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bardic filk First Bardic War SCAatHome video

New Video: “The Zoom Where It Happens”

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):

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bardic First Bardic War

A Disclaimer

What…shenanigans? About the upcoming Bardic War? From bards?!? Coming soon? That’s…that’s preposterous.

I of course have absolutely no idea what these rumormongers are talking about. The very idea of our fine, upstanding SCA bards being involved in (shudder) “shenanigans” is obviously, patently absurd.

Honestly. (Shakes head) I have no idea where these rumors come from…

Drake, Consort’s Bard, East (and entirely too dignified for such nonsense)

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bardic Competition First Bardic War SCA SCAatHome

A call to EK Performers

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.

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bardic concert First Bardic War general SCA

The First Bardic War (Upcoming)

On January 23 of this year, there was a wonderful Zoom concert called the Journeyman’s Concert hosted by the Midrealm, where I had the privilege to perform. This is coming to be known as The Concert that Started a War, because the couple dozen or so folks attending or performing in the concert, had a conversation that catalyzed the upcoming First Bardic War.

At the center of that conversation were Hilla Stormbringer of the Midrealm, who was one of hosts of the concert, and Laila al-Sanna al-Andalusiyya, former Queen’s Bard of the East, who had been performing. TLDR: There were a lot of Atlantian bards invited to a Midrealm event. The word “invasion” was used, followed by a discussion of holding the Atlantian bards for “ransom”, and the boast that if the bards of the East and Atlantia banded together, they could take over the known world… Within the hour, Hilla had posted in the SCA Bardic Arts group that she had instigated an “interkingdom incident”, and people were discussing a full-scale War event.

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A&S Journey concert lute SCAatHome

Video: “Can she excuse”, Journeymen’s Concert

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.

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bardic Competition concert inclusion Neurodiversity

Panel: Neurodiversity in the SCA and Bardic

The weekend before last, the Second Ethereal Bardic Symposium happened, spearheaded by Hilla Stormbringer, the Bard of the Midlands in the Middle Kingdom, and staffed by some dedicated people.

This wonderful weekend of classes, performances, and conversations may well have unexpected consequences (which I will discuss with relish in an upcoming post). But Hilla also set up a round table panel discussion on Neurodiversity in the Bardic and SCA communities, which I was privileged to take part in.

The panel consisted of Hilla, myself, and Ruqayya bint Rabi’a al-Aliyya of Atlantia. It was not live-streamed, but we had good participation from interested parties, both Neurodivergent and Neurotypical, who attended on Zoom. We had the opportunity to get into some “real talk” about issues that come up in the Society, and in Bardic, for those of us who are Neurodivergent. The session is now available on YouTube if you wish to check it out:

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bardic Competition SCA SCAatHome

EK Bardic Champs: 4/24

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.
In service,
Grim and Drake, Sovereign’s and Consort’s Bards

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A&S Journey poetry scrolls

Scroll Text: Agnes Marie de Calais, Silver Wheel

Last weekend, my first scroll text for a kingdom level award went out in the Consules’ court. My friend Agnes Marie de Calais was inducted into the Order of the Silver Wheel for service, and Collette d’Avignon, who was responsible for creating the scroll, asked if I would be willing to compose the text to honor her. I was delighted to be asked, and set to researching and creating something that would, I hoped, fit Agnes like a glove.

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bardic theater video

Beowulf: The Ethereal Event

Tonight and tomorrow, lovers of spoken word, particularly of epic sagas, can enjoy a live, two-part performance of Beowulf on the East Kingdom’s YouTube channel. This is my first time participating in a live group performance event of this kind. (I have long wanted to, and generally scheduling conflicts and other priorities held sway. I’ll embrace the silver linings of our quarantine year as best I can.)

I’m incredibly excited to be part of an all-star lineup of phenomenal performers from around the Known World, including my teachers, Toki (who’s also directing) and Peregrine, as well as my former Laurel Zsof, my co-champion Grim, his Majesty Tindal of the East, and too many bardic friends to count.

Per the press release:

On November 14 and 15, Beowulf the Ethereal Event will present all of Beowulf, performed live on Zoom. Beowulf the Ethereal Event will feature the talents of 50 performers from 8 kingdoms: East, AEthelmearc, Atlantia, Ealdormere, Meridies, Midrealm, Northshield, and West. The performance being produced by artistic team from Beowulf the Event (East Kingdom, 2011), Beowulf the Roadshow (Pennsic 2011 & 2012), and Njal’s Saga (AEthelmearc, 2017). Beowulf the Ethereal Event will be livestreamed to the East Kingdom’s YouTube channel.

The entire epic will be split into two performances: Saturday night, Nov 14, starting at 7:30 pm; and Sunday afternoon, Nov 15, at 2 pm.

The poem tells the story of the hero Beowulf, who rescues the Danes by killing the monstrous Grendel. He goes on to kill Grendel’s mother, become king, and then—in his old age—must face a dragon. Throughout, he learns lessons about kingship, feud, and the dangers inherent in fighting monsterThe performance will be presented with the natural, organic backgrounds of our homes—bookshelves, workshops, home offices, kitchens, and living rooms. We will tell the story without stage magic, but instead will use the available medium to bring Beowulf into the homes of the audience. While the exact age of Beowulf is not known, the anonymously written poem is the earliest work of full-scale English literature. Beowulf consists of 3,182 lines of poetry. It takes three and a half hours to perform it in its entirety.

Contact Information: Toki Skáldagörvir: tokiredbeard@gmail.com

This is the latest in a series of fantastic live performances by the SCA’s performance community, which have recently included live streams of Henry V (gender-swapped) and Hamlet. This is not an easy time for anyone, but it’s a fascinating time for medievalist performers. Perhaps I’ll see you there.

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bardic

Song page FIXED: Hold the Door Open

Hi everyone. I only just discovered last night that over the summer, I apparently made a really bad edit to the “Hold the Door Open” song page, cutting out close to half the content (including the back story behind its composition, and the annotated version of the complete lyrics).

GAAAAAAH!

Fortunately, WordPress maintains revisions, so I have restored the song in its full obsessively geeky glory (nearly 60 footnotes on every source and decision made in creating the piece). Feel free to explore.