Mistress Linette de Gallardon, who created the original Sing for the East songbook 13 years ago (and is hard at work on Volume 2). Linette’s has dedicated considerable effort to collecting and sharing the creative output of our East Kingdom bards. The new album, which comes out this weekend, would never have existed without her vision, and her guidance was essential in selecting the songs to include in this recorded collection. (In our haste to get the first rush order out for SRWC, this debt was overlooked, but this oversight has since been corrected for the next batch of CDs.)

Linette’s voice and caring deserve to be heard. This has earned her the distinction of reigning Winter Nights champion (and three-time Royal Bard), and her beautiful vocals on “Pennsic Farewell”, as well as on other songs in the collection, will be a piece of the East Kingdom’s legacy. For all these gifts to us, we salute her. VIVAT!


#WordFameWednesday: Isolde de Lengadoc


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.

And yet.

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.)